We’ve all been there. Rather a practice, game, private lesson, or something else there are days you just aren’t “feeling” it. Fatigue happens, but how can you overcome it and help avoid eventual burn out? We have some tips for when you’re running on empty.
1. It is okay!
First and foremost, you need to be “okay” with that feeling of tiredness and fatigue that happens to everyone. It is going to happen and that doesn’t make you anything but human. This can be tough to accept with the consistent pressure to load up your plate, do everything possible, and then put in extra work on top of that. But it is important to understand and embrace that fatigue happens to everyone.
2. Learn to rest
Take a break! If you’re in a situation where you can take a day off to rest and recharge, do it. This does not make you “lazy”, this does not mean you aren’t committed to your goals, and it isn’t going to set you back. Listening to your body and mind is just as important as taking reps. Rest is an important factor on how successful you will be on and off the field.
3. Find positivity, reground yourself
When you are feeling fatigued, it can be easy to turn negative about the task at hand or the fact you feel this way in the first place. Finding positivity is crucial. This is not something you need to shout from the roof tops or put all over social media but it is something you need to find within yourself. Be kind to yourself about how you’re feeling, remind yourself what you love about the task at hand or the results that come from the completion of it, and try to be grateful for the opportunity you have to do what you’re doing. Sometimes, that practice or lesson will still be a grind from start to finish but working hard to find that inner positivity can help push you through.
4. Do something you enjoy
Make sure you are taking time to do something you enjoy, even if it is only 15 minutes! Read a book, do a crossword, listen to music, enjoy some alone time, or anything else you like to do purely because you enjoy it! This will help recharge and refocus you. Fatigue, tiredness, and burn out occur in part when we aren’t able to partake in the activities and hobbies we enjoy simply because we enjoy them. Take time for yourself, even if it is short, to recharge through these kinds of activities.
5. Talk about how you’re feeling
It is crucial to be open and honest about how you’re feeling with your friends, teammates, coaches, and parents. You may also be surprised by the feedback you receive from someone going through the same thing! You’re not going to want to practice or play every single day, it happens to everyone – finding allies and someone going through the same feeling can help lift you up to overcome the fatigue.
6. Always give your best, but realize that my be different from day-to-day
In the end, always give your best but learn that “your best” can change each day. Your best when your healthy is different from when you’re sick. Your best when you’re in the middle of finals week may be different from when you’re not. This does not mean you have an excuse to “slack”, be negative to those around you, or suddenly start taking endless days off; but means that once you are able to identify fatigue and develop skills to manage and overcome it you will be a more successful student, athlete, and person. Every day your best will be a different and, again, that is okay! You need to accept that and then work to implement the personal tools and tricks for putting your best fourth, even when you are not at 100%.