One of the number one questions we get asked at BAD Athletics is how to stay motivated. Many of us experience ebbs and flows when it comes to motivation. There is an important difference between lack of motivation and burnout that I want to talk about. Burnout has to do with the result of physical and emotional stress of training combined with what you’re doing in your everyday life. Lack of motivation is more inconsistent and are those days when you’re not feeling “up to it”.
Change Your Mindset
“Go hard or go home.” “All or nothing.” “Give it your all.” “100% every day.” These quotes MIGHT have sounded great at one point, but they’re not realistic or maintainable. No one can go 100% everyday without feeling burnout. Even the most elite athletes need a break every once in a while.
Especially if you’re working full time, training, a mother and trying to stay on top of normal day-to-day tasks. That can get overwhelming real quick.
So, how do you know you’re just unmotivated and how do you know when you’re experiencing burnout?
Signs Of Burnout
Here are some signs of burnout:
- Loss of interest in things you normally love
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Chronic fatigue
- Gets sick easily
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor performance
- Increased irritability
If you’re just not “feeling up to it” that day, then you’re probably just lacking motivation, not necessarily experiencing burnout.
How To Overcome Burnout
Here are some ways that can help!
- Scale back number of exercise sessions or session length
- Decrease exercise intensity
- Still exercise, even if it’s just going for a walk or a light yoga session.
- Delegate at-home responsibilities
- Incorporate self care and/or alone time
- Improve sleep hygiene. Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
- Quality nutrition
- Increase water intake
- Set out actionable goals
- Celebrate wins
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind there are times when you will “go harder” than others. When you have a specific goal that requires it, like a competition or a specific deadline. When it comes to your day-to-day activities, check-in to see if you’re experiencing any signs or symptoms of burnout and see if it’s time to scale things back a bit. Otherwise you might be having a lack of motivation and that’s ok! Try your best everyday and remember YOU are an athlete!