If you spend any time with me, you know that I am a big proponent of taking time off when you need it. Whether it’s in an office setting, and you need to use a personal day or vacation day to catch up on work or spend time with your family, or you’re an athlete that is starting to feel some fatigue, I think there’s a lot of power in taking some time off.
As I type this, I’m in the midst of a two week break from running. I’ve been training very hard for the last 32 weeks, and my body finally told me that I’ve hit my limit. I think it’s really important to listen to your body, and your mind, and take time off when you need it.
I look at it this way – if you don’t listen to your body and take time off when you need it, you’re really going to pay for it in the long run. From an athletic perspective, if I try to push through that fatigue, I might end up injured. From a work perspective, if the stress continues to build and you try and work through that, your production will slip and ultimately you’re going to end in a burn out.
These two weeks off have been really tough for me, but I can immediately see and feel the benefits. I have a little bit more energy, I have a little bit extra free time, and I’ve been enjoying some other things (most notably longer walks in this amazing fall foliage). I’m also getting excited for the next level of my training.
Long story short, take some time to step away from the things that you’re doing in your life that are stressful and that are causing some type of strain on you mentally or physically. It doesn’t mean that you’re not tough. It doesn’t mean you’re a quitter. It just means you’re in it for the long-haul, and you’re preparing yourself for the rest of the journey.
Chris Hardie is the Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach at Waynesburg University. You can follow him on Twitter @Coach_Hardie_WU or follow the team on Facebook at Waynesburg University Cross Country.