We have discussed how overworking can result in burnout earlier. One way to cope with burnout from work and stress is to find some release through other activities. These could be playing a sport or taking a vacation. The former has several physical as well as psychological benefits for the human body. Engaging in physical activity is a great way to burn stress as well as get rid of the extra energy that builds as a result of frustration. While we have read a lot about the advantages of playing sports, there is little talk of the burnout that could result.

Watching the best footballers in the world now in the World Cup makes you marvel at the hard work they put in everyday. Strenuous training coupled with motivation and will power is what helps these athletes reach their goals. Even if you do not compete professionally, you have to work hard to achieve your fitness goals. Too much of anything, even if it is good for you, can be harmful. Working hard is good, but working too hard is harmful. Pushing your body to more than what it can take can place a severe strain on your muscles.

If you do not address this in the early stages, it can lead to certain complications. The initial symptoms of what is known as the “overtraining syndrome”. An increased resting heart rate, decreased appetite, and sudden loss of weight are the most observable early symptoms. If left unaddressed, overtraining syndrome can lead to extreme dehydration. These are only the physical symptoms of a burnout resulting from over-exercising.

Psychologically, you may experience irritability, an inability to rest at night, frustration, tiredness, and decreased motivation to participate in sports or exercise. In more extreme cases, the lack of sleep, drowsiness in the day, extreme fatigue can result in anger, frustration, and depression. So, what you are doing to relieve the stress of other aspects of your life may instead increase the stress.

It is important to find a balance between exercise and the other aspects of your life. Staying fit is a great goal to have, but overdoing your exercise regime can only be harmful. A healthy body breeds a healthy mind. Injuring yourself by placing an excessive strain on your body will result in your mental health being adversely affected. This in turn could have an adverse effect on your social relationships as well as your professional career. A decrease in happiness could result in decreased productivity at work as well as an increase in personal conflicts.

Make it a point to engage in sports and other exercise to stay fit and strong, both physically and psychologically. But above all, make it a point to stay balanced.

Ashvita has just completed her undergraduate degree from FLAME University, a Liberal Education school situated in Pune. Having pursued a major in psychology and a minor in advertising and branding over the course of the last four years, she hopes to implement her learning from both these areas of study into her work.