The Exhaustion Loop

There is this cycle that happens over and over again. It keeps us trapped in an exhausting behavioral loop that always ends the same way – in defeat.

We make a decision to get serious about our health and wellness and we jump in with enthusiasm,  “pulling up our bootstraps” to do some hard work. High motivation and a lot of effort are required. It goes well. We see results. Things are changing. Then, our willpower, energy, and drive fizzle out. We just can’t sustain the pace and the work required.

Next, we drop into resignation. We relinquish our responsibility and commitment to the goal we set for ourselves. We fall back into old patterns. The gains we made are lost over time. Eventually, we get to the point that we feel stuck, frustrated, and angry at ourselves. So we try to fix things yet again.

I call this the Exhaustion Loop.

We burn ourselves out in a never-ending pattern while watching our problems grow. This cycle only reinforces the neurological patterns that are keeping us stuck. Every time we repeat the pattern the cycle is harder to break.


If we want to change, we have to make sustainable changes that don’t end in resignation. We need to create a different growth environment that allows for the deep rejuvenation that promotes peak performance. We can’t make a consistent effort to change without a consistent energy supply to draw on. This supply makes continuous growth possible. Deep rejuvenation means attention to getting ample rest, light-hearted play, meaningful connection, and good nourishment.


How often are we honest with ourselves about what we need? So often we fight past messages that our body is trying to send: fatigue, pain, anxiety, stress. We hope that if we just ignore the messages long enough they will go away. Awareness is about being totally transparent about where we are at. Admitting to whatever is happening in our bodies is the first step in being able to change it. Symmetry between what our brain is telling us (behind the negative chatter) and what our body is telling us is a key piece to health. We need our mind, body, & spirit on the same page about what it is we need to do. To get to this state we need to settle our brains long enough to hear messages from other parts of our being. We can not “think” our way into this, we have to slow down enough to tune into the bigger picture.

How often do you override your body’s simplest messages? Doing something as common as going pee when we need to, drinking water when we are thirsty, putting on a sweater when we are cold, are often overlooked or delayed. Awareness means not overriding these obvious messages anymore.


We have to discover the difference between what IS true and what we WANT to be true. Where we ARE, and where we think we SHOULD be. When you notice yourself using the word SHOULD, immediately ask yourself if this is true? As soon as we start doing what we “SHOULD” be doing we fall right back into our Exhaustion Loop. Only when we recognize our whole truth do we have the ability to listen to the body in an honorable way. We create trust with ourselves, understand the whispers of discontent coming from within, and respond to them with compassion and accuracy. It is this new awareness that creates new neurological patterns.


Choice offers us the ability to respond rather than react to our situations and shows us the path to wellness. We cultivate our ability to listen to the body and test new responses to our problems. As our competency grows we get greater Response-Ability enabling us to move from our past automated modes of being, into new growth-oriented ones. I love redefining that word – responsibility. I see it now as a powerful skill, rather than an obligation.

When you are sick of your Exhaustion Cycle, map your way out of it with deep rejuvenation to support your peak state. Stepping out of that loop allows for awareness, new choices, and that growing response-ability. You may not experience the quick fix gains you had in the past, but you won’t fall into resignation and wipe out all your progress with an inevitable crash. Slow. Stainable. Steady. It is the new advanced way of doing things.

Jill Novak Yoga is all about helping you step out of this cycle and into the kind of healing that not only supports your physical body but awakes your life purpose and drive for peak state living. My year-long course designed to guide you in community. Yoga Therapy sessions for personal work.

Roller Coster Photo by 2Photo Pots on Unsplash