They are different for everyone, but deserve the utmost respect, because if you ring your bell hard enough, and don't give your body time to recover and repair, you can be left with symptoms for life.
The last run of our last day on our first Whistler trip of the year, we dropped into one of my most favorite, fun, low stress jump lines that we'd hit plenty already that week. It was raining, I was tired, and not really very focused that day, but said, "Hey, we hit this so much, I could do this with my eyes closed - let's hit it". Lack of focus turned into me tapping my brakes, in combination with hitting a gust of wind, and I knuckled a gap jump. Not even that bad of a crash, but apparently rung my bell just right...
I hit my head real hard. Hard enough to get knocked out for a quick moment, and have the room spinning for days, not to mention a massive headache, inability to focus, lack of real short term memory, and pain anytime I looked at a phone or computer screen. I was forever exhausted, even doing the littlest of things - unloading groceries from the car.
Over the next few week, I went to go into protection mode to give my body the best opportunity to recover as quickly as possible, because honestly, I just felt too shitty to do anything else.
1. Avoid screen time as much as much as possible: as feeling better, work up to short intervals of screen time followed by larger rest intervals.
2. Avoid any sort of "pounding" activity - running, jumping, etc... Some light exercise can help improve recovery by increasing blood flow, however, too much can quickly turn things the other direction. I chose dog walks, light stretching...
3. Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet: Limit your sugar & gluten intake. Avoid all alcohol - think about reducing inflammation to promote healing. Otherwise, eat from the rainbow to ensure you get you micro & macronutrients! Feed your brain! Can't get what you need? Order up some 1st Phorm Greens & Reds and make life easy.
4. Supplements: Multivitamin + Protein + Creatine:
Multivitamin's to ensure you're getting your vitamins.
Protein + Creatine to fuel your body.
According to the Nutrients Journal (2021), Creatine Supplementation & Brain Health, "There is a potential for creatine supplementation to improve cognitive processing, especially in conditions characterized by brain creatine deficits, which could be induced by acute stressors."
5. Reduce and/or eliminate outside stress - that may be physical or emotional. Think of yourself in a very fragile state - avoid loud noises, bright lights, TV, etc...take it easy and give your body REST in all realms!
With a whole lot of rest, every day my symptoms improved - It took about 2 weeks to be able to look at my phone or computer screen without getting headaches or overly fatigued. I was off the bike for a couple weeks, and did my best to simply rest.
If you hit your heat AT ALL, let alone hard, I can't stress enough listening to your body, taking it easy and giving yourself time to recover. Even if you don't have symptoms, your brain is fragile and worth giving rest. You only have one, and the trails will always be there!