You know all those jokes about parents being exhausted all the time? Yeah, they're not wrong. As a parent you'll never have more responsibility or less sleep. Your energy is insanely divided, but you tend to eat less nutritious food and/or skip out on exercise. It’s a vicious cycle, and the body is quick to let you know it needs to stop. In fact, the subtle ways my body tried to tell me I needed a break is a testament to the undeniable fact that, yes, even us parents can only take so much.
My body used to tell me to chill out prior to having kids, too. Like when I was pulling all-nighters in college studying for exams, or when I was pulling all-nighters because I was simply partying too hard (and, full disclosure, I did the "partying too hard" thing a lot). I could tell my body needed a break because I just didn’t feel like myself. There were physical signs, too, like my mind being foggy, my entire body being exhausted and run down, and just an overall feeling of unhealthiness.
In short, I needed a break, and more often than not I listened to my body and took a break from the all-nighters (or at least the partying ones) so I could get back to neutral. It’s harder when you have children, though, because they don’t really get the whole "needing a break" concept. Kids want what they want and they want it now, and they need what they need and not giving them the necessities is generally frowned upon. Still, I'm trying to slow down, trying to pay attention, and trying to be more mindful of my body and the things it's trying to tell me.