Listen to your body is preached by me to all my students. We need to be aware of what our body is telling us.
If we are generally the type to love going to the gym to train, and are finding ourselves lacking motivation - that's a signal. Your parasympathetic (apologies about the jargon - the part of your nervous system that's responsible for recovery, digestion etc) system is sending you a signal that you need to chill.
Most often, a day or two of skipping the gym, and you cannot wait to go back. The more you push yourself and accumulated stress in life, the longer this drop in motivation could be. For me, during my CrossFit days when I would train 5-6 times a week and play Ultimate twice a week - I would face a drop every 3-4 months. I'd skip a week, and I would be raring to go back again.
Of course, I had no idea about all this. I just did it intuitively.
What does not help at all is being guilty about it. Here's a snippet of a recent conversation I had with one of my students. This guy's been training in his terrace regularly, and has been giving me a short update near daily.
He did the right thing - but is feeling guilty about it. And that ruins something. I don't know what, but it does. Same deal with wanting to eat an ice-cream, enjoying it, and then feeling guilty about it later.
Now, if feeling guilty did something useful, great. I don't think it does.
And especially when you did the right thing - like listening to your body which wants you to rest and recover because you've been training consistently and life adds up and you needed to chill instead of train - you should be proud for getting it right. Not guilty.
Now, how do we know the difference between a beer with friends vs drinking too much, or listening to your body and resting vs not doing any physical activity. Well, listen to your body.
If you feel good about it, and I mean for real, then you are good.
And if you are not happy with your body or where you are, solve it with what you eat 80% of the time in your kitchen. And don't feel guilty about the other 20%.