We’ve all been there – life overwhelms you with responsibilities, leaving you no time for the things you enjoy most. High levels of stress can leave you feeling depleted, like you are running on empty. You feel exhausted, have no energy to pursue things you are passionate about, and can’t sleep well, all the while your health and relationships are suffering. If this sounds familiar, you are probably experiencing burnout.
The term “burnout” in psychology means long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout is so much more than just being tired – your whole being suffers while experiencing it. Burnout takes a toll on your endocrine system, your mental health, and your overall wellbeing. And the thing about burnout is, anyone can experience it at any time. Burnout is in fact what started me down my journey of holistic wellness many years ago. After a divorce, the death of my mother and deciding to end my legal career, I hit rock bottom health-wise because I was so burned out from the emotional toll everything took, as well as the pressure from rigorous educational pursuits and practicing law. I know I am not alone in the “when it rains, it pours,” experience of life sometimes. But I had to figure out how to bounce back from my own personal burnout to be the best person I could be for myself and my children.
The thing about burnout is, it takes more than just simple self-care strategies to make things better. Burnout recovery is a long-term process of rest and recovery, and it takes a lot of discipline and self-love to successfully bounce back. If this sounds all too familiar for you, read on for tips on how to recover and how to prevent yourself from experiencing burnout again.
Friends, family, co-workers, community members, even pets are sources of positive connection that can quickly uplift your spirit and lessen the feeling of solitude that many people feel when burnt out.
If you are in a profession that no longer feels aligned with your essence or living a life that doesn’t feel purposeful anymore, burnout can come quickly. If this is the case for you, finding something that stirs your passion can move you away from burnout. Something that helps some people is to think about your childhood – what activities did you enjoy the most? What are some of your fondest memories? Include these things to the extent you can each day, and see your life take on more purpose.
Many times, burnout includes a disruption to your endocrine system. This effects hormone and cortisol levels, and puts us into a state of adrenal fatigue. Working with a holistic or functional medicine practitioner during this recovery time is important so that you supply your body with the right nutrients.
The American Heart Association recommends 5 days a week of exercise for a least 30 minutes as an adequate amount for cardiac health. If you can do more, I say do it, as we are not just concerned with cardiac health, but your mental health as well.
Children, pets, hikes, outdoor sports….the list of activities you can do outside is endless. The healing power of nature is incredible and should not be underestimated. Add to it spending time with friends or loved ones, and you have a recipe for recovery.
Having a gratitude practice is tremendously valuable as it shifts lower vibration states of consciousness to higher ones quickly. It’s hard to feel completely depleted when you reflect upon all the things or people you are grateful for in your life.
If you feel like you are already burnt out or are on your way to being burnt out, reach out to a coach, counselor, pastor or spiritual advisor. Many times, being able to talk through things with someone else is tremendously beneficial when we are so inundated with our own feelings.
I can’t emphasize enough how important breathwork is in times of high stress!
You are what you eat. If you’re eating crap, you’re going to be feeling crappy.
Sleep is the foundation to EVERYTHING. Getting good sleep (7-8 hours a night) is imperative to being balanced throughout our day. 1/3 of the day spent sleeping powers the other 2/3 of our day.
If you are one of my Type A (friends, or just simply a perfectionist at heart, I have three words that will change your life: let it go. No one is perfect and striving to be can put you on the fast track to burnout.
If someone else can do it, let them!
Keeps you feeling alive and more energetic throughout your days. Remember why you are doing what you are doing, and take pride in whatever it is.
People pleasing can be hard to let go of, but putting yourself first will prevent a burnout relapse.
Just by reading this article you are equipping yourself with the tools and techniques to combat the dreaded symptoms of burnout.
Choosing activities that stir your creativity and passion, that you do not HAVE to do, balances out the things in life that you have to do but feel less passionate about.
Meditation is like a spa treatment for your brain, allowing your brain to relax. Doing this at least once a day will help your brain function throughout the rest of the day. Read THIS for more information on how to start a meditation practice.
You should be in control of your schedule, not the other way around. Being proactive instead of reactive to the events of your day will help your stress levels. Make sure you are scheduling time throughout your day for your benefit, not just for the benefit of others.
Massages, essential oils, meditations, manicures/pedicures, praying, taking a bath surrounded by candles and soft music…the list of self-care practices you can incorporate in your day are endless.
Having an intentional beginning to your day and a relaxing end to your day is important for balance. Find things that are helpful to you in the morning and evening and start incorporating them into your daily routines.
Referenced above as well as a way to heal from burnout, continuing to spend time out in nature after your burnout recovery will help to prevent a burnout again in the future.
Limiting your time on social media will not only help your brain, but it will help your emotional wellbeing as well. If you have to be on for work, my suggestion is to get on, do what you need to do for work, and then exit for the rest of the day if possible. Or set a timer on your phone that will alert you when you have gone beyond your self imposed limit for the day.
Burnout is no fun, but there are ways to recover from it if you are patient and intentional with the recovery process. And when you do recover, make sure to incorporate some of these tips into your everyday life so that you never experience a burnout again!
Catch us in your inbox for real talk: interesting blogs, breakthroughs and tidbits tailored just for you. (We will never inundate you.)
Questions? Please forward all inquiries (hellos, press, interviews, etc.) to firstname.lastname@example.org.