These days, everyone seems to live a busy life. Whether you run to the office each day, teach in a classroom, manage a yoga studio, or simply work from home, burnout can be a very real thing if we don’t take proper care of ourselves. The good news is that self care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Anything and everything is in the realm of possibilities, and the options are pretty much endless.
But What Exactly is Burnout?
Simply put, burnout is when you’re mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted from being constantly stressed out all of the time. Burnout happens when you’re feeling especially overwhelmed, underappreciated, and exhausted beyond belief. All of these feelings combined create the perfect storm that causes you to become disinterested in the things that once sparked interest and/or joy in your life.
What are Some of the Signs of Burnout?
We know that burnout is caused by stress that’s unrelenting. This is not to be confused with generally feeling stressed from time to time. Unrelenting stress goes a lot deeper — this is a type of stress that’s brought on by seemingly never-ending demands and/or projects that are heaped on you that cause you to feel out of control or that things are getting out of control. People with burnout like to think that things will magically get better once they grab a hold of the reins and take control again. But what they don’t consider is that burnout causes all of the motivation to be sucked out of them, leaving them feeling empty and depleted. The sad thing about burnout is that it's not usually noticed right away.
If you’re feeling any of the signs or symptoms listed below, then you could be suffering from burnout. Some of the most common signs of burnout include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Achy Muscles
- Feeling sick all the time
- Procrastinating about things that need to get done
- Being unable to turn work/projects off for the day
- Self isolation
- Headaches or Migraines
- Feeling irritable or easily angered
What Ways Can You Avoid Burnout?
If you’ve read our list and find that more than one of these symptoms applies to you, don’t worry. The good news is that there’s a ton of things that you can do to help alleviate or shut down the symptoms caused by burnout.
1. Get Your Morning Stretch On
When you’re burnt out, little things like getting out of bed in the morning can feel next to impossible. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to try some light exercise or stretching. Not only does exercise boost your wellbeing and state of mind, it also lowers mental distress and emotional exhaustion. Exercise can also help you feel more energized, which allows you to be more productive in the long-run. And you don’t have to do it for hours on end. Just a few minutes of light stretching in the morning can do a world of good.
2. Make Short Walks Part of Your Daily Routine
If you liked the way that stretching felt, then take it one step further with a short walk during your day. Getting outside to enjoy nature for a brief period can shake up your mindset in a good way.
Hang out with the birds, the breeze, the trees, and all of nature’s finery that can help ease even the worst case of burnout. Just make sure you dress accordingly for the weather so you’re comfortable and able to enjoy it.
3. Try Taking Some CBD Oil
Making choices for your self care and taking steps toward your goals feels good in and of itself. Maybe beginning or getting back into a supplement regimen is something that you can do to achieve this. If you’ve been wanting to try some of our top-notch full-spectrum CBD oil, then there’s no time like the present. Remember, when looking for brands and oils, make sure you take some time to do your research. You also may want to look into how much CBD oil you should take and what you can expect to feel over time.
4. Make Taking Breaks a Priority
It doesn’t matter if you work in an office or from your home, taking regular breaks should be a part of life. And by breaks, we mean taking a few minutes out of work to stretch, walk, breathe, rest your eyes from screens, among other things. If you find that you’re not making time to take a few moments away, then maybe setting a timer will be helpful. There are many useful apps that you can download onto your cell that can help with that. Otherwise, when you work all day without a break, you can wind up feeling fatigued, tense, disconnected, and in pain.
5. Guard the Balance Between Work and Life
In order to avoid burnout, you need to have a strong balance between work and the rest of your life. It’s important to prioritize time to take care of yourself. After all, self care isn’t selfish. In fact, self care is pivotal for your emotional, mental, and physical health and wellbeing. So, outside of work, prioritize time with friends and family, do the activities and hobbies that bring you joy, meditate, practice yoga, go for walks, take bubble baths, sing, or take vacations. The key is to just do something fun and relaxing to get out of that work mindset. In other words, don’t bring your work home with you — physically or mentally.
6. Teach Yourself That Saying “No” Can Be Liberating
The word “no” is one of the hardest things for people to say. Saying “yes” all of the time can lead to double the workload, which leads to more stress, which then leads to even more burnout. When you limit the number of projects you take on by delegating those tasks to others or allowing your manager to assign them to someone else, you’ll be able to better manage your energy and lessen or avoid burnout.
7. Avoid the Urge to Self-Isolate
Let’s get one thing straight: burnout is isolating. Even though your first reaction may be to withdraw and stay away from others out of fear that you’ll burden them with your problems, you should avoid doing that at all costs. Sharing your problems with close friends, family, or a licensed therapist is one of the best ways to help relieve stress and calm down your overworked nervous system. If you can’t meet with someone face-to-face, then an online support group or a video call may be an adequate substitute.
8. Nosh on Mood-Boosting Foods
We all know that comfort food, junk food, and other sweet and salty goodies are a hard give-up. But when you stop to think about it, a diet that’s low in nutrients can negatively impact your mood and your energy. Your body is a machine that runs off of the fuel you give it. So why not make that fuel something healthy, tasty, and worthwhile? Eating a ton of carbs will leave you feeling sluggish and sleepy. Eating lean meats, beans, veggies, and fruits will help keep you going throughout the day by filling your body with great nutrients like fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and essential amino acids.
9. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Hydration
Water is necessary for the body to operate at peak performance. In fact, the human body is made up of around 70% water. Even more stunning is the fact that our brains are made up of around 85% water. So it makes sense that when we’re dehydrated we feel weak, fatigued, stressed out, and have a ton more headaches. When we don’t get in enough water, our stress hormone levels become raised. So, drinking enough water and staying hydrated is the perfect way to help keep your cortisol levels under control. If you have a hard time drinking water, make it fun by adding a slice of orange, lemon, or lime in it. You can even infuse it with berries if you feel moved to do so.
10. Slow Down the Pace and Meditate
Training yourself to slow down and meditate can do wonders for burnout. The good news is that meditation doesn’t have to take all day. Sometimes all you need is five minutes to slow your breath down and practice mindfulness. There are a lot of excellent meditation apps that you can check out and download onto your phone that can help you to get started. If meditation isn’t your thing, then why not try yoga? Whether you take a class or use an app, it’s just as effective.
Burnout isn’t Forever
If you do little things to ease the stressors of everyday life, then you can avoid and alleviate burnout altogether. Remember, burnout can’t last forever if you practice taking care of yourself. Keeping a positive mindset is huge. In fact, just believing that you can achieve a more balanced and relaxed life is a great step in the right direction. So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get started.