Today, I wanted to write about burnout because I'm hearing so much of this from my family, friends and clients. Not only are people experiencing burnout from the typical stress inducers of life, but this year there are some added things to put in our mind - enter COVID-19, lockdowns, and increased visibility of social injustice.
But burnout is nothing new. We’ve all been there. Things are tough at work, and they’re not going much better at home. You’re stressed, you can’t sleep, and your dog ran away from home. Sometimes, it just seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
It can be hard to stop the negative thought patterns that only serve to make you feel even worse.
Stress is a part of life, but there are times it can get completely out of hand. When life seems too hard to handle, it means you and your life are out of balance and it’s time to take back some control. Luckily, there are many ways to accomplish this.
Use these ideas to put mental and physical burnout behind you:
Clean up your diet. When you’re feeling burned out, it can help to eat a healthier diet. Junk food creates more stress and load for your body to deal with. Cutting back on your calories and providing quality nutrition to your body can make a positive difference.
Get more sleep. Working harder or longer isn’t a solution for your burnout. Sometimes, the best option is to call it a night a couple of hours earlier than normal and get some extra rest. Allow yourself to sleep in on the weekends if you need to. Take naps. Rest helps.
Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is the last thing you need if you’re feeling frazzled. Caffeine stimulates your body and your mind. It can create more challenges than it solves.
Meditate. Meditation, listening to relaxing music, praying, or anything else that relaxes your mind can be beneficial. Avoid giving thought to the challenges in your life. Your brain doesn’t get a break unless you create one.
Give yourself a change of scenery. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when the scenery never changes. Being in the same couple of places day after day can limit your perspective and close your mind to the many possibilities that are open to you. Take a weekend and go camping.
Spend time with people you genuinely like. This has been shown to be one of the best ways to recover from mental burnout. Spending time with someone that makes you smile and feel relaxed can be the best medicine.
Evaluate your life. Consider how you came to be in this situation. Do you need to make some changes at work, a different job, or a more satisfying relationship? Could it help you to speak to a professional? What needs to happen to prevent the same situation from happening again?
Avoid starting anything new. You already have enough on your plate. Avoid adding even more! Get a handle on your current situation first. Taking on more responsibilities will be challenging during this time.
Laugh. Laughing will always make you feel better. Who’s your funniest friend? What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen? How can you make yourself laugh? A night of laughter will give you a mental reset and put you in a better position to handle the challenges in your life.
Taken too far, burnout can become a serious issue. There are many mental and physical health issues that are caused, or made worse, by fatigue and stress.
It will benefit you to make managing your physical and mental health a priority. When you’re feeling burned out, take it seriously. Do what you need to do to feel like yourself again. Address your mind, body, AND spirit.