6 Ways To Avoid Burn Out and Stop Stressing
Feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed? Me too!! Lately, I've been feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. In reality, thanks to my “ I can do everything” attitude, I'm probably just doing too much. I’m traveling between two states twice a day for work, running a side hustle, maintaining friendships, and spending time with my spouse — which leaves me with zero energy. I need my internal battery re-charged. (Why hasn't Apple invented this yet?!)
According to Psychology Today, what I'm experiencing is called burnout, which is the state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. I thought I was going through a quarter life crisis — but I was just experiencing all of the classic signs of burnout.
Signs Of Burnout
Feeling physically and emotionally exhausted
Anger/Anxiety towards insignificant situations
Trouble Focusing on tasks
Loss of Appetite
Feelings of hopelessness
Burnout sneaks up on you, but it can be avoided with consistent self care and self-evaluation. In a culture that values work and productivity above all else, a lot of people have a hard time admitting when they're burnt out. You might believe you’re the only one feeling this way. You're not! And ignoring burnout won't make it go away—in fact, not taking the time to recover from your burnout can lead to chronic health problems. Here are some of the the tools I’m personally using to recover from my burnout:
We must sleep, drink, and eat in order to survive. However, with a demanding lifestyle, basic maintenance is easily forgotten. The solution is simple: sleep as much as possible, don't skip meals, eat healthy, and drink a lot of water. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel once you start incorporating a healthy dose of all three into your routine. Personally, I’ve had trouble getting a good night’s sleep, so I’ve incorporated a CBD Infused Golden Milk Tonic into my nightly routine. It allows my mind to relax, while helping me fall asleep and stay asleep. Meal prepping on Sundays also helps me make sure I have enough to eat at work, and allows for more ‘me time’ once I get home.
Meditating is basically taking time to think about nothing else but your body: your mind should be still, and your thoughts should be boxed away. The best way to get started in a meditation practice is to focus on your breathing. I once read that Beyonce meditates every morning—if she can do it with her busy schedule, I know I can. I try to perform a seated 5-minute meditation every morning to clear my mind for the busy day ahead. When I’m in a rush, I listen to a guided meditation of mindful affirmations, as I get dressed or on my way to work.
Don’t spread yourself too thin! You may not be able to control a demanding job, so take control of everything else. Put yourself first and be realistic with your time. I recently told a close friend I couldn’t continue working on a project with her, because I was focusing on personal matters. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to put your wants and needs first. People will understand — and if they don’t, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life anyway!
Your mental and physical health should always be a top priority. Having a strong knowledge of self can help you see the warning signs of burnout before it’s too late. Journaling and spending time alone has positively impacted my self awareness and put me on the road to recovery from burnout hell.
Exercise is a great stress reducer, even if you can't find time for a complete exercise routine, you can still incorporate exercise into your day. How? Take a brisk ten-minute walk during your lunch hour. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I don’t have time to attend as many yoga classes as I’d like, so I’ve turned to the wonderful world of YouTube. Yoga is my favorite form of exercise because “you can stretch, burn, sweat, soothe, tone, trim, release, massage, relax and most importantly bridge the gap between your precious mind and body.” Wise words spoken by my favorite online instructor, Yoga with Adrienne.
Turning to Nature
Spending time in nature offers me a temporary quick fix from burnout symptoms. Turning my phone off and reading in a lush park,or just laying on a blanket and staring at the sky for a few hours, really helps me unwind. Besides, meditating outside in nature is magical.
The ultimate key to avoiding burnout is discovering your own "program:” one that works for you and your lifestyle, and one that you can realistically commit to incorporating into your life. Don't let the shame of not being able to “do it all” (an unrealistic goal!) keep you in a vicious cycle of misery. Remember you are the creator of your own reality so make life work for you :)