Burnout occurs following exposure to chronic stress and leads to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. People often feel overwhelmed, fatigued, and emotionally depleted.
What causes burnout?
Prolonged stress is the major culprit leading to burnout. Unfortunately, there are many sources of long-term stress in our society, and some more controllable than others. Taking on more than what is sustainably manageable is a significant factor, either in the workplace, among family, through social commitments, or any activities that demand an excess of our attention and energy.
How to recover from and prevent burnout.
Set boundaries for your personal energy output.
There is a multitude of elements that compete for our attention. These factors need to be filtered down to an appropriate amount that doesn’t leave us feeling completely drained. This can involve turning down certain activities, something that can be initially challenging, but that flows more naturally with repeated practice and awareness of how we’re truly feeling in making plans and commitments.
Maintain a consistent work schedule.
Many more people are working from home nowadays, which can easily blur the boundary between work and personal life. It’s incredibly important to set a regular work schedule, ideally similar in timing each day. Scheduling a consistent lunch break allows for mid-day rejuvenation that facilitates sustainable productivity. During designated breaks, it’s best to turn off notifications, limit electronic use, refuel with nutritious food, and physically move the body, ideally outside. These strategies promote a healthy recharge for the next work shift.
Limit thoughts regarding work after hours.
Even after wrapping up work for the day, it’s common for it to still occupy our thoughts. This pattern doesn’t allow for a true separation or rest and can lead to significant agitation. At the end of the workday, it’s helpful to actively set an intention to shift mental focus away from work. Taking a few deep breaths is a great way to release the day and shift the nervous system into a calm state. Exercise is another fantastic method of manually transitioning out of work mode.
Engage in naturally restorative activities.
When feeling drained and depleted, it’s helpful to consistently practice restorative self-care activities. This will look a bit different for each individual but could include exercising, going for a walk, meditating, spending time in nature, playing music, socializing with people who make you feel good or engaging in activities that bring personal joy and rejuvenation.
Eat regular healthy meals to keep the body and mind well-nourished.
The foods we eat have a significant impact on our energy, focus, and mental clarity. Eating protein at each meal is extremely beneficial for sustaining energy throughout the day and keeping blood sugar balanced. Limiting refined sugars is helpful for preventing rapid fluctuations in blood sugar and subsequent energy crashes. Fresh vegetables and fruit are excellent to include for their rich vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content. Eating well-balanced meals at the same time each day is helpful for the body to learn a predictable food routine, which is beneficial for increasing resilience to stress.
If you are suffering from burnout, please schedule an appointment to discuss natural options for healing from the effects of chronic stress.