Burnout is a feeling I'm sure we've all experienced at some point in our lives. Often burnout builds up gradually whilst we are unaware of the signs our body gives us, continuing to dismiss them until it's too late. Burnout often arises when we aren't prioritizing our values, filling up our own cup, managing our stress levels effectively or creating balance in our lives. It’s time to check in with yourself and determine if you’re on the road to burnout or not.
Signs of Burnout
Low energy, fatigue, and/or lethargy
Physical, mental and/or energetical depletion or exhaustion
Feeling unmotivated or uninspired from your job/career
Negativism or cynicism related to one's job, career, or everyday life
Lacking creativity and passion
Easily distracted or procrastinate frequently
Simple tasks seem overwhelming and draining
Inability to focus/concentrate
Lowered immunity, prone to recurrent infections/illness
Feeling detached, irritable or down
How to Manage Burnout
The first and often the most important step is identifying that you're feeling burnout. Self-awareness and regularly checking in with yourself whether it's daily, weekly or monthly, enables you to acknowledge your emotions, brings awareness to your triggers and provides clarity to the next steps you need to take.
Depending on how you're feeling, beginning your day with some form of mindful movement signals to your physical body that you are in control. This could be spending 5 to 10 minutes doing some simple stretching, a walk in nature, or an at-home yoga flow. Some days you may feel more inclined to go to a pilates or boxing class. If you're feeling energized, strength training, cardio or a HIIT workout might be what makes you feel good and accomplished. When it comes to the form of movement you engage in, tune in to your body and it’s current needs. What may feel nourishing one day may not the next.
Deep belly breaths, box-breathing, or simply laying down in a comfortable position and focusing on your breath can help to reframe your mindset and recenter yourself.
Whether you prefer to follow a guided meditation on YouTube or a meditation app, or simply play some relaxation music to meditate to, this practice is empowering for your state of mind, and allows you to slow down and tune inwards.
Eat a Wholesome Meal
Nourishing your body with wholefoods gives your body the nutrients required for energy production and to optimize vitality.
Connect with Likeminded People
Surrounding yourself with positive people who make you feel good is so important. Toxic relationships and friendships can cause a lot of stress and emotionally drain you so it's important to check in with yourself after you spend time with your friends and family, and see how you feel after each catch up. If you're feeling unsupported, not heard, quilty, upset, consistently misunderstand... it might be time to part ways.
Disconnect from Technology
Turning off notifications, putting your phone on 'do not disturb' or 'airplane mode', setting time limits on apps (especially social media), closing your laptop and putting it away until the next day are simple strategies to help you disconnect from being constantly 'switched on’ or 'contactable'. Being constantly notified or receiving stimulus via electronic devices is a) overwhelming, b) a significant distraction from the present moment, and c) takes time and energy away that you could be spending on your self-care rituals.
Notice your emotional and physical limits. It's okay to say no to social events or other plans if you're not feeling up to it. Establishing personal boundaries is not selfish, as you know yourself best, and I can assure you that if you say yes to everything despite those times you really want to say 'no', you won't be fully present. Remember you don't always need to go above and beyond to feel as though you've made an effort - sending a heartfelt message, voice memo or phone call to check in and connect with your loved ones goes a long way if you're unable to travel distances, or attend certain events.
If your schedule feels chaotic or you know you're going to have a demanding week ahead, allocate time to sort out your life admin. Some of the best ways to feel organized prior to a busy week is planning out your to-do list, adding all your events, meetings and tasks into your calendar or diary, meal planning (your slow cooker might become your best friend in these weeks!), politely declining any events or additional tasks that don't align with you so you can create more white space in your week. What you do during your white space is completely up to you but make sure you do something for yourself (and don't feel guilty for it!!). Some ideas include reading a book, checking in on a loved one, getting a facial or massage, taking yourself out for a coffee date, journaling, or going to the beach/river for some quiet time.
Ask for Help
Asking for help can be daunting and ego-squashing for some, but it's one of the best things you can do for yourself to help avoid burnout. There's so much you could outsource, but it just comes back to figuring out where you want to prioritisz your time and energy. If cleaning the house takes too much time away from your kids or partner, perhaps invest in a cleaner so you can spend more quality time with them. Asking a family member to help with any tasks you usually do can be helpful. Discussing the household chores with your partner or room-mate and delegating tasks evenly, ordering your groceries online and getting them delivered to your house, getting a babysitter/nanny in fortnightly so you can have date night with your spouse, or getting a dog walker…there's so much help available for you, all you have to do is ask.
If you’re looking for further support, please contact Tayla via email email@example.com, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation.