I think I was burned out.
Don’t judge me. It happens to everyone, whether or not you admit it.
I usually don’t want to admit it (and often don’t), but today I am going to be vulnerable and transparent because my heart tells me someone needs to hear about it. My heart tells me that some of you are also experiencing it. You feel mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.
I mean, honestly, who can blame us for feeling that way?
We have an endless balancing act of working, parenting, caregiving, housework, and running errands. Throw in the chaotic couple of years we’ve had and whew! I’m tired just writing about it!
No matter how much we wish we could crawl into bed and forget about it all, we can’t, because life goes on.
So, here are some things I did and some things you might consider as you navigate your own times of burnout.
1. Prioritize rest
Doctors and healthcare professionals tell us to get more sleep. But, it’s more than just getting to bed at a reasonable time, it’s also about getting quality sleep. It involves setting your worries aside when you drift off to sleep so they don’t get placed on that library shelf called your subconscious mind. Because if you allow them to be put on the shelf, they will come up when you least expect it and usually when you really don’t want it.
So, disconnect from social media, the television, or from your phone at least a half hour before you head to bed. Journal, read, or meditate to relax your body and mind. Take a relaxing bath. Diffuse some relaxing essential oils. Put your cell phone in a different room. (Yes, that’s what I said.) Then, drift off to peaceful sleep.
2. Watch what you eat
It’s easy to eat on the run or reach for that bag of chips when you’re not feeling on top of your game. My “bag” of choice is Cheetos, so I try not to keep them in the house. Unhealthy eating only exacerbates the feeling of burnout because your brain and body (which are already exhausted) aren’t getting the fuel and nutrients they need to bounce back. Make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet.
And, don’t forget to stay hydrated. If you have a tendency to reach for coffee (like me) or sugary sodas when you’re feeling exhausted, try a glass of water instead. I add Lemon and Grapefruit essential oils and some lemon juice to mine. I’ve found that it helps me limit my caffeine intake to a cup in the morning and one in the afternoon.
3. Set reasonable expectations
What? This is a hard one for me. I’ve had more than one person tell me I’m an over-achiever. But, when I can lower my expectations just a smidge, I find it actually sets me free and reduces my anxiety (which leads to burnout). When I can resist running the vacuum or dusting every day (I mean, really, it just comes back, right?), I have more time for self-care, rest, exercise, and healthy habits.
4. Take a time-out
Now you’re probably saying I’ve lost my mind, but stay with me for a minute. This is another one that is very hard for me. I talked briefly about it in the Tubman quote I posted Monday (below). Setting aside about 4 days to reflect on my past year and get some inspiration and clarity on what I wanted to accomplish this year was a game-changer for me. It was probably at the top of the list for recharging my mind, body, and soul…and getting me past my feelings of burnout. If you can’t carve out 4 days for self-reflection and to dream, at least set aside 1. You won’t regret it.
You’ve heard the old saying, “A car without gas won’t get far.” If you feel like your tank is empty, you’ll have a hard time pouring into those you love or pouring into yourself.
When you’re experiencing burnout, it helps to pause and focus on what really matters. Recognize it, acknowledge it, and then do something about it. By intentionally trading some of your old habits for simple, healthy ones, and giving yourself some grace in the process, you’ll find you feel refreshed enough to take on another day, week, month, and year.
You’ll face life head-on, with a smile on your face.
With you in mind, I put together some FREE resources to help you navigate stressful times. You can grab them right here.
And, there’s still time to join me in the Cleanse + Restore focus group I told you about. It starts next week. We’ll be hosting weekly virtual yoga classes, presenting scientific research on the direct connection between your gut and your emotional health, and discussing creating daily healthy habits and doctor-recommended body supplements to help you regain optimal internal health, gut balance, and increase energy. We’ve also got a Body Code practitioner and NeuroIntegration training lined up. Want in? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you all the info.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman