Steps to Overcoming Burnout

Many times when we feel burnout, the last thing we want to do is combat the issue head-on. This is due to the fact that burnout typically comes from a high-stress situation in which we feel numbed from the amount of work that’s on our plate. Yet when we fail to view our health and wellbeing as the number one priority, burnout has the potential to send us into a downward spiral emotionally, physically and spiritually, and wreak havoc on key pillars of our lives like family, and community.

A recent MindBody article explains how we get burnt out:

“Ironically, for many of us, burnout starts with success. We get promotions. Our bank account numbers go up. We get a big following on social media. This success can be tricky because it causes us to do more and more to pursue greater success. In our attempt to constantly grow, we work harder.

For other people, burnout may stem from focusing solely on caring for family members—especially aging or ill parents—without caring for themselves.

As it turns out, the price for pushing yourself too hard—whether you’re trying to achieve wealth, a promotion, social status, a happier family, or even a better world—is disconnecting from yourself. As you get more and more disconnected, you become more robotic and less aware of the choices you’re making, and this accelerates your spiral into burnout.”

If you’re feeling stuck in autopilot, overwhelmed by your daily life, and disconnected from yourself and others, you are likely experiencing burnout. The good news is, there are steps that you can take right now to heal from burnout and turn things around.

First, working on changing your mindset with a morning ritual, meditation practice, or gentle movement routine like yoga can help you gain clarity and control.

Externally, surrounding yourself with uplifting, supportive people can protect you from burnout and re-energize you. On the other hand, toxic, depleting people will drain your battery even more.

Outdoor therapy, consisting of sunlight, greenery, and water, is known to increase not just vitamin D, but your body’s level of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow, optimizes the immune system and serves as a signaling molecule for the brain. Forest bathing, a practice of simply being outside and nature, is now gaining popularity as it is shown to positively affect our moods, and make us happier, more productive and healthier human beings.

Satisfying the innate human craving for touch is also a productive way to combat burnout, per MindBodyGreen.

“These days, many of us are ‘touch-deprived.’ This contributes to burnout because stimulating our touch receptors calms us, lowers our blood pressure, and reduces our levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, it raises our levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps us to bond with other people.”

Lastly, nourishing yourself with healthy foods, more sleep, and essential nutrients, will help boost your immune system, reduce stress, optimize your brain functioning, and as a result, heal you from burnout. Ultimately, it’s important to go easy on yourself and avoid strict diets, harsh cleanses, or challenging workouts.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself and pay attention to what you need, instead of numbing yourself with things that do not serve you. You’ll be back to your thriving self before you know it.