How to Prevent Burnout
Have you been losing your energy lately? Feeling stressed, tired, or like your running on an empty tank? You might be experiencing burnout. When you're under constant stress and aren't taking care of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally, it's only a matter of time before it catches up with you.
When you're burnt out, you have almost no motivation to do simple tasks, you feel too tired to care about things you once cared about, and you begin to feel irritable, angry, or just downright negative.
As a grad student and personal development blogger, I know what it's like to experience the stress of trying to balance it all.. school, work, internships, family, friends, hobbies, and all of life's responsibilities. With so much to do all the time, self-care hasn’t always been at the top of my to-do list.
At times in my life, it’s felt easier to just skip the yoga session and reach for an unhealthy snack. Or say "yes" to doing another task, when I know I'm too tired. Or skip my meditation practice to focus on doing more work.
But what I've realized is that self care is essential!
Have you ever heard the saying, "You can't pour from an empty cup?" I've realized that if I'm not taking care of myself, mind, body, and soul, then every other part of my life is going to suffer!When you’re burnt out and not practicing self care, it can negatively impact everything from your relationships, to your health, to your happiness.
So if you're feeling burnt out, what are the best self care practices to re-energize and get back to feeling like yourself?
1. Prioritize Rest
In order to gain your energy back, you'll need to prioritize rest. To do this, you could create a healthy night time routine with calming activities to help you unwind and relax before bed. Here are a few ideas to include in your night time routine:
Choose an earlier time to go to sleep and be consistent with that time. Yoga Wake Up's bedtime reminder makes this easy, so set that up and remember to "swipe right" at bedtime!
Shut your electronics down an hour before bed
Listen to a guided bedtime meditation or yoga nidra to help you fall asleep
Drink warm tea
Read a chapter from a book
2. Move your body
When your exhausted, the last thing you probably want to do is move your body. But research suggests that exercise can actually boost your energy. I know that for me, on the days that I work out, I have more energy, more mental clarity, and I feel happier.
In addition to boosting your energy, exercise is also a great way to de-stress. Here are a few ideas to move your body:
Go for a walk, jog, or run outside
Try doing yoga (with Yoga Wake Up of course!)
Lift weights at the gym
Try a fitness class
3. Make a list of activities that give you energy
When you're feeling burnt out, your energy is probably drained and you’re finding it difficult to gain motivation. Since everyone gains energy in a different way, it's a good idea to think about the activities that help you recharge. One way to do this is by determining if you're an introvert or an extrovert.
If you're an introvert like me, you recharge best by spending time alone. If you're an extrovert, you recharge best by surrounding yourself with others. And if you're somewhere in between? You'll need to strike a balance!
Here are a few ideas to get you started if you're an introvert:
Find a quiet space away from other people during your lunch break at work
Block out a time in your schedule to spend time taking a bath or doing a simple activity you enjoy
Cancel plans to go to a social gathering if you don't have the energy for it.
Ideas for if you're an extrovert:
Plan a morning to go out for brunch with your best friends
Host a game night
Get tickets for a concert or show that you love
4. Practice mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness techniques can help you become more present in the moment, help you stay calm in stressful situations, and help decrease the symptoms of burnout. Here are a few ideas to get you started with mindfulness:
Practice taking slow, deep breaths.
Go for a nature walk and become aware of your five senses. Count 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
Try some mindfulness journal prompts. Writing can be a powerful way to become aware of your thoughts and process them.
5. Seek a support system
Having a strong support system can be especially helpful if you're struggling with burnout. Having others to talk to, spend time with, and lift you up when you're feeling down, can make a world of difference! If you feel like you're lacking a strong support system, here are a few ideas to create a stronger one:
Think about the friends you spend the most time with. Are they supportive, loving, and respectful of you? If not, it might be time to reassess your relationships. Sometimes creating distance in unhealthy relationships is needed for your mental health.
Seek an online community. Luckily, we live in a time where it's easier than ever to connect with others from around the world! There are lots of Facebook groups and internet communities where you can connect with like-minded people who share similar passions. Or get to know your Yoga Wake Up community here inside the app!
Seek out inspiring books, podcasts, and blogs. On days that I feel burnt out, I find so much joy in reading inspiring books or listening to podcasts! They can quickly turn a bad day into a good one.
So if you’re beginning to feel burnt out, remember that self care is essential! I hope these ideas help you re-energize, feel positive, and ultimately, make you feel like your best self!
Ashley Rachel is the founder of the blog, Lovely Holistic Living. Her mission is to help other women create stress-free and balanced lives through simple living. You can find articles on her site about mindfulness, self-care, and personal development. Download her free, weekly self-care checklists & trackers here.