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March 4, 2014

10 Simple Things to Do when you’re Burning Out.

Suffering from burnout?

Sick of feeling exhausted and bedraggled from life? Stepping up the self-care helps us boost our immunity to stress. Here, 10 easy tips to take to heart.

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Stress happens—to everyone. Burnout is inevitable, at times. There are many tricks to releasing stress that give us respite from feeling overwhelmed. Merely thinking about doing these things is not enough; in order to take care of our stress, we actually have to take some of these steps. Start small—try one or two of these suggestions.

10 Simple Things to Do When We’re Burning Out (Read: In Over Our Heads)

1. Connect with community. Hanging out with friends helps us feel better. Spending time with actual human beings boosts our mood. It energizes us, even if it’s people we don’t really know, at the local café. Sharing smiles with people gives us a lasting warm fuzzy.

2. Take frequent breaks. No one can thrive when we’re sitting at the computer for hours on end, all day long. Take a five minute break every hour. Walk to the water cooler and rehydrate, do 10 jumping jacks, do a deep forward bend, walk to the break room and refill your coffee cup, have a quick phone chat with a friend or step outside and take a peek at the sky.

3. Get enough fresh air and sunshine. This is important, especially in the wintertime. Spending time outside breaks up the monotony and reconnects us to nature. An easy way to “cheat” is to walk or bike to work. If we have to bus or car commute, park a few blocks away from the office. If we work at home, a quick walk around the block will suffice. If it’s cold, bundle up. There are really no excuses when it comes to being outside and enjoying the day at least a little bit.

4. Eat food cooked with love. Make sure to eat enough veggies. Eat real food and avoid processed and packaged food. Have a snack—if you’re experiencing mood-failure, get your blood sugar up.

5. Meditate. Practice sitting meditation every day for at least 10 minutes. If you’re too busy, meditate for one hour. Our minds are made for thinking. Consciously taking a break from our thoughts heals stress on many levels. I meditate every day for 10 minutes, first thing in the morning. It makes me feel like I’m cloaked in a protective blanket all day long.

6. Exercise. Our bodies are made to move. People have a lot of energy and sitting still for too long can drive us stir crazy. Exercise, even a little bit, is important everyday. It releases negativity and makes us feel good. It gets our heart pumping and our lungs breathing. My favorite ways to exercise are walking the dog, biking, hiking, yoga, dancing, skiing, snow shoveling, gardening and sex.

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7. House Plants. It’s nice to share space with other living things. House plants are natural air filters. They live on water and sunlight. That’s affordable! They bring relaxing and cheerful energy to a room. They are quiet. If you have to vent, houseplants are good listeners.

8. Stretch. Practicing yoga, even a little bit, breaks up the” fuzz” between our muscles and fascial tissue. A good stretch can give us the “space” we need to buckle down and take care of our responsibilities.

9. Get enough sleep. Our bodies are rejuvenated with a good night’s sleep. Enjoy a relaxing ritual before bed, to ensure a restful night. Have a cup of chamomile tea, meditate, take a hot epsom salt bath, or read for 15 minutes.

10. Laugh. Read something funny. Talk to someone funny. Watch a funny video. Amuse yourself. Laughter really is the best medicine.

In today’s busy world, it’s easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed; using creative solutions to deal with stress can help us prevent burnout.

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author: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Image: Chester Wade/Unsplash

Editor: Bryonie Wise

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sherry lewis Aug 22, 2015 7:03am

Love this article! Ive been practicing these steps for years…Its gotten me thru some pretty rough patches.I really enjoyed reading this tho.Msny folks dont realize what youve written is the Gospel Truth.

laportama Jul 25, 2015 5:48pm

OK, here's my opinion:

These are good in themselves, but the number one way to take care of oneself is missing:

Align with the divine, in whatever manner you see the nature of the universe. There are many methods, many mansions.

IN THEORY this is a yoga page, so you are of course familiar with Patanjali's sutras.
In the sutras, the ultimate and persisting definition of yoga, are the yama and niyama of the ashtanga, which in turn contain SVEDHYAYA and ISHVARA PRANADANA. By the time you get to those, you're well along on your way.

Get it?

cwithnueyes Jun 22, 2015 4:22pm

This is certainly a good list for those who want to PREVENT BURNOUT, and create more BALANCE in their lives. Burnout sufferers can sometimes not just recover just by doing these things.
– True burnout can mean finding a way to have someone else look after the things that you normally take care of (such as children or work), so you can fully rest and recover some sense of self.

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Ashleigh Hitchcock

Ashleigh Hitchcock is a simple girl with a complicated life. She has many jobs and 1000 hobbies; to stay sane, she practices meditation and yoga. Ashleigh’s greatest treasures are her friends, loved ones, and pets. When Ashleigh wants to cheer herself up, she smiles at strangers until she finds a really good one. Catch up with Ashleigh on Facebook and Instagram.