When we become burnt out, it has a major impact on all areas of our life. In business, it can make it difficult to meet deadlines, see clients, and increase profits and productivity; most of these things take a downward spiral. The fact is, many people don’t even know what burnout is. Burnout is very real and has significant consequences in our life and on our bodies. I didn’t realize the major negative impact it could have until after I experienced it and did some research on it. I kept thinking I simply needed a vacation, wine at night to relax, caffeine during the day to keep me going, and so on and so on. I didn’t realize I was actually in the midst of “burnout,” which I believe happens to a lot of us.
Burnout is a tricky thing because, for many of us, it makes us feel like superwoman.
Burnout is a tricky thing because, for many of us, it makes us feel like superwoman. We feel like we can take on the world because we have increased energy; but physiologically, the increased level of energy is actually pure adrenaline fueling the body; and after a period of time, the body crashes hard. To compensate for the “crash,” people use stimulants like caffeine or too much coffee to keep them going or some sort of drug to calm them down. In my case, I was drinking wine thinking I needed to relax to calm my system, for example.
Burnout often is a result of long-term stress and unhappiness…
If this is you or has ever been you, hopefully, it was short lived, and you found ways to work through it. If it’s still you, then I’m here for you. Burnout often is a result of long-term stress and unhappiness, or it can cause stress and exasperate unhappiness. Prolonged stress from burnout has negative health consequences, including adrenal fatigue, depression, overstimulated hormones, memory loss, and other illnesses. In the APA 2014 Stress Report, feeling fatigued (32%), nervousness or anxiousness (35%), lack of interest or motivation (34%), feeling angry or irritable (37%), and being sad or depressed (31%) were the most common symptoms of work-related stress reported.
Personally, not so long ago in a distant land, I was completely burnt out. At the same time, I still had a lot of passion. I had to give myself time and a “break” away from what I was doing to realize I was on the wrong path and needed to make some changes. Burnout can happen because you’re pushing yourself too much, and it can be a double-whammy when you’re pushing yourself too much doing something you don’t love to do or doing something that’s leading you away from your purpose in life, which was my story. I’ll share more about that in a future issue, but for now, let’s talk about burnout a bit more and some easy breezy actions you can take to move through it and prevent it in your life and business.
Burnout is very real and has significant consequences in our life and on our bodies.
Strategies to avoid or bounce back from burnout.
Eat well. You need to feed the body the fuel it needs to stay healthy and deal with stress and burnout. Personally, during my burnout phase, I was not taking care of myself and would forget to eat, which was only making things worse. I finally realized I needed to make some changes, so I did a ten day cleanse and went straight into green smoothies, cutting out all white stuff from my diet, all of which supported me in becoming alkaline to help me get over my burnout phase.
So, eat well and eat often. Low calorie, green foods with lots of antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients and minerals; and drink lots and lots of water! Taking care of yourself with a healthy eating plan will help calm and relax your body and mind.
Get enough rest. Sleep makes you think clearer, look better, and helps you become more present and aware so your thoughts can flow easier. Honor yourself and your sleep. Take naps when you feel you need it. Sleep in when you need it. Really “feel” what your body needs and honor it. There’s no shame or guilt in sleeping eight to ten hours a night or napping for 15 to 30 minutes a day if that’s what your body needs.
Exercise regularly. Again, you have to “feel” your body. When you are experiencing burn out, sometimes pushing your body to workout will present you with the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. Too much exercise when your body is worn out can actually increase the inflammation in your body. Be gentle and pace yourself.
Also, make sure that whatever you are doing, you are having fun. It will be harder to stick to an exercise plan if it’s not fun, and making it a daily part of your routine is the key to feeling better. It won’t happen overnight, but once you start and get into the routine of exercising, you will eventually start to feel better and have more energy. With time, it will become something your body craves. It typically takes about two weeks of consistent activity to create a stable and healthy exercise routine.
Focus on Peace. The goal is to respond from a centered and peaceful place vs. react from a hostile place where you might blow up. To get to this point of behavior can take consistent practice and awareness. Instead of reacting, learn to breathe with long inhales and exhales.I share a great breathing exercise in the EB Health section this month found here.
Unplug. Choose to unplug from the people, places and things that cause tension, stress, or negative reactions within you. You may not be able to eliminate these things from your life completely, but you can give yourself some space from these things. Think about how you spend your time and the amount of time and energy you spend on other people. Are these people draining your energy? It’s ok to unplug from these people, and it’s ok to say “no” when asked to do something that doesn’t support you and your energy. Keep your health in mind and realize that sometimes a person or situation isn’t worth the negative impact on your health.
These are just some of the steps you can take to eliminate burnout in your life and business. I’ll share more about my personal story and burnout in our October issue in a couple of months, so stay tuned!
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll choose to simply lie down today and just breath and allow yourself the opportunity to be present in this beautiful life.