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The Art of Preventing Burnout: Holistic Ways to Take Care of Yourself

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Woman stress in her desk with crumbled paper

Burnout is a common problem that many individuals experience due to chronic stress and overwork. When we push ourselves too hard for an extended period, it becomes overwhelming, and our physical and mental health may suffer. However, there are holistic ways that can prevent burnout before it becomes severe or support you when you are experiencing one. In this post, we will discuss these strategies, how to fill your cup, prevent burnout and support yourself when you are burnt out.

1. Embrace Self-Care

Woman similing with orange in hand

One of the most effective ways to ward off burnout is through proper self-care. This means taking time out for yourself and engaging in activities that recharge your batteries. It could be Yoga, meditation, reading a book, or spending time with family and friends. Self-care also means taking care of your physical health by exercising, getting regular check-ups with your health care provider, and getting enough sleep. Self care looks different for everyone- for me, it's a night in with a luxurious bubble bath, a good book, and a face mask followed by 9 hours of sleep. For others, it might just be a walk in the park without your phone. It's really just about doing non-productive things that serve you (and only you) and make you feel recharged.

2. Assess Your Priorities

clip and notebook

In our hustle and bustle lives, we tend to focus on what we need to do, and we forget to prioritize ourselves. Therefore, it is necessary to think carefully about what matters most to you, and from there, you can create a timetable aligning with your goals. It's not always possible to prioritize everything, so a prioritized to-do list can be helpful in getting the most important things done without getting overwhelmed.

3. Learn to Say No

women writing something down and man on the phone

Saying no can be challenging, especially for people pleasers. We often find ourselves taking on too much, and it eventually leads to burnout. When we are clear of our priorities, saying no becomes easier. It's okay to decline a meeting, social event, or request if it doesn't align with your current needs.

4. Connect with Nature

person in the woods with ray of sunshine beaming down

Connecting with nature can be a powerful remedy to combat burnout. Studies have shown that being in nature can help reduce stress, improve focus and creativity (i.e., "forest bathing"). Additionally, exposure to natural light increases serotonin levels, which is essential for regulating mood and energy levels. You can get out and enjoy nature in various ways, going for a walk, gardening, or simply sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine can help.

5. Care for Yourself Through Gratitude

notebook and pen

One of the most powerful ways to prevent burnout is by cultivating a mindset of gratitude. When we focus on the good things in our lives, we feel happier, and it puts us in a better mental and emotional place. Practicing daily gratitude can also help shift our perspective when challenging situations arise. Check out one of my older blog posts, How 40 Days of Gratitude Changed My Life, to learn more about this and try out my gratitude challenge!

6. Exercise (effectively)

Person practicing morning yoga

When you need to blow off some steam, exercise can be really helpful. However, really INTENSIVE exercise like HITT, running, or other high-intensity workouts can sometimes make it worse. I recommend trying low-impact exercise like barre, Pilates, long walks, and my personal favorite- yoga. Yoga is amazing for connecting the mind, body and breath (things that we lose connection with when we are burnt out).

If you're interested in trying out yoga, come check out one of my yoga/meditation events. ❤️

7. Limit caffeine

Two Lattes

When you're busy, stressed, and (most likely) not sleeping well either, you may be reaching for an extra cup of coffee or experiencing that "2:30 feeling" and consuming more caffeine than usual. However, I would caution against this! Caffeine can actually make your burnout symptoms worse. If you need to naturally energize yourself, try breathwork, or naturally energizing yourself with herbs/supplements like Maca root or ginseng (check out my blog post, Why I Quit Coffee and Switched to Tea for more ideas and to learn more about caffeine/stress).

Preventing burnout is all about being intentional and making self-care a priority. By embracing strategies such as self-care, assessing priorities, learning to say no, connecting with nature, and practicing gratitude we can be proactive in preventing burnout. And if we ever find ourselves feeling burnt out, these methods can help us recover and recharge. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish, in fact, it is necessary for us to create a fulfilling and healthy life for ourselves and those around us.

Haley, Certified Integrative Health Coach and Yoga Instructor, smiling and drinking tea

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