We all work hard at what we do, and most of us do more than one thing. Take a minute and think about all the roles you take on in your life. Go ahead, I’ll wait a moment . . .
More than you thought, right? You do a lot! But how often do you rest? How often do you practice self-care?
Burnout is what we experience when we are under a lot of stress for a long period of time. Almost everyone experiences burnout at least once in their lives. Mothers, doctors, fast-food employees, students, and yes, even yoga teachers. *gasp!*
Some of the signs of burnout can include*:
- Inability to fall or stay asleep;
- Constant fatigue;
- Lack of passion/motivation;
- Inability to focus;
- Loss of appetite.
Everyone is different. Take some time out of your day to really listen to what your body is telling you. You’ll know.
If you think you’re experiencing burnout here are 7 things you can do to begin to de-stress yourself, relax, and possibly start healing your burnout.
Get a massage.
Go ahead and indulge; even if it’s only for half an hour. Still worried about cost? Many massage schools offer massages at a discount so their students can practice. You can also find a private massage therapist who runs their own business and see if they’re willing to barter with you. I’ve known people to trade legal counsel, creative design, shop signage, and other services and goods for a massage.
Take a yoga class.
Yoga can not only help lower your stress level but can help you sleep better and possibly even help make you more productive! Take a look around your neighborhood and see which studios are out there. Try a few different teachers, classes, and studios, to find the right fit for you. Don’t get discouraged if your first class isn’t what you were looking for.
I consider myself to be “meditationally challenged,” so I completely understand how rough it is to carve out time and then attempt to empty your brain. For me, it’s my pesky to-do list that keeps bugging me. But it can be done! Start with just 5 minutes a day. There are a ton of apps out there to help you. I recommend using Headspace.
Go ahead, check out that site with the pictures of cute animals. Not your thing? Try going for a walk or calling your best friend. Put pictures of your loved ones on your desk or as your computer or phone wallpaper or sign up for a “joke of the day” email. Smiling is good for you and, according to Psychology Today, smiling can help you recover from stress more quickly!
Really short on time? Take one minute and try this breathing technique: Begin breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Every time you inhale, say mentally to yourself “breathing in” and on every exhale say mentally to yourself “breathing out.” Continue breathing like this for the entire minute. Don’t change your breath, just breathe naturally. Relax.
Take a walk.
If the weather is cooperative, get outside! Nature is very therapeutic. Even if you live or work in the middle of the city, you can still find nature. You can even double up on your “burnout relief” techniques and use this time outdoors to meditate, smile, or breathe!
Do one thing, every day just for you. My mother, a long time caretaker and burnout survivor, put it very well “start by putting lotion on every day.” It sounds trite and maybe even a bit ridiculous, but that one simple act of self-sends the message that you are worth taking care of.
No matter what technique you choose, your body, mind, and soul will thank you for taking this time out of your day just for you. But keep conscious of what your body needs. Don’t try to blow through the above list in one day. Pick a few and start with those. You don’t want to get burnt out on your burnout recovery!
*I, obviously, am not a doctor. These are life lessons that I’ve learned through the course of my . . . well . . . my . . . let’s just say “numerous years” as a busy person. You and your doctor know your body best. Please seek medical attention if necessary.