Burnout: How To Beat It Naturally

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We have all been there: feeling run down, exhausted, and struggling to get through our daily routine.

It's burnout, and it probably snuck up on you without you even noticing it.

When you find yourself there, it might seem like you'll never get out, but even when you're deep in burnout hole, it's possible to get back out and reignite your energy levels with natural, side effect free lifestyle practices.

In this article, you will learn:

Step 1. Prioritize Your Health and Well-Being

You’ve probably heard that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Simply put, you can’t beat burnout if you’re putting other people, places, and things before yourself.

Sometimes, this can feel impossible, but it is during these times when this step is most vital.

To start, try incorporating a short, 30-minute workout into your day. This can be walking, jogging, dancing, whatever you enjoy. The goal for this isn't to "burn calories" or "break a sweat", it's to give yourself an uninterrupted stretch of time that is just for you and nobody else!

Of course, you will still get physical benefits from this; one recent study found that just two minutes of movement for every 20 minutes of sitting still reduces resting blood pressure, and may be more beneficial to long-term health than intense exercise. Try using automatic reminders on a fitness tracker like the FitBit to help keep this time at the top of your mind.

Another way to prioritize yourself is to give yourself the gift of sufficient sleep, which would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-9 hours for most adults. Sleep is often one of the first things to be sacrificed and neglected when we're pushing too hard and trying to be too many things to too many people, but the side effects of missed or impaired sleep are significant. Draw a warm bath, read a book, or listen to a book on tape to give yourself a little bit more "me time" and help pave the way for a restful and rejuvenating night.

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Step 2. Surround Yourself With Those Who Bring Out The Best In You

If you're starting to feel burned out, it may be due in part to the negative energy of those around you. Excessive complaining, gossiping, or just general negativity can wear you down, but on the other side of the coin, positive, encouraging company can boost your energy levels.

To start building your tribe, seek out people that challenge you. Friends, colleagues, and family who are open to bouncing around ideas, brainstorming and providing constructive feedback are an invaluable tool in a high-energy person’s arsenal.

Scientists believe that meaningful personal relationships are incredibly important to overall health. If your real-life social network is small, finding energetic companions can be tough. Online groups are a great place to start, but nothing beats in-person connection.

MeetUp.com is a fantastic resource for meeting new people with shared interests. Whether you’re looking for hiking buddies or a book club, you’ll find like-minded individuals interested in real-life meetings.

Step 3. Keep Track of Your Goals

Sometimes burnout is a function of feeling overwhelmed and out of control

Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals, and looking at them constantly, helps us stay focused and energized. Like positive affirmations, goals shape the way we think, act and live.

We love MyFitnessPal for tracking nutrition and exercise goals, as well as increasing mindfulness around movement. Instead of simply keeping track of what you eat, try setting and hitting both food and movement goals within the app.

Similarly, keeping daily To-Do lists can keep us from wandering off track and losing energy and focus between tasks. Wunderlist a helpful app for using and sharing goals and To-Do’s straight from your phone.

For longer lists and in-depth brainstorms, Evernote is simple and available on most mobile devices.

Step 4. Be Flexible and Schedule Free Time

Our tendency to want to get it all done right away might seem positive, but it often drains our energy and is a big contributor to burnout.

We aren’t machines. Going all-out at all the time can tire us out, leaving us unmotivated to continue. Instead of treating ourselves like workhorses, pre-scheduled free time and flexibility allow us to recharge and harness our creative energy.

Take some time to assess your own mental boundaries. Do you resist the idea of downtime or see vacation as an unnecessary luxury? Perhaps you need a reset.

Try scheduling downtime to avoid burnout, work when inspiration strikes and use a schedule to your advantage. That way, you can direct your motivation whenever it materializes.

Step 5. Be Kind to Yourself

The golden rule of beating burnout is to treat yourself with love, acceptance, and respect. A helpful mental exercise is to think about how you would treat a beloved friend who was in the same situation as you. Would you tell them to "beat themselves up" or otherwise be hard on themselves? Likely not! Ironically, imagining yourself from the "others" perspective can be a powerful way to put yourself first and to stop behaviors that contribute to burnout in their tracks!

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