“It’s okay if you fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart, and we still love them.” ~Unknown
Do you often find yourself saying, “I just have to get through this week…” and then that turns into every week? Yes, I do.
The calendar can quickly fill up with work obligations, chores and time spent with friends and family. Unfortunately, I was guilty of letting these activities take self-care from my list. This left me feeling tired and burnt out.
My view of burnout before this incident was that it was mostly mental. It was then that I received a wakeup call.
Recognize the signs of burnout
I used to work long hours. After work, my spare time was filled with chores, hobbies and spending quality time with my partner. My body began to feel the effects of this constant activity.
It was all I could remember.
Within a few weeks, I’d gained ten pounds. I experienced constant headaches and joint pain several times per week. Sometimes, I even got chest pain and fever.
These symptoms became alarming and I saw my doctor. My doctor suspected that I might have a serious condition and sent me for bloodwork.
The results were not yet in, and I became anxious as I waited. In the midst all of my overwhelm, the thought of having to deal with a serious medical issue was more than I could bear.
After I received the email informing me of my results, I took deep breaths and opened it.
All was well. At first, I felt confused. It was hard to believe that I could feel so sick.
How did I get my diagnosis? Stress Burnout.
Talking it through with my doctor we realized that I felt so burnt out from lack of relaxation that I had physical symptoms along with the mental ones. I felt a little stunned. Was stress responsible for me feeling so physically sick?
How to overcome burnout and find relief through self-care
That was when I realized I had to make a change in my life.
Previously, I often turned to unhealthy ways of coping with stress like treating myself to fast food for dinner… every night.
Because it was so difficult for me to unwind at night, I also had trouble falling asleep. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and compensating with caffeine throughout the day instead of improving my sleep habits.
When I began to put more effort into self-care I felt more at home. I felt more rested and the physical signs of burnout began to disappear.
If you’re also feeling burned out…
You can get items crossed off of your list.
Burnout is often caused by feeling overwhelmed with our lives and the amount of work we have to do. I began by removing non-essential tasks from my list and relying on my support network. Asking my partner to cook dinner is one example.
My to-do lists were reduced, which allowed me to create a realistic schedule and lower my expectations about how I would accomplish them. ShouldEvery day.
My failure to complete my to-do lists was something I had to learn to be tolerant of. When feeling burned out, it’s important for us to be gentle with ourselves if the quality and quantity of what we accomplish isn’t up to our usual standards.
It can be difficult to say no to people at first, but the more we do it the more comfortable we start to feel with letting others know we don’t have the bandwidth to support them right now.
It’s also important to be realistic about time frames and what needs to be accomplished every day. In order to not agree to too many tasks, it is important to estimate the amount of time each task will take.
Retire and enjoy your time.
If you feel exhausted, you need to allow yourself to relax and let your body heal.
Burnout symptoms can make us feel sick, or we should take the time to care for them.
It’s also important to MentallyRest and recuperate. Sometimes it is easy to get into the habit of staying up late watching Netflix after work. To drown out my stress thoughts about everything that needed to be done, I would turn to TV and social media to distract me.
Instead of scrolling or binge-watching, I now make time to relax.
It is important to get enough sleep in order to prevent burnout. We might find that we are eating too much if we cut back on sleep in order to get more done on the to-do lists.
You can find the perfect self-care activity.
The self-care activity helps us to mentally relax from the stress of daily life. Self-care isn’t Simply about relaxing, it’s about caring for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally so you feel energized and strong enough to handle whatever the next day throws at you.
Self-care tips for physical health:
- Do some yoga to stretch your muscles, reduce body aches, and help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Massages can help relieve muscle tension and relaxation.
- Hydrate in order to boost your energy levels and eliminate toxins.
- Healthy eating will improve your immune system and digestion.
- For any health concerns, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Mental self-care ideas:
- You can read a book, lose yourself in it and let your worries go.
- To reconnect with your self, take a day for mental health.
- For a time, unplug your phone from the internet to experience peace and tranquility in this moment.
- You can boost your mood by making a craft.
- You can listen to podcasts for inspiration, education or entertainment.
Emotional self-care ideas:
- Use a journal for identifying and processing your emotions.
- To create space between thoughts, emotions, or reactions, meditate.
- To work out difficult feelings, talk to a therapist.
- To boost your optimism and hope, make a list with five things that you are thankful for.
- Set healthy boundaries for yourself to ensure you’re not taking on other people’s feelings.
Finding self-care that is enjoyable, and leaves us feeling refreshed and recharged is the key. This means being clear about what is most effective for you and accepting that it may be changing over time.
Don’t choose activities that might be mentally or physically draining when you’re already feeling burned out. Today, you might want to exercise, tomorrow you might like walking and then the next day you might need to take a nap. You can ask yourself right now what you are looking for, and then you can honor it without judgement.
There is hope
Everybody feels burned out sometimes, as we all experience times when our lives are busier. Just know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel if you release your high expectations of yourself, set boundaries around your time, and give yourself permission to put your well-being at the top of your priority list.
Erin Amborski, a blogger and self-care fanatic, is Erin Amborski. Erin’s self-care blog Self Care Seeker provides guidance for women on their self care journeys. Erin writes about mental and physical topics like exercise, skin health, anxiety, as well as other issues. In today’s world with life’s daily stresses, we could all use a little more self-care. You can start your self-care journey by visiting selfcareseeker.com. Subscribe to receive free self-care resources that will change your life.
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Tiny Buddha’s post How to Prevent Burnout: 15 Easy Self-Care Tips to Recharge Your Energy appeared first on Tiny Buddha.