If you’re like me and often accommodate stressful situations because of an overload of work, family and social commitments, read on!
Burnout can be sneaky, as it creeps up on people over time. The causes can be different for each individual. Just like some end up burnt out from stress at work, for others, it’s from things like the emotional toll it takes from managing difficult personal relationships.
A few of the symptoms associated with burnout include:
- Excessive stress
- Sadness and irritability
So in this blog, I’ll share some self-care tips for dealing with burnout or to prevent getting there.
It’s important to note that some of the symptoms associated with burnout are similar to those of serious mental health conditions. So make sure to reach out to your healthcare provider to rule out depression or other disorders if you’re noticing that something feels off.
If you’re experiencing burnout, you might be tempted to turn to ‘comforting’ vices…because when difficulties don’t give us a break, going all out with the chocolate cake, bag of chips or a bottle of wine appear to give us relief from the hassles of daily life. However, we all know that it’s a slippery slope with these unhealthy coping mechanisms leading to more stressful situations (weight gain, poor sleep and digestion, unhealthy liver, depression, etc.) And I’m so done with people telling me all the things I’m NOT doing correctly and why I may not be achieving my goals. So how about starting with one simple habit with intent and focus on cultivating it? Studies have shown that repeating something for 21 days is the average time it takes to make new changes stick. For example, walking for 30 minutes will not only lift your mood but keep you away from the refrigerator. If you’re feeling stressed and need instant comfort, try a brisk walk around the neighborhood – and bring a friend as studies have shown that habits stick better when you’re surrounded by a supportive community. One good habit will lead to another as you build momentum and positivity around the changes in your life. And stay away from the naysayers!
Preventing burnout, no matter the cause, all starts with establishing healthy boundaries. It’s important to get to know your limits and your needs… and once you’ve figured those things out, you have to learn how to effectively communicate and enforce them with others.
As with most of the work that surrounds personal growth, establishing boundaries and doing the work to enforce them can be uncomfortable. Here’s a simple boundary I established with my dogs – they are always conniving to get me in the kitchen to give them one more treat before bed. So, I put the virtual ‘kitchen is closed’ sign up after 9PM – no ifs, ands or buts!
Here’s a short video that describes setting boundaries in the workplace. They can also apply to the home (like point #2: never saying no – that sounds like my life).
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), developed by Gary Craig, is sometimes just referred to as “tapping.” It’s a simple, accessible tool that many people report to be incredibly helpful for stress reduction.
EFT utilizes points along the body that are known as Meridian points. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Meridians are channels through which energy (qi) flow – like a network of energy pathways connecting to every cell, organ and tissue in your body. Meridian points are often used in acupuncture, but with tapping, there are no needles involved… or expensive bills!
You can use this technique from the comfort of your home, and while there are paid training sessions that you can do, there are also many free tutorials and materials that allow people to learn the basics on a budget.
Studies have shown the correlation between EFT exercises and significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and other issues. And while it’s hard to fathom that something as simple as tapping specific points along the body could have a major impact, there’s a reason why it’s gained so much traction and popularity.
This video shows how quick and simple it can be:
In the comments section, you’ll see many people discussing how tapping has helped them!