Updated: Dec 24, 2022
How to reduce your risk of burnout in 5 simple and very basic steps.
Elizabeth Gilbert's book, "Eat Pray Love" reminds me of the saying, "Eat Move Sleep." Seemingly simple, yet Gilbert's memoir chronicled a yearlong journey focused on healing and finding joy. The way to reduce burnout and improve wellness does not require you to hop on a plane to Rome, but it does take consistent effort, commitment, and well - a lot of self-discipline (not my favorite word because I love food).
If you are ready to focus on the 5 most important ways to reduce your risk of burnout, continue reading or you can book a trip to Rome. Either way, you'll improve your overall well-being. Eat, Move, Sleep are the first 3, followed by Breathing and Delegating.
Tip #1 - Eat
Be mindful of what you eat and when. I am not a nutritionist, but I do know that 5 small healthy meals helps keep your energy steady throughout the day. This may be difficult during this time of year, so play around with it when it's convenient for you. Eliminating (or greatly reducing) processed foods and focusing on whole foods is another great start. By cutting out refined sugars, you'll begin to stabilize your blood sugar level and reduce those pesky cravings. By eating healthy foods, you'll also reduce inflammation and pain in your body. Don't forget to drink water! There's so much information available on nutrition, so pick something that makes sense to you and decide to eat better.
Tip #2 - Move
This is the second tip. You have to move. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults sit for more than 8 hours a day. While a rest and relaxation is important, living a completely sedentary life can be dangerous for your health. Choose something simple each day such as a walking around the block, or step on the treadmill for 15 minutes if it's cold outside. Even doing some sit-ups, pushups, or jumping jacks will do. Try some simple yoga poses or even dance in your living room! The point is to get your body moving and your blood flowing.
""Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood." – Author Unknown
Tip #3 - Sleep
Good sleep is so important. When I meet with my private therapy clients, there is almost always a direct correlation with increased stress, anxiety and/or depression with lack of sleep. So we talk about "good sleep hygiene" for the next 15 minutes. This boils down to having a consistent bed/wake time, sleeping in a dark and quiet room (or wear earplugs), and taking 30 minutes before bed to "unwind" just like you would do for a toddler. Prepare your mind and body for sleep. Drink some herbal tea, take a warm bath or shower, turn off all of the screens, and meditate or read a few chapters in a good book. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function, maintain your physical health, and emotional well-being.
Tip #4 - Breathe
Earlier in the year, I took a 2-day intensive trauma workshop for therapists and I took away something very simple. Breathing reduces anxiety and has the power to heal (with some additional techniques). Pretty simple. Every system in the body relies on oxygen from cognition to digestion. Deep breathing can provide a greater sense of mental clarity, digest food more efficiently, improve your body's immune response, and reduce stress levels. It can also help you sleep better. So, you can check off tips 3 & 4. Check. Check.
Tip #5 - Delegate
Lastly, focusing on delegating is key to reducing burnout. Taking just a little bit off your plate (and on to someone else's) can go a long way in helping you in the long run. Oftentimes, we do too much for others. For example, kids. They can do A LOT for themselves AND it feels good to contribute to the family/household. It also helps them learn responsibility and develop consistent work ethic. I am successful today because I learned this early on. Now I am working to delegate. And so can you! Just remember that you are actually helping others by having them help.
I just reviewed 5 Tips to Avoid Burnout. There are so many others. I just wanted to keep it short and sweet. I hope that you can take some time to think about how you can make these tips a priority in your life. If you need a little help with this, give professional coaching a try. Just send me and email and I will connect you with a Blue Collar Consultant. We can start with the "Burnout Assessment" and go from there. Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!
Happy Holidays! ~ Brooke