Burnout has become so commonplace that we don’t realize it until we’ve hit a crashing point. This crashing point can feel like a brick wall closing in on us, slowing us down and blocking us from getting up. If you’re tired of carrying this heavy weight on your shoulders, keep reading to learn the ultimate cure for preventing and recovering from burnout.
Let’s start with what burnout is exactly. Burnout is when we have chronic stress and don’t manage it well. It happens from overextending ourselves past our limits. From overworking, overthinking, and overdoing. It affects our energy levels, our moods, our actions, and how we show up. Not to mention it just feels plain crappy!
When we feel crappy it can feel debilitating or impossible to come out of it. The good news is, burnout isn’t permanent, and there’s something we can do to shift it. If burnout comes from not managing our stress well, then the opposite will cure it, managing our stress better.
The Cure To Burnout
The cure to burnout is extreme self-care. Not the kind of self-care you might be used to – the image of mani-pedis and margaritas. Although a fun activity, it won’t give you long lasting effects. For a longer term solution we’re going to have to dig deeper.
We need a solution that nurtures your WHOLE SELF, not just a portion of it. That solution is an integrated self-care practice. A self-care practice that is rooted in your daily routine and nurtures your mind, body, spirit, and environment.
Most of us have heard about body wellness – in terms of eating right and exercising, but what about the other components? The lack of care for our mind, spirit, and environment are negatively contributing to our stress levels. Building a self-care practice that covers all of these components will reduce and prevent burnout.
“The land of burnout is not a place I ever want to go back to.” – Arianna Huffington
Building Your Self-Care Practice
Ready to build your personalized self-care practice? Before you sigh and say you don’t have time for yet another thing on your to-do list, here’s what you want to remember: self-care brings time back to you. So if you feel short on time, this is the solution to give you more time. When you care for yourself, you have more energy, more clarity, and more focus. This reduces the time you spend in confusion, indecision, and worry. If you’re not sold yet, try it for yourself and see what results you get.
To build your self-care practice you have to know yourself deeply because your practice will be unique to you. What relaxes one person, might be stressful for another. Think about cooking for example. For some, this might be the most relaxing, nirvana activity. For others, the idea of preparing dinner makes them want to pull their hair out.
Building the perfect plan for you, requires self-discovery work. Below you will find some questions to help you understand yourself better to create a plan that matches your style.
Questions to help you build your self-care practice:
- Do I have a self-care practice right now?
- If yes, how can I enhance my self-care practice to help me reduce stress and thrive?
- If not, what would an ideal self-care practice look like for me?
- What is important to me?
- What gives me joy?
- What fills up my cup?
- What recharges me?
- What kind of environment do I thrive in?
- Where and when do I feel the most relaxed?
- What calms my spirit?
- Where in my day can I add 10 minute breaks?
The answers to these questions will help you develop your unique self-care practice. See where in your day you can take breaks, or simply decide to take breaks. Once you create those pockets of time, add in intentional 10 minute joy breaks throughout your day with the activities that relax and recharge you. For some that may be taking a walk in nature, basking in the sun. For others that may be dancing to music, cuddling with their dog. Make your self-care practice yours. Make it fun. Make it joyful.
“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” – Banksy
Living Your Self-Care Practice
Integrating your self-care practice into your daily routine is what will ensure you live it. If a daily routine sounds overwhelming, start with 1 day a week. Commit to a self-care practice at least one day in the week, then challenge yourself to add more days in each week. Take a moment every week to evaluate how it’s going for you. Notice how you feel before and after your intentional breaks. Notice what it’s adding to your life. And pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day.
Over time you will notice the mental, spiritual, and physical benefits you are gaining and you’ll find yourself drawn to incorporate self-care daily. Think of this self-care practice as natural medicine, joy, and life you are bringing back to yourself. Having your cup full will allow you to live the life you truly want. It will allow you to be present for the moments and people that are important to you. Because of self-care, you will be happier, fuller, and more in alignment to your truth. Cheers to building and living a self-care practice that will not only reduce burnout but also add joy to your daily life.