10 Ways To Take Care of Ourselves When We're Suffering From Burnout

by Ashleigh Hitchcock for Elephant Journal

Stepping up the self-care helps us boost our immunity to stress.

Stress happens—to everyone. There are many tricks to releasing stress that give us respite from feeling overwhelmed. Merely thinking about doing these things is not enough; in order to take care of our stress, we actually have to take some of these steps. Start small—try one or two of these suggestions.

10 Simple Things to Do When We’re In Over Our Heads.

1. Community. Hanging out with friends helps us feel better. Spending time with actual human beings boosts our mood. It energises us, even if it’s people we don’t really know, at the local café. Sharing smiles with people gives us a lasting warm fuzzy.

2. Take breaks. No one can thrive when we’re sitting at the computer for hours on end, all day long. Take a five minute break every hour. Walk to the water cooler and rehydrate, do 10 jumping jacks, do a deep forward bend, walk to the break room and refill your coffee cup, have a quick phone chat with a friend or step outside and take a peek at the sky.

3. Get enough fresh air and sunshine. This is important, especially in the wintertime. Spending time outside breaks up the monotony and reconnects us to nature. An easy way to “cheat” is to walk or bike to work. If we have to bus or car commute, park a few blocks away from the office. If we work at home, a quick walk around the block will suffice. If it’s cold, bundle up. There are really no excuses when it comes to being outside and enjoying the day at least a little bit.

4. Eat food cooked with love. Make sure to eat enough veggies. Eat real food and avoid processed and packaged food. Have a snack—if you’re experiencing mood-failure, get your blood sugar up.

5. Meditate. Practice sitting meditation every day for at least 10 minutes. If you’re too busy, meditate for one hour. Our minds are made for thinking. Consciously taking a break from our thoughts heals stress on many levels. I meditate every day for 10 minutes, first thing in the morning. It makes me feel like I’m cloaked in a protective blanket all day long.

6. Exercise. Our bodies are made to move. People have a lot of energy and sitting still for too long can drive us stir crazy. Exercise, even a little bit, is important everyday. It releases negativity and makes us feel good. It gets our heart pumping and our lungs breathing. My favorite ways to exercise are walking the dog, biking, hiking, yoga, dancing, skiing, snow shoveling, gardening and sex.

7. House Plants. It’s nice to share space with other living things. House plants are natural air filters. They live on water and sunlight. That’s affordable! They bring relaxing and cheerful energy to a room. They are quiet. If you have to vent, houseplants are good listeners.

8. Stretch. Practicing yoga, even a little bit, breaks up the” fuzz” between our muscles and fascial tissue. A good stretch can give us the “space” we need to buckle down and take care of our responsibilities.

9. Get enough sleep. Our bodies are rejuvenated with a good night’s sleep. Enjoy a relaxing ritual before bed, to ensure a restful night. Have a cup of chamomile tea, meditate, take a hot epsom salt bath, or read for 15 minutes.

10. Laugh. Read something funny. Talk to someone funny. Watch a funny video. Amuse yourself. Laughter really is the best medicine.

In today’s busy world, it’s easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed; using creative solutions to deal with stress can help us prevent burnout.

Marissa GandelmanComment