Hard work is fulfilling, exciting, life-affirming, and hard. Sometimes, unfortunately, that last one starts to overtake all the others. When the difficulty of each day begins to overshadow your pride and satisfaction, you’re starting to experience burnout.
Burnout is a risky thing to ignore because it rarely goes away on its own. Left unaddressed, burnout can cause you to feel anxious and depressed, or lead to unhealthy life habits like excess drinking or overeating. At the end of the day, you need to feel good about how you’ve spent your time. If you’re not, here are a few ways you can take control of your situation and leave burnout behind.
Get Your Diet on Track
Stress can lead to poor eating, and poor eating can lead back into stress – meaning if you eat snacks and junk food to handle your burnout, you’re probably just making it worse. Instead, focus on getting a balanced diet that features plenty of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats.
Eating right to prevent burnout goes beyond simply keeping your weight in check or boosting your nutrient intake. More and more research shows that your gut microbiome makes a huge impact on your overall wellness, including your mental health. You can support a healthy gut biome by eating an overall healthy diet, particularly one that includes probiotics. You can get this through yogurts, fermented foods, or a daily supplement – regardless of the source, getting good bacteria into your gut should make a big difference.
Work Out Regularly
Much like a good diet, we all know we should be getting regular exercise, but actually doing it is a whole other matter. It can be hard to imagine fitting a good workout into your day if you’re already busy. However, try to find time to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to five times a week. Not only will this keep your body in good shape, but it will also release excess adrenaline which may be contributing to stress.
There are several ways you can fit exercise into a busy schedule. For example, consider going on a brisk walk during your lunch hour or spending part of your day doing toe steps at a standing desk. You can also wake up a little bit earlier to make some time for a quick, energy-boosting workout in the morning. Live close to work? Consider walking or riding a bike during nice weather instead of driving.
Working out regularly will do you a world of good, but you can also speed up your metabolism (and gain more benefits) by taking a metabolism booster. Before taking one of these supplements, carefully review the ingredients, learn about any side effects, and get the approval of your doctor.
One of the simplest things you can do for your own mental wellness is to add mindfulness meditation into your daily routine. Studies have found that practicing mindfulness decreases anxiety and boosts overall health significantly. By training your brain to stay in the present moment, you’re less likely to spend your time away from work focused on what’s happening at the office. Mindfulness allows you to be truly off the clock and enjoy your downtime.
If you’re new to meditation, consider downloading a mindfulness app for beginners. These have plenty of guided meditations that will help you learn how to focus on the present. Don’t be intimidated if it takes a little while to get the hang of it – after all, you’re building an entirely new habit, and your brain isn’t going to be used to it right away. Simply allow yourself to refocus on the meditation and your breathing, and know that it will get easier with time.
Burnout can lead to major life dissatisfaction, and that’s why it’s so important to recognize and address it, even before it sets in. Build these habits into your regular routine, and you’re a lot less likely to feel overwhelmed by work and other responsibilities. Instead, you’ll be able to handle your workload with ease.
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