3 Powerful Acts to Help You Recover From Burnout
Feeling burnt out? Here are 3 powerful acts of self-care that cost nothing, take very little time, and will help you recover from burnout and regain your balance.
1. Embrace Nature
Whether you’re hugging a tree, walking on the beach, hiking, or breathing in eucalyptus from a stroll in a city park, spending time in nature is incredibly grounding. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and needing to recover from burnout, being in nature helps you slow down and get present to the temporal nature of all things.
Getting your body and mind outdoors, out of the house, and out of your place of work, can be a powerful catalyst to a shift in your overall perspective. And, getting energy flowing through your body, breathing in fresh air, and claiming a bit of “time away” for yourself, are all balancing restoratives.
In fact, being in nature (or even simply viewing scenes of nature) has been shown to reduce stress and feelings of anger or fear. And, exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well-being. It has been show to help reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
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2. Self-Reflection & Meditation
When you’ve reached the fed-up, burnt-out state where you know “something’s gotta give,” it’s essential to reflect on what got you there so you can interrupt the patterns of behavior for the future.
Even just a few minutes of daily meditation can establish a space for judgment-free, intentional, compassionate self-study and can reveal signs you may have missed that will help you as you work to avoid burnout moving forward. Meditation is a great tool for reducing stress, improving wellness, and has been shown to decrease exhaustion, stress, and fatigue.
Many busy working people feel that meditation is just another time-consuming activity to add to an already over-scheduled day. However, by taking just a few minutes out of your day to relax and focus, you are actually likely to increase your productivity—and keep burnout at bay at the same time.
3. Writing in a Journal
Nurturing a healthy connection with yourself is essential to avoid future burnout. Keeping a journal creates a safe space for you to be with yourself.
Writing in a journal (aka “journaling”) puts you in a state of mindfulness where past frustrations and future worries lose their edge in the present moment of capturing your experience in writing. It calls a wandering mind to attention as you focus and actively engage with your thoughts.
Journaling can also be a route to healing—emotionally, physically, and psychologically. In his book, Writing to Heal, Dr. James Pennebaker discusses findings that participants in expressive writing exercises have improved immune function. Studies have also shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and induces better sleep.
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