I often notice when September arrives the world seems to speed up and it doesn’t take long before many of us start feeling overwhelmed and a bit run down.
A few years ago, in 2015 more precisely, I reached a point where I was severely burnt out. For years, I ignored the signs, and because I didn’t know much about what was happening or why, I kept pushing myself harder, all the while drinking more coffee and eating more chocolate almonds at night.
Although I made some changes after having to take a 3 week leave from my job, the reality is it took me close to 5 years to feel like I was fully recovered. It was pretty bad!
That experience taught me many things, and one of them is that we need to learn to identify the signs of burn out early on and intervene early rather than waiting until we are depleted
So today, I want to share with you 10 non-diet ways to build resilience to both prevent and recover from burn out.
1. Forget restrictive diets and strenuous workouts: at this time, your body needs all the love you can give her. Restrictive diets and harsh workouts are very taxing on your body and this is not the best time for workouts such cross body, HITT, hours of running, intermittent fasting or any other way of eating or exercising that stresses your body out
2. Do move your body in gentle, kind ways: walks in nature are very soothing for someone trying to recover from burn out, stretches, gentle yoga. Basically, anything that leaves you feeling slightly energized (not exhausted)
3. Swap refined foods and sugar for wholesome options: such as fruit, natural sweeteners like as honey, maple syrup, stevia, molasses, dates, etc. When we’re burnt out we’re usually too tired to cook and is easy to fall back into processed foods and take out (also, our bodies seem to crave them so much more!) but this is when your body needs nutrients and real food the most. Try to keep your meals simple and as wholesome as possible as your body recovers and gets stronger.
4. Consider supplementing vitamins and minerals: My top choices at this time are: Vitamin C, a B Complex and Magnesium. Please be sure to consult with a health care practitioner to evaluate what other supplements may be beneficial at this time
5. Have a weekly fun date: having time to slow down and enjoy yourself a bit is one of the best ways to recharge your soul, which in turn, will recharge your body. If you can’t think of anything fun of the top of your head, it would be a good idea to spend some time brainstorming and creating and list of 5-10 things that would be fun for you. Then go ahead and schedule time and go through your list one by one. The best antidote for when we’re feeling low and heavy is to do something lighthearted and fun. And feel free to write back and share your list with me J
6. Keep your caffeine intake at a minimum possible: aim for not more than 1 cup of coffee a day and if you need a bit more, see if you can switch that 2nd cup for a green tea of a ½ decaf, ½ caffeinated. Once that feels more manageable, see if you can do with the 1 cup a day
7. Indulge in sleep: The more you sleep, the faster your body will recover. Don’t feel guilty for needing 9-10 hrs of sleep. It won’t be forever so don’t be afraid to snooze
8. Ask for help: Many of us have a hard time asking for help, or we think things won’t get done the way we want them unless we do them ourselves. However, I’ve found that most people are more than willing to help and given some clear instructions, they may even get things done better than if I had done it all myself. I’ve also learn that for some jobs you can hire help or an expert and not only that is very helpful to me but a way to support someone who could really use the gig
9. It’s time to load up on good nutrients: think whole grains, tons of vegetables, fruits too, good quality fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts & seeds and plenty proteins such as eggs, fish, poutry, beans, legumes, etc as well.
10. Take a time out: If you can afford a vacation, this is the time to go for it but if for whatever reason you cannot, find a way to take little breaks. Maybe a long weekend, maybe an afternoon off – do what you can to rest during this time.
Now, I know these are a lot of ideas. The goal is to pick 2 or 3 and give them a try. This is meant to be a list filled with inspiration but remember this is a time to do less, not more so pick a few and leave the rest!
I wish you well,