Learning How to Reverse Burnout and Exhaustion in 9 Practices

Sep 22, 2021
Reverse burnout, productivity, procrastination, focus, optimize, workflow, mindset

Learning How to Reverse Burnout and Exhaustion in 9 Practices

It's not uncommon for people to feel burned out.

It can be caused by too much work, lack of sleep, or simply working on projects that don't excite them.

However, the most common cause of feeling tired and overworked is because they're juggling too many things at once.

Reversing burnout takes time and effort, but it is definitely not impossible, and even avoidable.

We are going to be looking at 9 ways to help you reverse and prevent burnout and exhaustion in your life.

Why Do We Hit Burnout?

To start things off, I want to remind you that hitting this breaking point is not just "in your cards".

Although, for some people, this is unavoidable, there are many people who never experience the feeling of being burned out.

I think that this is primarily because a lot of us aren't taught how to manage our time, work, family, and self on a healthy basis.

Instead, we're taught to work the job we hate, that takes up all the ours of our day, for the rest of our lives, because it "pays well".

In other words, we have been taught to work ourselves to death.

Burnout can happen because of a variety of reasons, but it's usually due to the following:  

  • Not enough time for yourself and your family
  • Unhealthy ways of coping with stress
  • Avoiding uncomfortable feelings
  • Lack of sleep
  • Not knowing how to relax
  • Overworking
  • A disconnect between job and personal life

But, there are plenty of ways to either avoid this or even rebuild yourself even better than before your burnout.

How To Respond To Burnout Within Your Life

Oftentimes, clients will come to me absolutely freaking out about something going wrong in either their personal life, relationships, or even work.

The irony is that clients will typically freak out before this problem has even become a problem.

And, here's the thing: Even if said problem does turn into a mistake, you have the ability to remind yourself that you are just human.

You are trying to 'figure life out' the same way everyone else is.

So, if you find yourself responding to emails, conversations, or even in how you treat yourself with a significant amount of exhaustion, quick responses, or attitude, I urge you to take a step back and check yourself.

Instead of freaking out about something going wrong, remind yourself that you are only a human and give yourself some grace.

Setting Boundaries to Avoid Burnout

When trying to figure out how to fix or reverse burnout, think about this:

How do you immediately fix feeling tired?

The answer- You go to bed at a certain time. You take naps. You step away from what 'needs' to get done, and put yourself to sleep.

How do you prevent fatigue in the future?

You go to bed earlier. You set boundaries around your day-to-day life to ensure you have adequate sleep. You may even sleep later.

Burnout is really no different.

If you want to decrease the chances of hitting burnout, reverse what is already done, or even prepare for this feeling in your future, you need to set boundaries.

When you set boundaries, it's like placing a net around your day with holes big enough to catch everything that needs to be done without getting all tangled up.

For instance, you may make a to-do list first thing in the morning.

To set boundaries, you may say things like...

Work:

  • Whatever is not completed by 5pm can wait until tomorrow
  • After I finish a, b, & c, I will take a rest
  • If I don't get to x today, I will finish it later this week

Relationships:

  • I will not bring up a difficult conversation right before bed
  • After we eat dinner, we will turn off our phones and talk
  • I will not spend more than 30 minutes on the phone when I am home

In other words, boundaries create a net around your day, that catches everything you need to do without weighing so much that it drags you down.

Boundaries also have the power to reduce stress, increase your energy levels, and help you avoid burnout.

Now that you may have some ideas of the boundaries you need to implement into your daily life, let's look at some other practices to help you reduce burnout.

9 Mindful Practices to Decrease (and Reverse) Burnout

 

  • Make sure you are sleeping enough to ensure quality rest

 

I need you to understand that if you are not sleeping, you will not be focused.

You may think that you can get a couple hours of sleep and then go throughout your day, but it isn't that easy.

Your body needs rest.

If you choose to never relax, I can guarantee that you will end up both physically and mentally exhausted.

To get adequate rest, you want to build a nighttime routine that sets you up for success the following day. It may look something like this:

  • Shower
  • Dinner
  • Phones up
  • Show
  • Family time
  • Reading
  • Bed

Did you know that between 10:30pm and 4am, when you look at a screen, the neurotransmitters that are responsible for depression and anxiety actually fire more rapidly, because of the optic nerves in your eyes?

Which means that when you are staying up late, scrolling on your phone, sending emails, or working on documents, you aren't only reducing your sleep. You are also actively lighting up the depression and anxiety signals within your brain.

Keep this in mind when creating your evening routine.

2. Three minute hypnosis practice in the middle of your day

Here me out before you say no to hypnosis!

It's been scientifically proven that even just a three minute hypnosis script in the middle of your day can tremendously improve your focus. 

Not only that, but it is always shown to reduce anxiety.

Here is a good website to try -> (Link website that you mentioned in convo)

3. Begin adding in cardio to your daily routine

Moving your body, sweating, and getting your heart rate up is an immediate way to boost your mood.

If you are not sure where to start with cardio, then take a walk! Getting outside will be a great addition to your cardio.

You can also go for a run or bike ride.

Whatever you choose to do, remember to keep it simple at first.

Either way, you are going to be giving yourself a necessary boost of energy that will help you focus for the rest of your day.

4. Add in some breathwork to your morning routine (and maybe your mid-day and evening one too)

Breathwork comes in many forms.

One of them is deep breathing. Deep breaths will help increase the oxygen in your body, which will increase your focus and productivity.

You may also try out alternate nostril breathing, which can help to balance both hemispheres of the brain, and help to reduce stress.

Finally, you can try out some yoga breaths, which will increase the oxygen in your body too.

If you aren't sure where to start, YouTube has some great breathwork guides that you can follow along with.

5. Take a cold shower

If you didn't know, cold water actually calms your nervous system. (Hint- This is why ice baths are such a phenomenon for athletes.)

To begin cold showers, you're going to start with 45 seconds of cold water, at the end of your shower. Practice this for about a week.

You are obviously going to want to work your way up to longer, but this is a great starting point.

Once you have done this, go ahead and move up to about a minute and a half of cold water.

The key to this practice is that you have to stand there. Don't try to get out of the cold water. Make sure you're not bringing half of your body in and half out. You need your head and everything under the cold shower.

As soon as you allow your body to, you will notice that the muscles in your entire body will begin to relax.

So, how does this work?

By reminding yourself that it is completely okay to stand in the cold water, and that you are safe, you're normalizing this reaction for your nervous system. Even though the cold water wants to make you react, you are teaching your nervous system that hard situations are only as hard as you allow them to be.

(AKA- Standing in a cold shower is only as hard as you make it.)

6. Start exercising at least 45 minutes a day

I don't just mean moving your body, either. This needs to have you sweating.

Even if you don't have a gym membership, there are plenty of ways you can begin resistance training at home.

You can do jumping jacks or squats or kettlebell swings.

There are plenty of free workout guides online, through Google, YouTube, and other social media platforms.

Find one that works for you and try adding it into your daily routine.

I promise you'll automatically begin getting more energy, increased focus, and a heightened mood, within just a matter of days!

7. Make sure that you're eating enough (and enough of the right stuff)

Oftentimes, people just aren't eating enough.

Although I am not a nutrition coach, I know the importance of eating the right amount of the right stuff... and you should too.

Without enough calories to fuel you throughout the day, week, and your life, your body will eventually stop running.

(Your car can't run without gas, can it?)

You need to not just be eating enough, but you also need to be replenishing the nutrients that your body needs.

(Cars don't run on diesel, right?)

Rather than filling yourself up with snacks like chips, candy, and chocolate, try to get your main sustenance from actual meals.

If you do need to get more calories in, or possibly just enjoy snacks, try things like nuts, fruits, or dark chocolate bites.

8. Make one small, daily promise to yourself... and keep it

Now, this is going to look different for everyone. But, a great way to avoid burnout is by holding yourself to a higher standard of self care.

Even if this standard is relatively small, add it into your routine and don't break it.

Some examples of this promise could be...

  • I'm going to stop work today by 6pm
  • I will eat dinner before 8pm
  • I will read 10 pages of a book each day
  • I will listen to one self-development podcast

These promises not only hold accountability for yourself, but adding in things like this to your daily routine can also be a great way to stay more focused, on task, and even more efficient.

9. Ask yourself: How can I comfort my inner child right now?

I know this may sound a little silly.

But, all too often, we forget that we are all just adult children.

And, most of us weren't taught how to truly take care of ourselves. (Because our parents weren't taught how to, either.)

As a child, you get your wants and your needs met from your parents. But, you know, as an adult,  have to meet your own wants and needs

So, essentially, you are reparenting yourself in a way that heals yourself.

By doing this, you're more likely to spend time letting yourself 'play' after or during work and on your vacations.

Once you have this healthy balance in your life, you will find that you are more motivated to finish work during work hours, have quality time with your loved ones during that time, and rest when you are supposed to, because you know that you 'play' time is just around the corner!

Reversing Burnout and Exhaustion in Conclusion

It’s no secret that burnout is a very real and common problem. In fact, it can happen to anyone at any time.

It doesn't matter if you're the type of person who tries their best to take care of themselves or not- there's always a chance for burnout when you spend every waking moment stuck in an office chair working long hours with little sleep.

Burnout may be inevitable sometimes, but we can still take steps today to prevent it from happening as often as possible.

If you think you may be on the verge of burnout, focus on implementing a morning and nighttime routine to add exercise, adequate sleep, and overall self care into your daily life.

We hope these practices will help make your work life more manageable without sacrificing too much extra time!

 

FAQ:

Q: Does burnout happen to everyone?

A: Thankfully, burnout does not, and does not have to, happen to everyone. By implementing the 8 practices previously mentioned, you can possibly avoid it! But, it does happen quite frequently to some, so make sure you look for the signs in your life regularly.

Q: What's one way I can prevent burnout?

To prevent burnout, make sure that you are getting enough rest, eating the right foods, exercising and keeping the promises you make to yourself!

 

Q: What if I'm already in a burnout state?

A: If you're already in a burnout state, take the appropriate steps necessary to get out of it. Although I recommend trying the practices on this page, you may also want to reach out to me so we can develop a plan curated specifically for you.

If you enjoyed reading, 

The best way to get more is by connecting with me as we travel the journey of life. Only the occasional email here & there :)