I talk a lot to my clients about the need for self-care and looking after ourselves, burnout is real and there are some simple things you can do to help yourself before it gets to a stage where it becomes debilitating.
If you notice any of these signs you need to slow down and the tips I share later in this blog will be perfect for you – even if you aren’t here yet, building in time to refuel every week is critical to your health and wellbeing:
- Fatigue – not just normal tiredness, we all get that don’t we. No, I’m talking chronic fatigue. Physical and mental exhaustion. Feeling drained and depleted.
- Sleeplessness (insomnia) – yes I know, us ladies very rarely sleep as well as our male counterparts but is it worse than normal?
- Lack of concentration and memory loss – are you finding that you’re becoming forgetful and lacking concentration and focus?
- There may also be some physical symptoms – such as dizziness, headaches, palpitations. These are all signs from your body telling you to slow down. Listen to them!
- Anxiety and depression – these tend to the symptoms we take most notice of but they don’t always appear until the latter stages of burnout. Keep an eye out and look for anything out of the ordinary.
- Loss of appetite or increased eating – look at your eating patterns, have they changed. Are you eating less or possibly binge eating? All signs that you need to reassess.
- Anger – it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to be despondent. Just recognise when any of these emotions are taking over and take time out before they get on top of you.
10 techniques to refuel you mentally and physically
1. Disconnect to reconnect
Now, this is a technique that I often recommend to you in clinic!
Put the phone down and reconnect with the people around you, even if it’s just yourself. We have all seen parents filming their little ones while actually missing the moment, or being tuned in to the latest Instagram post rather than being present.
If we are completely honest with ourselves that text or email can wait a few moments before a response, we are in control of where our energy goes and waiting for the next bleep can leave us stressed and anxious.
Try to check your inbox/messages at certain times of the day and allow yourself to enjoy being present and focused for the rest of the time. This technique will actually make you more productive and applies whether we are a full-time Mum or working in the corporate field!
2. Read a book
Yes, when was the last time you read a book for pleasure. If you’re anything like me the only time I read a book is when I’m learning.. which can be continuous I love learning but these days our phone has taken over again! Submerging yourself in a fictional paper book for 20 minutes a day can have huge benefits.
3. Have a bath
Most people love a good soak but how often do we actually do it? Get the candles out and add the Epsom salts and feel your body thanking you. You can even use this time to really lose yourself in that book! Relax you’re worth it!
4. Spend Time with Animals
Animals are always present and so in tune with your feelings. They induce anti-stress responses and even reduce blood pressure. If you don’t have pets at home, take yourself for a walk in the countryside or visit a local farm and really pay attention to the wildlife you encounter.
Release your natural endorphins levels with a good workout, even a brisk walk can elevate your mood and reduce adrenaline and cortisol levels. You only need to find 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise to benefit your whole body.
6. Eat well
Keep your mind and body balanced with good nutrition and supplements. Putting the right fuel into our bodies is key to a healthy outcome. Our internal organs including our brains cannot function to it’s optimum if it’s deficient nutritionally. It’s true that we are what we eat!
7. Connect with Nature
Walking barefoot on grass or the beach can help us feel grounded and life the mood. Even just walking through a forest touching the trees as we pass can be beneficial. Allow yourself time to be in nature with no distractions and let the waves wash away those worries.
8. Practise Yoga
You can do this at home or whilst connecting with nature! Yoga is therapeutic for the mind, body and spirit – you don’t need to be perfect as it’s not about the position you find yourself in it’s more about how you connect with getting there.
I practise every day and you can get completely free guided meditations on Insight Timer to get you going. 10 minutes a day will help you feel calmer in no time at all.
10. Try something new
Sometimes when people come to me saying they’re tired actually it’s their soul that’s tired of the same routines. We increase our dopamine levels when we are motivated to try something new; this can have a positive effect on our mood and sleep. What are you going to try this Summer?
Lastly, recognise how well you are doing, we often fly through life and forget how well we are doing. Pause and reflect, you are amazing!