What to do When You Burn Out: 4 Ways You Can Slowly Feel Like Yourself Again

aromatherapy burnout holistic wellness meditation mental health recovery Oct 01, 2021

According to one of the top researchers behind burnout, psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, burnout is characterized by exhaustion, headaches, sleeplessness, moodiness, and cognitive distraction. This causes many who experience it to feel confused and unsure about who they are and what they’re meant to do. Thankfully, while there isn’t any “cure” for burnout, there are steps to manage this and, hopefully, get you feeling like yourself again.
Almost two years into the “New Normal,” and burnout rates are still surging. A survey featured on Forbes reveals that 52% of respondents felt burnout—a 9% increase from 2019. What’s more, it seems no age group is exempt from this as 59% of millennials, 58% of Gen Z, and 31% of Baby Boomers said they feel burned out.

Here are four ways to combat the feelings of burnout, and slowly start to feel like yourself again:

1. Practice some self-care rituals
While self-care has many physical benefits like relieving aches, it also has plenty of mental health advantages. According to the Mayo Clinic, self-care rituals can help stop anxiety spirals and facilitate the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins. These are directly responsible for helping you reach your goals, manage pain, and cope with stress. Some examples of self-care rituals that you can try out are aromatherapy and gentle stretching. Both of these are easy and relatively inexpensive to practice, too. Aromatherapy, for instance, only requires a skin-safe essential oil that you can massage onto your body. A good option is to start with peppermint oil in a carrier, because it can reduce pain, inflammation, headaches while also enhancing memory, critical thinking, and alertness. On the other hand, stretching can improve your breathing and mental awareness without exhausting you. Even just five minutes of stretching a day can make a significant impact.

2. Follow good sleep habits
Sleeping is one of the most effective yet least valued methods of ensuring holistic wellness. A recent journal entry from the American Psychological Association Center for Organizational Excellence even noted a scientific correlation between clinical burnout and lack of sleep. Conversely, when you’re rested, your body, mind, and emotions will feel infinitely better. Specifically, sleeping more than six hours a night can improve your organs’ function, your cognitive clarity, and boost the serotonin that encourages feelings of self-worth. According to the Sleep Foundation, some of the easiest ways to improve sleep are to keep your room dark, avoid snacking before bedtime, and remove electronics from your bedside.

3. Explore professional help
Because burnout can quickly lead to depression, it’s important to address this as soon as possible. A mental health care professional can be one of the best and most efficient ways to do so. Best of all, mental health services are slowly becoming more diverse to curb the previous mental health professional shortage.
To illustrate, a report published by USAFacts highlights the lack of psychologists and psychiatrists across one-third of the U.S. Fortunately, psychiatric nurses are filling the gap and treating more patients. As graduates of a doctor of nursing program, these nurses have received advanced education focused specifically on mental health. Thus, they are qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat patients with different mental health conditions. In addition to this, there has been a rise in mental health apps like BetterHelp and Sanvello, which connect users to licensed therapists remotely. With more of these professionals and platforms becoming available, mental health services are now more accessible than ever, thus giving more individuals the opportunity to get expert help and tend to their burnout.

4. Establish work/life balance
Work remains one of the top causes of burnout in 2021. In fact, a Robert Half poll shows a 34% increase in burnout among American workers. As such, more employers are introducing work/life balance initiatives like mental health days or brain breaks. If your company offers these initiatives, make the most of them by turning off your work notifications and planning something fun.
Alternatively, you can also find out if your place of work offers an employee assistance program (EAP). Recent data shows that EAPs can result in a 94% increase in overall program satisfaction. This is because they’re employee-specific, confidential interventions offered in the workplace to help employees deal with personal issues that may be affecting their professional performance. EAPs can help with issues such as family care, relationship challenges, financial worries, legal problems, and traumatic events. These employer-provided counseling sessions come at no cost for employees and can be delivered in several ways, like online, in-person, or via phone.

Finding yourself, especially during a burnout, can be difficult. However, by slowly but surely implementing methods that rekindle your old passions, capabilities, and interests, you can navigate challenging times without losing your sense of self. Just remember to take it slowly. There’s no rush, and following your own pace is the best and most sustainable path.

Solely written by Mackenzie Bourne for debrareis.com

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