Constant stress, large workloads, unmanageable lists of tasks piling up in front of you and complete overwhelm. Slowly but surely these pressures can wear you down, draining your zest for life, effecting relationships and damaging mental, emotional and physical health. But with help and support, making time for yourself and reassessing priorities, burnout can be healed.
Burnout can stem from all sorts of causes. A job without clear boundaries, acknowledgement or appreciation, boredom from a lack of stimulation and challenge, or complete overwhelm from looking after several small children while running a household. Lifestyle factors such as poor sleep, a lack of close and supportive friends and poor boundaries can all be contributors. Also personality types can play a role. High achieving Type A personalities, people with perfectionist tendencies and those with a pessimistic perspective can all be at a greater risk.
So what can we do to stop burnout and restore energy, motivation and inspiration for life? First, stop. Working harder in this situation is just going to make you crash harder. A drastic change is needed, if even only in the short term. Take some time to rest, reflect and rediscover what is important to you, what have you been missing that has left you feeling like you do now? Have you been taking time for yourself? Start the day with something you enjoy, rediscover or explore new creative pursuits. Creative time is nourishing and nurturing.
Is your job or career stimulating and exciting for you, or is it time for a change? Set boundaries in what you do so you can say ‘no’ to things you don’t really want to be doing. This allows you more time and energy for those you truly love. Take a break from technology, switch it all off and let yourself completely disconnect. Spend time in nature, go for walks in the forest, swim in the ocean and put your feet in the sand.
Healthy eating and herbal medicines are so important to help nourish and rebuild us after long term depletion. Easy to digest, nutrient rich foods, exploring tastes and flavours and spending time cooking can be a great way to start looking after yourself again. Talk to people about what you are experiencing, professional or friend. Sharing alone is enough to facilitate healing.
Article by Damian Harrison, Naturopath from Chamomile Naturopathy, Bellingen.