When we’re constantly moving and shaking, problem-solving, and helping others, we eventually experience burnout. If you are a high-achieving person, an ambitious person at heart, you may experience this often. This may be surprising, but tracking how often burnout happens to you may be very helpful.

Burnout often occurs in predictable cycles. For example, if you notice you’re crying or feel anxious more every three months now. You probably need to plan a mini vacation every three months or a vacation. Or if you know, in general, during or after certain projects or events, you become overwhelmed, you likely need to prepare by getting more hands to carry the load and to plan time off or more breaks. Learn your body, and know what it’s trying to tell you. Do not ignore it and push through.

Tips for Lowering Stress:

  1. Go outside. Simple enough, right? Studies show that when we’re around nature, our blood pressure decreases, and our breathing relaxes. Furthermore, when we are in direct sunlight, we receive vitamin D, improving our energy and mood. We get less sunlight during the winter and can unknowingly not get the amount of vitamin D we need. You might consider taking vitamin D supplements to help with this. A conversation with your doctor and pharmacist is recommended.

2. Exercise. Our health experts have all told us that exercise is key to preventing certain physical illnesses. It is just as key to lowering stress and anxiety. Learn your preferred way of exercise (i.e. walking, dancing, weightlifting, etc.) and get moving!

3. Track your thoughts. Whatever you usually think about when issues happen will impact your emotions. Not only which emotions you feel but how intense and how long you feel them. Learning your thought patterns is key. Once you learn which critical, fearful thoughts you continue to have, you can decide what thoughts are healthier to think instead.

Written by: Natasha D. Oates, Award-winning therapist & marriage counselor

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