Self-Care Tips to Prevent Burnout

Did you know, according to a report from Medibank Private, in 2017 the number of people feeling the effects of stress rose by 32% from previous years. The main causes of this spike being lack of sleep and juggling too many things

at once. We now have the added pressure of Covid-19 social isolation, working from home and possibly trying to home school our children at the same time!

“You can do anything – but not everything” David Allen

Unfortunately, we are struggling with healthy ways to cope with this added pressure. The latest statistics show that 70% of Australians are drinking more alcohol than usual, with 28% drinking more just to cope with the additional stress and anxiety! On top of this, our immune system takes a hit because stress lowers our natural immunity – so we could end up getting sick at the worst possible time! For most of us we ‘don’t have time to be sick’ so we just push through, dragging ourselves out of bed every day. However, if we continue to rush through life in perpetual ‘fright or flight’ mode we will eventually crash and burn!

Ever heard of Adrenal fatigue or burnout’? This occurs when our Adrenal glands become soo overworked from chronic stress that they can no longer produce essential hormones and many of our body functions become compromised.

However, there are numerous natural and proven stress-busting techniques that you can try to reduce, or even prevent, burnout from occurring.

Try to implement some of these remedies gradually, and watch as both your

physical and mental health rejuvenate:

Breathe. Sounds simple doesn’t it? We don’t realise how shallow our breath becomes when our nervous system is in a perpetually panicked state. My number one self-care tip is to take 10 minutes for yourself either first thing in the morning before the rest of the household is awake or before bed, simply close your eyes, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply at least five times. You can use this technique whenever you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. I often listen to a short ten minute guided meditation to help me switch off whenever I feel as if a million thoughts are running through my mind.

Have something to eat at regular intervals throughout the day, approximately every 2.5 – 3 hours in order to keep your blood sugar and hence your energy levels stable. Eat as naturally as possible also and ditch the junk food full of empty calories. A banana for example is Nature’s original ‘fast food’ that comes in its own biodegradable packaging.

Put down all mobile devices at least one hour before bed. I know this is not a fun tip, but it is crucial for getting a good night’s sleep – looking at artificial light lowers your brain’s natural production of the sleep hormone Melatonin. Melatonin tells your body when it is time to go to sleep, plus it helps you to stay asleep and your body needs good quality sleep in order to rest and repair. To ensure you do get a good quality night’s sleep, avoid alcohol also and caffeinated beverages after 2pm, such as black tea, coffee, coca cola and energy drinks. Replace with plenty of filtered alkaline water or relaxing and naturally sedating herbal teas such as Lemon Balm, Lime blossom, or Chamomile.

Move your body for at least half an hour per day, whether that involves a few yoga inspired muscle stretches away from your desk, or grab the kids and the family pooch and go for a stroll around the block – this really helps to clear your head and settle the nervous system. Aim to get outside every day and immerse yourself in nature – just looking at greenery is relaxing and lowers your blood pressure. It’s amazing how good it feels just to take a few deep breaths of fresh air, feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face!

My final tip is to get more magnesium into your diet – magnesium is natures great muscle relaxant! Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, but if your diet is poor and you are suffering from burnout, you may need to supplement with a bioavailable form such as magnesium citrate or diglycinate powder. Better still, after the children have gone to bed, have a lovely warm bath filled with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) as you will absorb the magnesium through your skin. For added nervous system support, place a few drops of relaxing essential oils such as Chamomile or Lavender into your bath water as well.

Taking some time-out for yourself now should be your number one priority if you want to avoid burnout – you must take care of yourself first before you can take care of others!

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