Burnout is something all too many of us have experienced…especially during 2020. Burnout is caused by prolonged exposure to stress. It’s an all consuming exhasution: physical, mental and emotional.
As the pandemic continues, tensions over human rights and politics grow, we try to adapt our work, school and other elements of life to a remote/virtual format… so many of us are experiencing exhaustion caused by the “new normal”.
In line with this, today I would love to share some insights and solutions from this great book by doctors Emily and Amelia Nagoski called Burnout.
What causes Burnout
Quoting from Emily in her interview with Brene Brown on Brene’s podcast Unlocking Us, she said “Emotions have a beginning, a middle, and an end. A lot of us are taught to believe that if we fix the problem that caused the stress or the emotion, then we will have dealt with the emotion itself. It turns out, no, there is a disconnect…”
It turns out, we need to complete the cycle of our emotions. As they describe, we need to keep going through the tunnel and not getting stuck in the middle of it–that’s when burnout happens. Our digestive systems, hormonal system, cardiovascular systems, nervous systems…really ALL systems take a toll when stressful feelings don’t get processed.
Preventing and Recovering from Burnout
The great news? You don’t have to wait for the stressor–the thing that was causing you stress–to go away before you complete your stress cycle. You can use some easy and free methods to help yourself complete the stress cycle so that you don’t get stuck in the harmful phases of it. I love the tools they share in their book and recommend you check it out. I’ll share several that I already knew about and use daily–they absolutely work.
1) Physical activity.
Walking, running, dancing–It can be any movement, but by moving your body around, it allows you to process those stress chemicals and boost your feel-good chemicals which results in helping you move through the stress cycle.
This is a cornerstone in any emotional self-regulation strategy like HeartMath. When you turn your attention to your breath and you make your breath slower and deeper, it’s like hitting reset on your stress cycle.
Breathing is the simplest and gentlest way to calm down your emotions and the nervous system. Just breathe, feel the air entering your body as you breathe in and feel it when you breathe out.
Laughter (like really great belly laughter, not fake laughing) will move you through the stress cycle.
Doctors Emily and Amelia also mention the following tips:
1) Positive social interaction.
The stress response happens to deal with a threat to the body (real or imagined), so in order to complete the stress response, your body must feel safe. Positively connecting with another person, making you feel comfortable and safe, tells your body that it’s okay now–it’s safe now to end the stress cycle.
Did you know that just a 20-second hug has the power to improve your mood and normalize your blood pressure and heart rate? The cuddle hormone oxytocin is released by the body when hugging or snuggling up. Pets are great for this too if you happen to live alone.
Newsflash: It’s okay to cry! In fact, the physical aspect of crying, not the emotional part, is a powerful way to complete the stress cycle and shift energy. To do this, you can focus on crying itself rather than the painful thoughts and feelings.
4) Creative Expression
Creating something is one of the best ways you can transform your emotions–your energy–into something. You can paint, crochet, build, or create anything. It’s a way for you to put your emotions in a “safe place outside of yourself.”
I hope that these tips will help you manage your stress and prevent you from experiencing burnout.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!