We know it’s not just us here at HBFIT experiencing burnout. It is becoming an epidemic. As women we juggle more than our male counterparts, and while that makes us the stronger gender (sorry boys) it also makes us the more tired one. It’s important to keep a semblance of balance in your life to keep yourself from reaching exhaustion, but easier said than done. Here are a few ways for you to check in with your body and mind and stay above water. And remember, it’s ok if you need to stop swimming and just float for a while!
First, ask yourself how you feel. It can be difficult to identify burnout because we feel like if we’re not always on the go we’re not being productive and that sentiment is wrong. Here’s how to clue in:
- Feeling exhausted, emotionally and physically
- Lack of sleep, concentration, and appetite
- Getting sick often, you can’t seem to shake your cold or that mood
- Feeling alone or alienated. At work, with friends, or with family.
- You don’t feel like you’re achieving your personal best
- Giving up normal activites, i.e not working out everyday because you just don’t have the energy
- Anxiety or depression or both!
Any of these sound familiar? It’s definitely time to do something about it, one step at a time.
Then look to your body. Prioritize your health. Change up your routine! Sometimes a big part of burnout is just being stuck in a rut. Try a new workout class that the thought of doesn’t make you want die. We just recently tried FLX at 305 Fitness and it was mostly stretching/laying on your mat getting in touch with what your body really needs, a time to relax. Olivia swears by long walks when she’s feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry about distance and let your mind wander or download some new tracks or a new podcast. Get some fresh air, go apple picking, it might be corny, but you’ll get some cute content and you will feel loads lighter being outside.
Go see your doctor, because this tiredness could be something going on with your body. Have you heard of adrenal fatigue? The (unproven) theory is that your adrenal glands can’t keep up with your lifestyle, and overstimulation by chronic stress over time could lead to these guys not being able to produce enough hormones to make you feel good. Hormones help our bodies manage stress, sleep, weight, and overall health. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, and low blood pressure. Check with your doctor if you think your burnout could be a sign of something larger.
Are you getting your vitamins? Getting extra B12, B-complex, C, and iron can really improve your body’s energy levels. Try vitamins or increase your spinach, sweet potato, kale, bananas, and citrus intakes. For vitamin brands we love Care/of, Hum, and Olly.
Now let’s talk supplements and adaptogens. Here is our cheatsheet on what you can take to help improve your mood, energy, and alertness. We love rhodiola, ashwagandha, and reishi to help keep our balance (body and mind). Try incorporating reishi and rhodiola into your morning routines and ashwagandha at night. One of our favorite things to make before bed is a nighttime tonic. Heat some almond milk in a pan, add ashwagandha, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and vanilla extract until combined and enjoy about 30 minutes before you hit the hay!
How is your diet these days? Sometimes giving your body what it wants is important (i.e binge some cheese and crackers) and sometimes giving your body what it needs is more important (get your greens in people!). Try some new recipes like this bomb salad or these pancakes to change things up.
Next, let’s move to your mind. How do you take care of your brain? Because as we say almost every day, mental health is self care. Figure out the source of your burnout. Is it work? Is it your friends? Is it your apartment? Get to the source and open up. Talk to your work wife about how stressed out you are or ask your boss out for a cup of matcha to discuss what’s going on. Acknowledge that tension with your BFF about her new boyfriend. Sometimes all we have to do is approach the elephant in the room and get her back in the zoo. You might not be able to put your finger on it, and that’s ok! General burnout is a thing. But we recommend talking to someone about it. Tamar emphasizes how important it is to make yourself vulnerable and ask for help. Go to a therapist, call your mom, cry to a stranger in the bathroom, just get it off your chest! The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. Once you get real with what you have going on it seems much less scary to tackle.
Eliminate some things. Say no to drinks for the third night in a row, do a deep clean of your closet, unfollow some of those b*tches on Instagram whose stories you, if you’re being honest, can’t stand but watch anyway. Or say yes to something new. Ask the new girl at your office to go grab lunch. If you can afford it, take a vacation and not just for a weekend.
Read or watch or listen to something empowering, something funny, or something candid. Corinne’s go-tos when she’s feeling the burn are The Office and New Girl. And in a time where being a woman can seem endlessly complicated, we’re listening to this podcast and reading this beautiful book to not feel so alone.
Find your community. Join a club, a group, or start your own! Get involved in a charity, sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is help out someone else. Or, start an Instagram club. DM 5 of your friends or complete strangers and start a convo. Sometimes the most important things happen in the DMs.
Our last piece of advice comes from that cheesy sign hanging in your doctor’s office. Laughter is the best medicine. Go out for a night with your girlfriends, go see a rom-com by yourself, spend some time with your baby cousins. Find some humor in the little things. Sometimes an attitude shift is all you need.
Stretching yourself too thin is real, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. All of the above might be easier said than done, but if you take baby steps towards taking care of yourself it can feel way less overwhelming. Start your week off with a workout, change something at dinner, clean your desk at work, buy yourself a new bougie ass candle and burn it while you have your face mask on at night. Hell, watch those housewives and order seamless. The most important thing about all of this is letting yourself off the hook. It’s ok to feel exhausted, stressed, or anxious. Don’t judge yourself for it.