Burnout is a problem sweeping the country — the desire to do everything and do it well is one that we can all sympathize with, and no matter how hard it is to admit it, we can’t do it all, and stress can take its toll.
Often, our bodies serve as the best reminders that it’s time to rest: severe fatigue, ennui, and even hopelessness following periods of stress are signs of burnout, but so are lowered immunity, frequent headaches and back pain, or even insomnia.
Luckily, you can combat burnout naturally. Here are five great ways to overcome the symptoms associated with burnout and get back to feeling like yourself again.
1. Boost Your Immunity
It’s important to care for the immediate symptoms of burnout, one of which is a depleted immune system. Feeling sick on top of feeling all of the direct symptoms of burnout such as lethargy and fatigue can make everything seem even more difficult to get a handle on. By boosting your immunity, your body won’t suffer nearly as much.
Alongside a healthy diet of whole fruits and vegetables, consider boosting your immune system even more with foods like garlic, citrus, and ginger. Try our immunity-booster ginger and grapefruit cocktail first thing in the morning to get your day off to the best possible start.
2. Care for Your Adrenal Gland
Burnout is also sometimes also called adrenal burnout, as it is linked to the adrenal gland. The body uses the adrenal gland to respond to stress, which means that when the adrenals become depleted, the body loses this ability, and burnout can ensue.
While some cases of adrenal burnout are more severe than others, when brought about by day-to-day stressors, adrenal burnout can usually be remedied by modifying your diet. Excessive carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol can stress the adrenals, as can insufficient protein.
A healthy, balanced diet can be supplemented with nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, and E, manganese, and zinc. Increasing consumption of adaptogens, such as specific adrenal herbal remedies, can also help with increased adrenal health.
3. Get Moving
When you’re experiencing symptoms of burnout, one of the last things you may want to do is get up and move. But studies have shown that exercise can help diminish anxiety and increase endorphins. A 2004 study from the University of Southern Mississippi is just one of many that showed that students who exercised reduced their sensitivity to anxiety.
When using exercise as a remedy for burnout, choose something that does not create additional stress for you. If you’re stressed about going to a new gym or starting a new exercise class, wait until you’ve gotten your groove first. Try a brisk walk first thing in the morning or on your lunch hour, or a stop by the municipal pool on the way home from work to ease into regular exercise.
Making it a family affair can make exercise even more fun; bring your significant other or even your kids along for a weekend hike.
4. Meditate (and Not About Burnout)
It can be tough to tell yourself you need meditation when you’ve moved past stress and anxiety into the melancholy that defines full-blown burnout. After all, you feel useless and lethargic — why would meditating help? But meditating truly can help you recharge and feel rejuvenated; a 2014 study showed that mindfulness meditation programs can improve anxiety and depression.
Meditation doesn’t necessarily have to mean sitting in the lotus position (although it’s a good place to start!). But if that doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, take some time just for you, whatever that may entail.
Still, you can also take a long bubble bath with some aromatherapy oils or candles, read a good book, or simply take a walk in nature. Do whatever it takes to get away from the demands that surround you, and to empty your mind as much as possible.
5. Turn Away from Screens
From television to computers to phones, most of us spend the majority of our days attached to screens that demand our time and attention, and having a work e-mail pop up when you’re just trying to play Candy Crush can add to the stress and aggravation of daily life.
But keeping work from encroaching on your home life isn’t the only reason you might want to shut down your computer. Several studies have shown that too much screen time is linked to atrophy of brain matter.
Consider taking one day a week — or even just a few evenings — and going completely screen-free. Read a book, listen to music, or play a board game. Interacting on a personal level instead of through a screen will surely help overcome burnout and make you feel ready to take on the world again.
Related on EcoSalon
The 5 Best Immune System Boosters to Prevent Colds and the Flu
Stressed, Anxious, Frayed? 24 Simple, Effective Ways to Quiet Your Mind in 24 Hours or Less
Treating Stress the Natural Way
Burnout image via Shutterstock