How to practice self-care when you're feeling burnt out
How often do you treat yourself?
Self-care is about looking after your wellbeing, rewarding yourself for small accomplishments, putting yourself first and ultimately taking a break to relax and feel good.
Sadly, not everyone has “me-time” to enjoy. It's easy to get wrapped up in busy work schedules that we neglect ourselves and forget to enjoy life! We work hard to pay our bills and mortgages, we have goals to achieve, or families to feed and we feel guilty for taking a break, or saying "no". We work extra hours because we're worried about meeting a deadline or to show our bosses we deserve that promotion. And it's no wonder life is expensive for many people. Basic human needs just keep getting more and more costly. So we work harder and more tirelessly to keep up with the 'rat race'. Ultimately, all our time revolves around our jobs and we’ve have no energy left to do things that make us happy and spend quality time with our loved ones. It's not healthy. It has a huge negative impact to your mental health and your relationship with your loved ones.
"A recent study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% reported feeling burnt out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burnt out sometimes." (1)
No-one is immune from burnout. It can hit the high-achieving executive, the nurse or around the clock caregiver, even the everyday employee. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you find yourself being inducted. It’s a topic to be aware of and talk about openly so you know the signs and can prevent it.
Top tips to avoid burn out and practice self-care:
Having a digital detox aims to reduce stress and anxiety caused by the overuse of technology. What would life be without the internet? It's hard to imagine, isn't it? As it’s not possible to get rid of technology entirely, nor it is realistic to think we can go completely screen-free, decreasing your screen time will really reap you some life benefits. I know it's tough, especially when you are bored, but it's nice to do something other than staring at your computer screen, or twiddling on your mobile phone all day – right? Reconnect to nature, socialise with family and friends, do your hobbies and increase your physical activities. Studies show that addiction to the internet can negatively impact your sleep and mental health (2). Avoiding screens before bedtime is just one way you can look to improve the quality of your sleep.
Every now and then, you deserve a pampering! And a pampering doesn't have to mean cucumber slices on your eyes, or expensive spa visits. Why not try something new? Start a morning and night-time skincare routine. Try a hydrating face-mask or serum to rejuvenate your skin and boost your self esteem. Grab your favourite essential oil, book a yoga class with your bestie, splash out on a shopping spree, indulge in a relaxing bath, or simply snooze with a rewarding catnap. Even just forcing yourself to really pause throughout the day, stretch your legs and make a nice cup of tea (or your comfort drink of choice) can work wonders. It's important to feel good about yourself and do something that promotes emotional and physical wellbeing.
Regular exercise and sleep
Are you one of those who sits all day at work, then you come home feeling burnt out and spend the rest of your day or evening sitting on the couch? And because you are burnt out, exercise is the last thing in your mind. We don't blame you! But these bad habits can negatively affect your health within a few years. Exercise is the miracle cure we've always had.
"If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented," says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term chronic conditions." (3)
Keep yourself active! If you can't afford gym membership, there are a lot of ways to exercise. You can try home workouts or join the family dog walks. Try tracking your exercise through your daily step count - it's the perfect place to start building up your mobility and it’ll dramatically improve your mood. Get that bum moving!
Just like exercise, sleep is also essential. Together, they are Mother Nature's super set of wellbeing 101. Ensure you're getting healthy amounts of sleep - it has a great impact on your physical and mental health. It maintains the balance of your hormones, improves mood, enhances memory and decision-making and the list goes on and on and on. We need sleep as much as we need food. So what prevents us from getting quality sleep? Stress! It's the biggest contributor to poor sleep. Let's face it, we all suffer from some degree of stress. It's part of being a human, but what's not okay is letting stress affect the quality of your life. There are several ways you can help alleviate stress. Try breathing exercises, listen to soothing music, go for a warm bath before bedtime and of course aromatherapy. Essential oils are proven to be beneficial to relieving stress and anxiety. It decreases cortisol "the stress hormone" and helps you relax and prepare your mind for a better night's sleep. One of the products to use is a trusty pillow mist to bathe your pillow in a sleep oasis.
De-stress and unwind
Had a long busy day? Remember, you are a human and not a robot. Now do yourself a favour, switch off and forget about work – or anything else that's troubling your mind. Listen to your body. When you are tired, rest. Treat yourself to things that make you happy. Make time for your hobbies or go on a well-deserved holiday. Remember, you are 'working to live', so enjoy things in life, you don't want to fall into the trap of 'living to work'. After a tiring day, go to your cosy corner, spritz your favourite pillow/room spray, or light your aromatherapeutic candle. Put your feet up and relax! Take your time to wind down. You deserve it! It’s your “Me-time”.
Are you a workaholic? Or the type of person who brings work home or reads work emails while off the clock? Setting yourself some clear boundaries will help you realign your work-life balance. Work and personal life will always fluctuate, but it's important to register when the scales are tipping too often to one side - which is normally 'work', think about priorities and always make time for the things that matter in your life.
One of the secrets to happiness is being kind to yourself. And that's what self-care is all about. Love yourself. It’s okay, it’s not being selfish. You deserve to be happy.