How to Practice Self-Care to Avoid Burnout
We are a busy people – working long hours, constantly connected to email and social media, and continuously trying to balance the responsibilities of our professional and personal lives. It’s easy to see why burnout is such a common experience.
In our eagerness to do more, more, more, we often end up ignoring the signs of our body until it’s too late. Having to undo all the damage of burnout is a difficult and exhaustive task, but there are ways to avoid these disastrous effects. By implementing a simple daily self-care routine and finding ways to balance your work and personal lives, you may be able to stop burnout before it stops you.
Consider what your mornings look like right now. Is it usually rushed? Frantic? Do you start your day frazzled? Think of simple ways to create a more peaceful morning routine. Maybe that means you get up 15 or 30 minutes earlier to give yourself more time to get ready, possibly do a gentle morning yoga, or just sit quietly and set a positive intention for the day. Start your morning with a calmness and ease to set the tone for the rest of the day.
As you go through your day, check-in with yourself and notice the times when you are stressed, tense, and overwhelmed. Remember to pause and take a deep breath in those moments. If possible, remove yourself from the situation momentarily so you can stretch out the tension in your neck and shoulders. Tending to your physical body can also help you release some negative emotions. Use this time-out to remember the intention you set in the morning and recall the peaceful way you started.
If you work in an office, pay attention to your posture, the rhythm of your breathing, and any tension in the upper body. Tending to these seemingly small things can make a huge difference in preventing long term problems; physically and emotionally. Make it a habit to look up from your computer as often as possible and get up from your desk whenever you can. Try not to eat at your desk; take advantage of your lunch break and use that time to unwind and nourish your body.
After a long day, it’s important to have an evening routine that is loving and nurturing. It’s time to appreciate yourself for all the hard work you’ve done and rejuvenate. Ask yourself what would be the most relaxing or enjoyable activity today? It looks different for everyone and can change from day to day. Maybe for you, it’s carving out some time to read a book or take a bath or just sit on the front porch in silence for a few minutes. Whatever it is, take the time for yourself, knowing that it will benefit everyone.
As you develop a self-care routine that works for you, remember to be flexible as things come up and schedules change. Self-care is about doing what’s best for yourself in the moment, allowing you to manage stress before it overwhelms you. You deserve to live the healthiest and happiest life, fulfilling the very best version of yourself. Creating a self-care routine is part of the journey of getting there.