By Joëlle Amouroux-Huttner
When life hits hard, it is very tempting to burn the candle at both ends in an attempt to regain control and deflect the hardship. We are continuously trying to tackle whatever obstacle is in our way. Unfortunately, this leaves us overextended, drained and totally exhausted, both physically and mentally. Therefore, it is critical to take care of yourself in order to replenish your batteries. Here are 7 ways to achieve this.
- Cultivate the art of self-care.
Learn to slow down, to push back. Learn to become a "human being" once again, as opposed to a "human doing". Disconnect from the demands of your life, even if only for an hour a day; read a book, pamper yourself, do whatever as long as you disconnect.
- Learn to breathe deeply.
When deep breathing (a.k.a. belly breathing), you are activating your diaphragm which has a relaxation effect on the body. When we are in a rush, we take shallow breaths, not properly filling our lungs. In turn, it prevents us from activating that relaxation mechanism - 5 or 10 deep breaths is all that is required.
- Treat your body to healthy food.
When stressed, eating and food consumption becomes either a chore that takes up precious time or a way to quiet our deepest feelings of fear or discomfort. We end up eating a sandwich on the corner of our desk and/or raiding the freezer for any comfort junk food we can put our hands on. Our body is craving "real" nutrition, full of vitamins and minerals. Taking the time to cook a decent meal can be a way to nurture yourself (see point 1) and to feed your body what it really craves and providing it with all the energy it needs
- Move your body.
Exercise is key to reducing your stress level. While some will benefit from a hard training in order to "sweat it out", if you feel you are burning out, you may want to investigate a softer exercise method. Yoga, stretching, tai-chi... Even just walking would be good. The idea is to get the benefits of exercise without exhausting yourself further.
- Be outside in the sun.
Increasing your level of vitamin D will leave you feeling more upbeat and ready to take on the day. We are not suggesting being out till you burn, but 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure will provide you with your daily dose of vitamin D and replenish any depletion.
- Incorporate things that make you happy into your life.
Many people forgot long ago to consider what makes them happy. For some, it is almost unseemly to make themselves happy. And so we forgot. Take a minute and remember. If you persist you will realize that there are simple things that make you happy, the smile of your child, a flower from your local flower shop, the smell of a cup of coffee... You will realize that those little things are not complicated to achieve but you are not paying attention to them. Do. Work at incorporating those little moments into your life on a daily basis. Enjoy them...
If you are burning out, chances are you are not sleeping well or enough. While many consider sleeping a luxury, regularly cutting their nights short, it is very important to consistently achieve a good night sleep. Accept that you are tired and that you need to rest. If you are sick, rest. If you are tired, sit down and close your eyes. Take care of yourself. Rest.
If you have burned out, or feel you might be on the way to doing so, taking care of yourself is paramount and does not need to be complicated nor taxing. Implementing all, or even just a couple of these points should help you to get back on track and quickly rejuvenate your life.
Joelle Amouroux-Huttner is a life coach specializing in burnout. She helps people to consistently flourish and become stronger, more assured in their choices. They go from strength to strength and they take on bigger challenges confidently. If you need a boost in confidence, then Joelle is the coach for you. Joelle holds an MBA, she is an accredited Life Coach and accredited advanced EFT practitioner. For more info: visit Joelle's website www.joellespractice.com or her Facebook page www.facebook.com/joellespractice. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.