If you’re feeling exhausted, spent, stressed, and overwhelmed - that’s burnout. Some of us feel it at work and in our daily life, but it’s also possible to feel burnt out with specific activities, like maintaining a fitness routine or getting nutritious meals on the table. Here, we share some tips to conquer each of these types of burnout, so you can cultivate a healthier, happier you - even in these tough times.
Are your goals still working for you, or are they stressing you out? Aim for smaller, achievable goals instead (like a walk every day), or build a plan around one big goal (like running a 10k) to get you motivated again.
With the weather warming up, it’s easier to get excited about exercising outdoors again. Road cycling, hiking, paddling, socially distant bootcamps, and hill sprints are great ways to take advantage of the weather and get some fresh air.
Exercise is a definite mood-booster, thanks to the endorphins your body generates when working out. Even if you don’t feel all that happy during your workout or activity, try to remind yourself of how good it feels after.
If you’re struggling to exercise in the morning, try a lunchtime workout or activity, or squeeze in an evening walk before bed. While some times of day are better for exercise than others, it’s more important that you just get moving - whenever it works for you.
Get excited for exercise again by going on a new hike or bike adventure. While you’re focused on exploring and having fun, you won’t even notice you’re getting a good workout, too.
Maybe now isn’t the time to stick to an intense 12-week eating plan, or restrict some of the foods you love - and that’s okay. You’ll be less stressed about eating healthy if you cut yourself some slack right now!
Sure, it would be great if we could all eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods all the time - but realistically, most of us should just aim for balance and diversity in our diets. If you had a burger and fries for lunch, then have a lighter dinner. If you had pasta yesterday, then have more vegetables on your plate today.
On the weekends, make an event of dinner - try making fresh pasta, tacos, or recreating some of your favourite takeout dishes at home.
If extra effort is beyond you right now, it may be more helpful to just focus on easy, fast, healthy recipes that can get you through the week. Look for sheet pan meals, and ‘no-recipe recipes’ to try.
To get out of a cooking rut, treat yourself to a meal kit service for a week or two, or stock-up on nutritionally-balanced snacks (like Rumble Supershake!) to make healthy eating easier while we get through the next few weeks.
When you’re burnout at work, it feels like you’re on a hamster wheel - always running and not really getting anywhere. Help yourself and your team by congratulating each other’s wins (big and small), and practicing little courtesies - a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way!
Studies have shown that people feel more motivated and excited about their work when they feel like they’re making an impact. No surprise there! If you’re bogged down in administrative stuff, meetings, and other small-ball activities, try to organize your to-do list so you’re tackling at least one ‘big impact’ task every day.
It turns out that burnout at work isn’t an individual problem, it’s a systemic one. Check-in and connect with your coworkers, and do what you can to cultivate a culture of support and encouragement - since stronger relationships at work help fight burnout.
Simply talking about your work stress or exhaustion can help, whether you confide in a friend, a coworker, or talk to your managers to work on solutions.
Never underestimate the power of a vacation! Even if it’s months away, and real travel is off the table right now, booking a restorative mini-vacation, camping trip, or weekend away does wonders to get you back in the right headspace.
Novelty is a huge source of happiness - when we try something new and different, we get a little rush. So look for new parks or trails you could visit, a new takeout restaurant you can try - anything new and different.
Get a little novelty in your life, plus the satisfaction of completing something by taking on a small project. Try starting a small garden, fixing up a corner of your house, rearranging the furniture, or volunteering in your neighbourhood.
We all have zoom fatigue, so try picking up the phone and calling a friend every day, or every few days. A little human connection can help get you out of a funk.
Don’t just take breaks throughout the day, but try a proper screen or social media hiatus to reset and feel more present.
Maybe this means using your kid’s nap time to set-up a fake ‘coffee shop’ in your living room, complete with relaxing jazz music, baked goods, and hot tea while you read (guilty!). Whatever your source of stoke, set aside a little time for it.
The Bottom Line
This is a rough time, but remember that we’re all going through it, together! Connect with your friends and family, get out in nature, seek novelty, and cut yourself some slack. After all, summer's coming - it's going to be rad.