Dealing with burnout or being overwhelmed are both consequences of high amounts of stress. With overwhelming, you might be experiencing stress for a long time, which leads you to become overwhelmed with everything you are thinking and dealing with at the same time.
Burnout is similar, though it is typically when you become so exhausted mentally and physically, then it can affect your work, motivation, and energy.
Here are some hacks and tips that will help you to overcome both burnout and overwhelm.
A Healthy Body Means a Healthy Mind
Getting past your burnout, stress, and overwhelm always starts with your physical health. Not just because stress can affect you physically and actually make you ill, but because when you eat right and exercise, it has a long list of benefits for you.
If you want a healthy mind, you need to start with a healthy body. This means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. Get regular exercise and don’t forget to drink your water each day.
These small changes will make a big difference in your physical health, which will in turn help your mental health as well.
Stop Focusing on Time
Everything is always about time. Making time for your family, making time for work, looking at the clock every few minutes during your workday, trying to get out of the house with enough time to spare. All of this focus on time, whether it is time you feel you wasted, time to get stuff done, and feeling like your time is running out, causes a lot of unnecessary stress.
There are certain aspects of life where time is relevant, such as getting to an appointment or meeting on time, but don’t make your entire life revolve around time. It can be very overwhelming.
Stay Mindful of Positive Changes and a Better Outlook
When you have full-on burnout, it can be hard to use standard stress relief methods. By this point, you are having trouble just getting the bare minimum done, especially when you add in stress and overwhelm at the same time.
Instead of putting too much pressure on yourself, just start slow. One excellent “hack” to use is to be mindful during one moment every day. During that moment, give yourself a few minutes to re-focus your energy from a negative thing to a positive thing.
Maybe you are in your office after a meeting that caused you a lot of stress and tension, so you sit for 5 minutes and are mindful about something positive you feel right now.
This could be gratitude for this job you worked so hard for, happiness for your family and friends, or just understanding that the stressful situation is over and now you can appreciate you got through it.
Don’t Work Through Lunch
Stop working non-stop! Working more is NOT going to help you overcome burnout. You need a break. Your body and mind need rest. If you work too much all week long, then when the weekend comes, you have no energy left to live your life.
One small thing you can start doing right now is taking proper lunch breaks. Stop eating lunch at your desk, and stop talking to people on your phone when you’re eating lunch out of the office. Turn off your phone, enjoy this time, be mindful of your meal, and just relax. Work will be there waiting for you when your break is over.
Find What Gives You Positive Energy
Look for that thing in each day that makes you feel positive and happy. This is going to encourage more positive energy, which can then help to relieve some of the stress and tension you have been experiencing.
Again, this will be unique to you and your situation. It can be related to your home, your job, people in your life, achieving your goals, having accomplished something you put your mind to, being more physically healthy, losing weight, just about anything. Skyâs the limit on this one.
Start Saying No
Even if you have always been the person other people can count on to help them, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You have every right to say no to hosting a party, declining an offer to go out on your only night off this week, to doing an extra project at work.
You need to learn how to say no when you are already overwhelmed with all your own responsibilities.
I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your quest for a healthy mindset. Click the button below to receive your gift.
I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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