Burnout is a scary word, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a lot of ways you can recharge and reinvigorate yourself to prevent or reduce burnout – and that’s going to help you feel better, live better and put your energy into more positive pursuits!

Warning Signs of Burnout:

There’s no one sign of burnout and they aren’t all physical. However, here’s a list of common signs you may be heading in that direction.

  • Exhaustion
  • Isolation
  • Escape fantasies/daydreaming
  • Irritability
  • Frequent illnesses

It’s also important to remember burnout doesn’t happen all at once. It happens in stages, which makes it all the more important to take steps that can help prevent it.

How to Prevent Burnout

Get active:

When you’re already feeling stressed, it can be hard to feel motivated to exercise. A lack of exercise can not only affect your immune system, but also affect your mental well-being. You don’t need a gym or to spend hours building up a sweat either; short walks and 5 minute mini-workouts can be just the thing to break up the day and give you a little boost!

Catch some Z’s:

If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep a night, you may be heading toward burnout. Believe it or not but one of the keys to getting a better night’s sleep is practice. Going to bed at the same time each night, not watching TV before bed, and avoiding alcohol, food and caffeine late in the evening, can all become part of a routine that tells your body it’s time for sleep.

Fuel up:

Your body needs food to function. If you’ve been taking a heavier workload, it may be easier to order fast food rather than cook a nutritious meal, but there are delicious, convenient options to give you the boost you need to keep burnout at bay. Bananas, nuts and yes, even dark chocolate (in moderation!) can be just the thing to help your body stress a little less.

Take a minute:

Since burnout is caused by excessive stress, it’s important to find time to destress – even if it feels like you’re too busy. Your mind and body will thank you for it and taking some time to pause and relax can actually help you be more productive. It can be meditation, reflecting on your approach to tasks or it can even be the act of literally stopping and taking 10 deep breaths. It may not seem possible, but the time is there if you look… and that time away from work – even if it’s short – makes a monumental difference.