You rise to the morning alarm and begin your day with what appears to be a jolt of energy, but is simply the unwarranted fear of missing the 7.20am train, which would throw your already over-scheduled day out of whack.
You weed through the herd of morning commuters, caffeinated vice in hand, forming a mental to-do list for the day as you quickly scan the headlines of your various feeds and scramble together appropriate birthday wishes for your Facebook acquaintances. You review the social calendar for the upcoming week, only to discover that the ‘me time’ you were searching for has once again been shafted. Sound familiar? Why is it that we are constantly trying to remould the definition of busy? Is it self-inflicted torture or an unrealistic set of expectations imposed by society? Whichever way you cut it, the burnout trap looms in the distance.
We all experience a bump in the road every now and then and all we want to do is to slip into hibernation mode and relinquish all responsibility. The key is to refuel your tank regularly and make a conscious effort to take your foot off the accelerator and make use of the cruise function. If and when you feel your battery depleting, consider recharging with the following natural remedies to get your mind and body back on track.
Plan a holiday
The very act of planning a holiday may be all the therapy you need. Scanning the interwebs for the top activities and attractions to visit at one of your bucket list destinations is one of the best ways to temporarily escape the chaos. Giving yourself something to look forward to and harnessing the power of delayed gratification can soothe your exhaustion and recharge your happiness.
Start a bucket list
Similar to planning a holiday, creating a bucket list can restore your zest for life and help you greet each day with optimism and gratitude. Compiling a list of everything you want to accomplish before you leave this world provides you with a renewed sense of purpose which is truly invigorating. It’s not uncommon for your goals to be buried underneath your daily routine and weekly agenda. Fortunately, the simple act of momentarily shifting your focus to the future and reflecting on your hopes and dreams, can refresh your perspective and put you back in touch with what you value most. This epiphany will have a profound impact on how you approach each day.
Book a massage
Initiating a state of complete relaxation is virtually impossible when your thoughts are rapidly pulsing through your brain and you can feel yourself crumbling underneath an avalanche of exhaustion. Do yourself a favour and introduce yourself to the wonders of massage therapy. A therapeutic massage can reduce cortisol levels and activate Serotonin and Dopamine (your feel-good hormones) which is proven to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression.
Schedule in a workout
The thought of physically exerting yourself may seem ludicrous given your current state of exhaustion, however, incorporating just 10 minutes of exercise into your day is all it takes to mentally reboot your system and lift your mood. In fact, these short bursts of exercise carry the same health benefits as an hour-long sweat fest in the gym. So lose your preconceived notions about exercise, quit reaching for the manufactured energy boost and fight fatigue naturally with a daily dose of endorphins. Your mind, body and bank account will be forever grateful.
Schedule in some playtime
If you are in over your head at work, give yourself permission to breathe. Nothing good has ever come from drowning in a pool of stress. Take a day off, free yourself from responsibility and enjoy some well-deserved playtime, whatever that means to you. Feed your shopping addiction, binge watch your favourite tv show, hit the waves or crank the tunes and sing shamelessly into your imaginary microphone. Do whatever it is that flicks on your ‘joy’ switch. Breathe a sigh of relief, bask in the freedom and savour the sweet moments of absolute bliss.
You need to recognise that your go, go, go philosophy is unsustainable, and factoring in a pause button to recharge your mind and body is vital for building a sturdy barrier against burnout. Planning a holiday, creating a bucket list, scheduling a massage, establishing an exercise routine and enjoying a little playtime are just some of the ways to put the spring back in your step.