What Does Burnout Really Mean? And How Do We Avoid Burnout?
As we head towards the close of the year, you may notice that you’re feeling more frazzled than usual. Perhaps your energy isn’t exactly where you want it to be, or that you’re feeling more impatient, worn out, stressed out, frustrated…or maybe all of the above!
These are all signs of burnout. With a big B. Burnout is really about energy in your life building up, and not being adequately processed and released. So it builds and builds until you feel like you are about to explode–or about to break down.
Energetic buildup can come from many forms, including from toxins, low-sleep nights, stress, excessively working with little down time and so on…
4 Cornerstones of True Wellness
My philosophy is built around The 4 Cornerstones of True Wellness. These are:
- Emotional Well-being
- Spiritual Growth
When we nurture ourselves as whole beings and in all of these cornerstones, we feel our best, most connected versions of ourselves. If we continue to deplete ourselves in any or one of these areas, we will feel the very real (and unpleasant) effects of burnout, which unfortunately adversely affect all areas of our lives. Our energy levels start to tank, our skin looks “bad” (we know the difference), our patience runs thin and we feel less creative and more stuck.
The solution to avoiding burnout lies in adding in practical practices to move energy and create more flow in all of these 4 key areas, or Cornerstones.
Tips to Get Started with Avoiding Burnout
Nourishing and Easy Food
Try making bowls for yourself, where you choose each food component based on your intuition to be the most nourishing for you right now. Food is an important want to nourish yourself, and we need to check in always to see what is right for us in that moment.
Bowls are also great because they’re about simplicity. The last thing we need to add to our to-do list is complicated recipes! Try just simply dressing, stir-frying or baking each component with spices and seasonings.
Some great bowl examples include: brown rice, quinoa, carrots, Brussels sprouts, lentils, beans, spinach, sprouts and so on…
Take Care of Your Body
Go for at least a 15 minute walk every day. It’s physical exercise, yes, yet beyond that, it’s a great way to get outside and syncopate to Mother Nature’s powerful balance. It also helps us feel in flow, move energy like stress, improve circulation, and avoid feeling stagnant.
It’s my personal main form of exercise, and a daily practice, and it definitely helps me avoid burnout on a daily basis. I like to walk in silence or while listening to uplifting chanting music, like from Krishna Das.
Cultivate Emotional Well-Being
Emotions are meant to be energy in motion. Check in to see if you need to sit more with something that has not yet been processed, so it doesn’t stagnate emotionally! A great way to do this is to journal in the evenings.
3 Questions for Journaling
- Is there anything I need to process right now? If so, what is it? What does it feel like in my body?
- Is there anything else I can let go of?
- What am I grateful for?
It’s always good to take some time to sit and reflect. And then to end with focusing on the gratitude and seeing the light that is always there if we look for it!
Take Time for Spiritual Growth
Mini meditations are amazing for resetting! Try closing your eyes, taking some deep breaths into your belly, relax your shoulders. Be there for one minute or a bit more, and close in gratitude. Notice the difference just from that!
Of course, longer meditations are wonderful for our daily progress forward in connecting with our True Self. The more we anchor in to that, the less we over-identify with the ups and downs of daily life and take things so seriously, which definitely leads to burnout.
Check out some of the free Practical Enlightenment Meditations that I offer, which are under 10 minutes (you can certainly extend them by sitting for as long as you would like beyond the guidance!).
Try any of all of these tips today!
I do recommend going wider and more holistic in your self-care across all 4 of the Cornerstones to successfully avoid burnout, versus getting too overly focused on just one or two of them.
Namaste and love!
Kimberly Snyder is a multi-time New York Times bestselling author, spiritual and meditation teacher, nutritionist and holistic wellness expert. She has authored 6 books, including Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Her highly anticipated 6th book, You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life, (Hay House) published on January 25th, 2022.
She is also the founder of Solluna®, a holistic lifestyle brand, Practical Enlightenment Meditation,™ Solluna Circle and the host of her top-rated Feel Good Podcast. She has worked with dozens of top celebrities to feel their best, including Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon and Channing Tatum, and has been featured by numerous national media outlets, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Kimberly resides in Los Angeles and Hawaii with her husband and her sons.
Kimberly Snyder Author Photo by Kevin Estrada