With wedding planning, settling into a new home, creating a routine with a new work sched, and a partner that travels for work, one thing's become crystal clear to me:
The modern world we live in is unforgiving to the burnout state.
We're overstimulated with our constant need to be occupied (social media, Netflix, podcasts in the background); undernourished with our overabundance of sugar, coffee and alcohol; and stressed out with the illusion that if we're not doing something, we're not worth anything.
But what happens when enough is enough and we're too tired (but still wired) and can't even think without feeling exhausted? That's the burnout stage and reaching that point is the danger zone. By the time you're burned out on life, your adrenals are likely fatigued, your gut is probably out of whack, your cravings for anything extra sweet or salty or fatty are undeniably increased, and you may even be seeing some hormonal acne or inflammation appear on your face.
Unfortunately, this state of burnout is the new normal! While I'm IN LOVE with many of the "trends" promoting slowing down (hygge, self care, creating ritual), we still live in a fast-paced society with jam-packed schedules, so it's important for us to schedule some time to also just do nothing.
Below are some tips I've shared on my friend Joanna's blog, Wandering Wellness, but with a few more twists added in. Take them + make them your own, and message me with any additional tricks you may have gathered yourself!
The sound of silence. Background noise, children yelling, podcasts, even music in the car can set someone over the edge if you’re already feeling irritable or overwhelmed. Remember that anxiety and stress is an activation, so turn it off and tune it out by turning down the volume on distracting noises. Top tip: put headphones in when appropriate while you’re walking around to drown out uncontrollable clatter.
Set down the devices. Blue lights from cell phones, computer screens and iPads can not only throw off your body’s natural rhythm, but also heightens your attention and reaction, while suppressing secretion of melatonin. During the day this is fine, but if you’re already roused from the millions of items on your to-do list or the cortisol spike from your busy day, it may be best to step away from your gadgets and read a book, play outside or simply have a conversation with a loved one. (You know, IRL.)
Take a social detox. Just as it's better to just set your screens aside, taking a break from social media comes with that. Constantly plugging in to sources of comparison, judgement and distraction like Facebook or Instagram doesn't serve you and your purpose here on Earth - whatever that is. It certainly doesn't serve your need to recharge, either, so dial it down and plug your phone in so it, too, can charge up.
Turn up the magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that most Americans are deficient in, but is a big supporter of chilling out and calming the F* down. It's essential in helping our muscles relax and rejuvenate, including our hearts, and suppresses our brain's ability to release stress hormones, making it super important to increase our consumption of this mineral for mental and physical health. I love adding this Anti-Stress drink powder from Natural Calm to my water on the daily.
Kick the caffeine. When adrenals are fatigued and it feels like we’re simply in survival mode, the first thing many turn to is caffeine. You get your jolt from coffee, soda or chocolate and you’re better because of it, right? Not exactly. Stimulants like caffeine and sugar can do more harm than good by putting your adrenals into overdrive, accelerating the release of cortisol. Try replacing your morning cup of joe with a rich Turmeric Latte (+ added adaptogens like Ashwaghanda for good measure!), or roasted dandelion tea to support your liver and kidneys while still getting a coffee-like experience.
Get some sleep! Even when it feels like you don’t have the time to get more sleep, make time. Ever-elusive sleep is the granddaddy of them all when it comes to supporting your adrenals and nourishing your body so it maintains optimal health. Can’t sleep? Listen to a guided yoga nidra meditation, dab essential oils like lavender or bergamot behind your ears, or have a journal next to your bed ready for a brain dump when you have a lot of thoughts to release.