Stress Reduction Tips to Avoid Burnout and Feel Better

By Val Silver

burnout stress relief

Burning out from stress? Put these 11 natural stress reduction tips into practice to help you avoid the harmful effects of burnout. Chronic distress causes a whole host of health problems including adrenal exhaustion, immune problems, mental disorders and heart disease. It compromises your sense of well-being and derails you from doing what is important in your life. It can happen in a remarkably short amount of time if your distress is severe enough and you are already in a compromised state of health.

Burnout stress can be experienced by anyone feeling intensely overwhelmed, overworked, unsupported, unappreciated, stressed out, and/or in pain emotionally or physically much of the time over a period of time. They do not feel a sense of control over their lives or situations they care about. Oftentimes, they have adapted ways of dealing with their distress that are more harmful than helpful in the long run. Tactics such as substance abuse, overeating, skimping on sleep and exercise, routine outbursts and isolation may temporarily ameliorate your feelings. As a habit, they compromise your well-being and relationships without improving your situation in the least. 

What is Burnout Stress?

Burnout stress can be experienced by anyone feeling intensely overwhelmed, overworked, unsupported, unappreciated, stressed out, and/or in pain emotionally or physically much of the time over a period of time. When you are in this mode, you do not feel a sense of control over your life or situations you care most about. 

Oftentimes, people in chronic distress have adapted ways of dealing with distressing conditions that are more harmful than helpful in the long run. Tactics such as substance abuse, overeating, skimping on sleep and exercise, routine outbursts, and isolation may temporarily subdue emotions but do not help the situation in the long run. Instead, these habits compromise  well-being and relationships without improving the situation in the least. 

11 Natural Stress Reduction Tips

 When you are facing on-going stressful situations with no imminent end in sight, it is important to integrate stress seduction techniques and good health habits part of your daily routine. If you do, the payoff will be important health and well-being dividends that sustain you for the long term. 

1- Guard your health.

Make this mindset priority number one. Without good mental and physical health, all the things you find so important to do cannot get done. The busier you are, the more stressful your situations, the more important it is to nurture and protect yourself in body, mind and spirit. Commit to taking care of yourself first. Then taking care of everyone and everything else will be easier and less stressful. 

Have you ever noticed how you often you get sick right after a major stressful event? Or you seem to age right before your eyes? Trying to cope for weeks or months at burnout stress levels costs your body a lot of nutrients and energy. All systems not needed for immediate survival, including your immune system and cell repair are put on hold.

If your adrenal glands become fatigued due to a high demand for cortisol, you will feel fatigued as well. Push them too far and you will find yourself too tired to get out of bed. That is too high a cost to pay when prevention is possible.

2. Adopt a holistic approach to stress.

Manage stress of body, mind and spirit. The idea of this three-pronged approach is to take as much unnecessary stress off yourself as possible. The higher your stress level, the more important this, and all the stress reduction tips, are. And yes, the more resistant to implementing them you will probably be. Take heart, there is overlap between them. Do what you can. It's important. 

3. Follow the principles of healthy living.

Take care of yourself. Good overall health makes your mind and body more resilient. Get enough quality sleep. Don't skimp on sleep.

Move your body often throughout the day, take relaxation breaks throughout the day, eat healthfully, and limit your exposure to toxins. During times of intense distress it is natural to want to fill your face with carbohydrate-rich junk food which break down quickly into glucose - the body's preferred source of fuel. In moderation, this is okay, but unless you really are physically running and fighting, make yourself reach for a variety of nourishing foods. 

Find tips for healthy living here.

4. Use stress remedies regularly. 

Herbs and supplements help relieve stress in two ways.  Calming, relaxing herbs like chamomile and lavender ease tension and anxiety in the moment and can be enjoyed as you need them.  Adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha  and rhodiola, help your body cope long term and are taken over months, even years. If you know you will be facing trying times, or if you already are, herbal allies can help. This does not mean you can fool Mother Nature with herbs and continue behaviors that create burnout stress. Humans are not built to live that way. 

Magnesium, a vitally important mineral, is burned up quickly by stress. It relaxes tension and spasms, and supports many biological processes. Almonds, cashews, whole grains, artichokes, beans, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, strong herbal infusions, and dark leafy greens are good sources of magnesium.

Natural Calm is a favorite magnesium supplement drink. Add magnesium chloride salts to the bath or rub the oil on the skin fifteen minutes before showering. A swim in the ocean is great too!



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5. Make 'me-time' a daily priority.

Yes, you can.  Do something nice for yourself every day, even if it only for five minutes at a time. Better yet, schedule in a twenty minute nap or meditation time. Get a massage or a manicure. Read a book. Enjoy your favorite hobby. Watch a feel-good movie. Take a hot bath. When you practice self care every day, you have more capacity for handling stress. The less time for relaxation  and 'me time' you think you have every day, the more important it is.

6. Gift yourself extended fun and relaxation time. 

You are a human being, not a human doing. Choose one day a week and an occasional weekend for a stay-cation. Give yourself permission to do what you love by yourself or with people you love without "shoulding" or feeling guilty.You need to recharge.

Lose yourself in your favorite hobby. Take a road trip. Do a movie marathon. Pack a picnic and the family, including the dog, for a meal and playtime at the park. If time and finances allow, go on a vacation away from home for at least a week or two once or twice a year. 

stress reduction tips

7. Boost your energy naturally.

When your energy is flagging because you are pushing yourself too hard, you may be tempted to reach for stimulating drinks. A little caffeine may be okay, but not the amount in several cups of coffee or an energy drink. Caffeine temporarily boosts energy by 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'. The energy boost it gives you comes from already taxed and exhausted body systems, thus stressing your body and increasing your energy deficit even more.

Instead, reach for healthful energy boosters. A cup of green tea, yerba mate tea or organic coffee provides a little caffeine pick-me-up along with anti-oxidants and other health benefits. Green tea is a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which has a calming and protective effect on the brain.

If you already have adrenal exhaustion, do not use stimulants. Get rest, rest and more rest, along with very little stress and plenty of nutrients. Adaptogenic herbs will help too, but recovery can take months. 

8. Exercise is a number one stress remedy.

 I know, you don't have time, right?  Well, here is the problem with that. Getting exercise is one of the top stress reduction tips because body chemistry changes under stressCortisol and adrenaline levels rise. If this extra energy is not expended through vigorous movement, cortisol stays at health damaging levels for hours. Yelling and arguing do not count. 

Here's a trick that works for me. Turn up the music and clean your house with so much gusto that you can't think about anything else. Same if you are running, bicycling, hiking or lifting weights. As an added bonus, your brain releases feel-good endorphins and you can check one more thing to stress about off your list. 

9. Give up everything stressful in your life that you can.

  This is perhaps one of the more difficult stress reduction tips to implement because habits are hard to let go of and so are people, even when they cause more stress than joy. 

Detoxify your life of as many chemicals, limiting beliefs, damaging emotions, tolerations, negative relationships, and anything else that keeps you from feeling healthy and happy or fulfilling your life's purpose as you see it. With this freed up energy and focus, you can cope more easily with the difficult situations and people you choose to keep in your life at this time. And yes, it is most often a choice. Own that and you will feel more in control.

10. Have a support network of people who love and care about you. Research shows that attending regular religious services and/or have a strong support system live longer, healthier lives. We all need someone to talk to and we all need help sometimes. 

Give yourself the gift of partnering with a therapist, minister, trusted friend, or a health and wellness coach to give you a fresh perspective and help you figure out how to cope with overwhelming challenges. It is difficult to think clearly about yourselves or your situations during these times. Trying to do everything for yourself and by yourself gives you a free ticket to burnout stress and anxious feelings.

10. Have a support network of people who love and care about you.

Research shows that attending regular religious services and/or have a strong support system live longer, healthier lives. We all need someone to talk to and we all need help sometimes. 

Give yourself the gift of partnering with a therapist, minister, trusted friend, or a health and wellness coach to give you a fresh perspective on your stressful circumstances and help you figure out how to cope with overwhelming challenges. It is difficult to think clearly about yourselves or your situations during these times. Trying to do everything for yourself and by yourself gives you a free ticket to burnout stress and anxious feelings.

11. Focus on solutions.

While it is important to acknowledge problems and learn from them, it is more helpful going forward to focus your attention, resources, and energy on solutions that solve the problem, improve the situation, or get the job done. Come up with a positive plan and follow it or tweak as necessary.

It feels better to work toward your goals and a positive outcome than to fight against something negative. Having a solution-focused outlook and a plan helps reduce overwhelm while making you gain a sense of control over the situation - two important factors in reducing distress. It also opens your mind to potential actions and opportunities you might miss if you are feeling stressed out about a problem and focusing on that. 

Handling distress using mind body stress reduction tips empowers you to take control over what many experts consider to be the most important aspect of health care.

As you put the stress reductions tips into practice more effectively in the short and long-term, you become less reactive and feel healthier. An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold when it comes to avoiding the ill effects of  burn out stress. These natural stress reduction tips can help. Make them an important part of your lifestyle. 

Subscribers: Download your free Ultimate Bath Guide in the members area for more stress relief tips and techniques to use in or out of the bath.  Yours free as a thank you gift for subscribing to Val's newsletter. You may unsubscribe anytime.

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