There was a time not so long ago when using essential oils was very unusual. Not only rare, they were expensive and frequently conjured a stereotype of being a hippie-mum who would deny their children modern medical care in favour of oiling up their families. Today, essential oils are much more mainstream and relatively affordable. More people than ever are sharing their home-remedies for everything from allergies, migraines, and digestive issues to preventing burnout.
Can essential oils help prevent burnout?
Looks like they can!
A review of the nature of essential oils indicates that when used correctly, they can help reduce or prevent certain types of stress and alleviate many symptoms of physical distress. Essential oil use can reduce symptoms of physical stress as well as quell side-effects or distressing symptoms of many illnesses. All this reduction in stress and pain will undoubtedly help reduce the occurrence of many forms of burnout.
Depending on the type of stress or the...
Are you a fan of caffeine? Caffeine is a source of energy that many people rely on to start off their mornings and get them through their day. Light to moderate doses of caffeine on an occasional basis can be very effective for uses ranging from bumping up wakefulness to fighting off migraine headaches - but what happens when someone overuses caffeine?
A Google search can produce countless hits discussing the positive and negative effects of caffeine on the mind and body. A case could be made both to support or discourage caffeine use. Your own bottom line is drawn by taking a personal inventory and assessing how caffeine use is affecting you personally.
Here are some warning signs that caffeine may be a culprit for your fatigue:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms,...
Overwhelm is the gateway to fatigue and burnout. Being in a constant state of overwhelm is a surefire way to cause fatigue and ultimately burn you out. Being overwhelmed can affect your adrenal system which is responsible for producing hormones that help manage mood, stress, and other aspects of living. While adrenal fatigue is currently not a recognised medical condition, adrenal insufficiency is and can be very serious.
Adrenal insufficiency is the inability to produce one of more of the hormones needed to manage fight or flight responses. Adrenal fatigue is thought to be the result of adrenal glands being overworked by a body in a constant state of fight or flight or overwhelm. Whether or not adrenal fatigue is recognised as a legitimate medical condition, there is mounting evidence that there is a toll taken on the body caused my chronic overwhelm.
Some symptoms of adrenal insufficiency and adrenal fatigue are:
Are you a creature of habit? Depending on those habits, your behavioural patterns may be contributing to your burnout. Maintaining behavioural patterns that set you up for overwhelm and failure will lead to burnout - if you don't get a handle on them and learn to correct their impact.
Some typical burnout-inducing behaviours:
Procrastination - Putting things off is the biggest contributing factor to burnout. All due dates come eventually. Procrastinating leads to last-minute chaos and frenzy trying to make up for lost time. What once could have been an easy task with plenty of time to complete becomes a looming disaster with no time to spare.
Passive-aggression - Avoiding necessary conflict and refusing to address important issues leads to burnout. Resentments and anger flare up even when suppressed, and while we may not intentionally take harmful action, oftentimes some passive-aggressive behaviours start to emerge.
Not saying "no" - Saying "yes" to everything really means saying...
We live in a society that holds self-autonomy and multitasking in the highest regard. Being independent and able to juggle multiple expectations at once is rewarded with recognition, income, and... even more responsibility.
At some point, the weight of that responsibility and our workload takes their toll on us and fatigue sets in. Left unchecked, burnout is certain to follow. While there are many ways to protect against burnout, one of the most effective is delegation.
One definition of delegation: The assignment of responsibility or authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is one of the core concepts of management leadership. However, the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. - Wikipedia
If you have a type-A personality that loves micro-managing, the thought of trusting someone else with your responsibilities may seem as exciting as pulling teeth, but it is a...
It's 3:00 pm and you could really use a nap... but that is not an option. What are you going to do?
None of these ideas are going to be a long-term best practice. In fact, over time, any of these three choices will lead to weight gain, fatigue, and eventually- burnout!
What can be done to avoid the afternoon slump?
There are decisions you can make all day long that will help reduce the fatigue and burnout caused by unnecessarily losing bits of your energy and productivity each day. Check these out:
Get to bed on time - Setting a bedtime and sticking to it reduces your fatigue and helps your body stay in its natural rhythm.
Get quality sleep - Going to bed on time is a start, but it's just as important to get a good night's sleep. Create a distraction-free, comfortable sleep environment. A quality mattress with comfortable sheets is essential, as is controlling the temperature. Also, avoiding...
It probably goes without saying that eating a nourishing diet is directly connected to our mental and physical well-being. What we put into our bodies is used as fuel to propel us through each day. The better the quality of our fuel, the better our stamina and overall ability to manage whatever comes at us.
Having said that, it is alarming that most people aren't able to utilise the full potential of their diet as a tool. For some, such as those living in food deserts, acquiring nourishing food requires extra planning and resources. For others, eating becomes a sensory escape from the stress of their lives - even to the point of the compulsive comfort-seeking seen in any number of other addictions.
When combating fatigue and recovering from burnout, your food choices are likely one of the easiest aspects of your life to take personal control over. Your diet choices don't belong to anyone else but you. You don't have to get permission to eat foods that nourish your body. You don't...
Has your fatigue and overwhelm gone from bad to worse? Have you gone past the point of being in jeopardy of burning out into feeling the full-fledged effects of burnout? It's time to get yourself back on track and find new and better ways to avoid future burnouts.
You can avoid burnout's overwhelm and associated feelings by learning the three D's that prevent burnout.
Here are those three D's to prevent burnout from becoming an issue again:
Design - Design and plan as much of your day, week, and month as possible. Having a framework for your time spent helps to avoid burnout. Even if you love flying by the seat of your pants, don't discount the benefits of a little structure. Making an emphasis on certain important elements of your life allows you to build in the freedom to be spontaneous. Prioritising those things that are non-negotiable and getting them out of the way or making sure that they will be handled means you won't have to stress out about...
When was the last time you took a vacation? It may seem obvious that taking a holiday can help reverse burnout, but only a small percentage of people actually disengage and disconnect from their daily sources of stress for a restful holiday. Most of us allow excuses and anxieties to prevent us from unplugging and taking a meaningful break.
What are the two biggest reasons people give for not taking a holiday?
On the surface, these seem like valid mitigating circumstances - but there are ways around both roadblocks if you are committed to find time to spend taking care of yourself.
1. Time - Many people believe they have no time to take a holiday: that their business will implode, their lives are fundamentally too hectic, or any number of other worries. No matter the reason, time needn't be a roadblock to taking a holiday. If you are blessed to work in an industry that accumulates paid holiday, you are much more likely to be able to use that time to take a...
First off, let's clarify that for our purposes "mental health" is referring to the ability to experience inner peace, clarity, and a sense of stability in our often-chaotic world. In this instance, to describe mental health is not to talk about the disorders of mood or mind, but the presence of mind that comes from feeling in control and energised about living in general.
That being said, our mental health is absolutely tied to our experience of burnout. If we are overwhelmed, overworked, and overextended, we are unable to walk with ourselves in confidence and peace - which affects our mental health. Fatigue and burnout increase the potential to experience issues like anxiety and depression - which are sometimes manifestations of the root cause of burnout.
Therefore, it is so important to prevent and recover from burnout as soon as you become aware it is happening. Preserving our mental health isn't a luxury, it is a necessity! Doing what we need to do to set ourselves up for...