Preventing & Overcoming Burnout
We have all had moments, periods in life, of feeling less than stellar. We may feel totally lethargic, like we are unable to take on the once easy tasks of life. We may have a short temper and snap at people and things that once would have never bothered us. We may have a lack of enthusiasm towards tasks that we once loved so much. This is now becoming a norm in todays GRIND society, BUT it does not have to be the norm and you do not have to feel this way.
Burnout affects most people at some point in their lives, leaving them feeling depressed, tired, angry. Burnout affects relationships, it affects how we pursue our passion, how we do our jobs. Life comes with seasons of abundance and seasons of 'stress' and growth. My goal is to give you the tools to combat burnout and to live filled with energy, zest, and joy in each season of life!
My burnout journey began in 2011. I grew up as an active kid, always moving, going, competing. I went on to play college volleyball. I loved and still love to compete. Post college, my childhood best friend (who also played college volleyball) and I yearned to still compete physically, so we decided to sign up for a Marathon in Tucson, Arizona! I googled a running plan and my journey began. I was diligent about logging my miles, while still teaching Bootcamp and Spin. The race came and went and all was great. Shortly after, I gained 10 pounds and developed plantar fasciitis. What the heck was happening? I never had gained weight before and I surely did not expect it after running so many miles. This is a common scenario known as Chronic Cardio Syndrome, which we will dive into shortly.
My second burnout story that I know many can relate to occurred about 2 years ago. I love what I do. I love training. I love staying busy. I also WAS a people pleaser. I WAS your yes girl. This scenario left me very physically and emotionally burnt. I was busy non stop. I loved my training sessions, but often felt like I was not able to fully pour into each individual how I wanted to. I said yes to every coffee date, to every fundraiser, etc. I was left for little 'me' time and was left feeling drained.
These 2 stories are so common, but they do not have to be the norm and I am so excited to share what I have learned to help you!! Below, we will go through Lifestyle, Supplement, and Exercise Hacks to get you feeling great through the highs and lows of life.
1. Review your why and remember your why. If things do not align with your why, say no. Saying no is not mean. Saying yes and having a bad attitude about something is. Be honest with yourself and others. This is hard, but brings so much freedom and joy to your life.
2. Schedule you time. Each week, schedule at least 1 - one hour appointment with yourself. Schedule more if needed. Literally, pull out your phone and put your date with yourself in there. This makes it that much easier to say no to things that are not essential. You time brings creativity, productivity, increases empathy, mental strength, allows time for planning, and reminds you of what you love to do. Your you time does not have to be a spa date (could be), but could be going for a walk in the park, sitting in your favorite chair, watching your favorite show, etc.
3. Do something you love EVERY day. This may sound silly or hard with your busy schedule, but this does not have to be anything crazy. Read your favorite book for 5 minutes, dance, play with your kids, workout, work with your hands, bake, etc. My favorite lately has been gardening. It brings me so much joy and reminds me of the simple things in life.
4. Start your day with intention & gratitude. This is life changing. This sets the tone for your day, how you view life, how you take on challenges. Wake up 10 minutes early and spend a few minutes thinking/giving thanks for all that is good. There is so much!!! Then, spend a couple minutes reading something positive. Give this a shot for a week and watch your attitude shift!
5. Sleep! Sleep changes things. Sleep changes your body chemistry, alters moods, helps with hormonal balance, heals the body, and so much more. Shoot for at least 8 hours each night with a consistent bed time and waking hour!
Supplements can alter our chemistry, our hormones, and make a huge difference in our energy levels and dealing with burnout. The first 3 on this list are a recommendation from one of the top autoimmune doctors in the country, Izabella Wentz. The last 3 are from my own research and experimentation. These have been life changing for me!
1. A is for Adaptogens. An adaptogen is a supplement that brings homeostasis to the body. So, if you are anxious, an adaptogen will help calm you. If you are low energy and fatigued, an adaptogen will help bring you energy. There is a host of adaptogens on the market. My go to is Adrenal Reset by CTD Sports. This supplement helps lower cortisol and provides healing to overworked adrenals. Grand Junction folks, we have this at both 970Muscle locations.
2. B is for B Vitamins. B Vitamins are known for their effect on increasing energy and helping reduce stress. This is an easy go to, outside of caffeine, for a quick boost. My 2 favorites are Bulletproof's Methyl B - 12 and ONNIT's B Complete, which is a very well rounded B.
3. C is for C Vitamins. C Vitamins help with healing. When our body is under stress/burnout, many organs are effected, especially the thyroid and adrenals. A good C Vitamin, such as LivOn Labs Lypo-Spheric C helps heal and protect the body from attack. The Lypo-Spheric C is the best on the market because of the absorption of the C and how it is utilized.
4. Vitamin D. Low Vitamin D levels lead to depression, fatigue, poor hormone profiles, low bone density, and so much more. Most individuals today are deficient and do not know it. For best results, I would highly recommend getting a full blood profile from Quest Labs to see your numbers. A general recommendation for dosage of D would be 1000iu/25lbs of body weight. This may seem like a lot, but it pays off big time!!
5. Magnesium. Magnesium is essential for muscle contraction, heart function, energy levels, and also helps with sleep and relaxation. Just like D, Magnesium is one of the supplements that most every individual is deficient in. Add in 1-2 Tbsp. of CALM Magnesium each night and notice the difference.
6. Salt. Not just any salt, but Pink Himalayan Salt or Celtic Salt provides your body with an array of minerals. Salt is a deceptive one. We have been told so long that salt is bad, BUT it is not!!!! Salt is essential to heart function, electrical charges in the body, and can help with healing of the thyroid and adrenals. Mix 1-2 Tsp. of salt in water each morning.
This is a big, big passion of mine. Relative to my first burnout story and journey of healing and growing from that experience, this info comes with lots of encouragement to apply and reap these benefits.
I love the gym, am there (obviously) a lot due to my profession, but do not believe in abusing the gym or working out. A common scenario today for gym goers is to GRIND, to be there every day for hours, BUT often results do not come this way OR they come for a moment and then we gain the weight. This is SO SO frustrating and hard to go through.
My first piece of encouragement for you is to assess your current exercise routine. Is it getting you results? Are you exhausted? Are you actually pushing your body too much? Have you walked away with a lot of injuries recently? Should you actually be working out a bit more?
Whatever your answer is here, this next piece of info can be applied to your workout routine. What saved me and allowed me to continue on my racing journey is thanks to my husband, Derek. Derek introduced me to the Maffetone Heart Rate Method (MAF HR) about 2 years ago and it has changed my life. MAF is working at a sub maximal heart rate for 30+ minutes at least 1 time per week. This sounds silly and easy, but it is not. First off, most gym goers perform cardio in the Black Zone. We are not burning fat nor utilizing glucose for fuel. We are actually causing our body more harm than good. Our hormones get out of whack and we gain weight. Secondly, this method is humbling. Slowing down is not always easy, but it pays off.
So, what is the MAF Method. MAF is not exceeding (180-your age) for 30 plus minutes. Wear a heart rate monitor, fit bit, etc and give it a shot. Perform it on your favorite piece of cardio equipment or take it outside while hiking, running, etc. If your heart rate starts to spike, slow down or stop, then continue on. I have found joy in logging my results to see how I improve. You could use a tracker, such as MapMyRun for this. It is amazing, but long term your endurance and fat burning will improve!
Give these hacks a try and keep me posted. Slow down and spend time on you. You are more than worth this journey. If you have questions on how to apply these to you, feel free to reach out to me! Blessings on your journeys!