The pandemic has been going on for so long that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to actually have an active life. We have so many assignments at work and every day practically feels the same. Even if we don’t have a lot on our plate, we feel burnt out by the fact that there’s not much to do. We constantly have to change our self care routine to adjust to this slow-paced life.
Signs of burnout:
- Feeling tired no matter what you do
- Being highly irritable consistently
- Frequent lack of focus whenever you work
- Never-ending cycle of procrastination and not feeling motivated
- Insomnia and being highly stressed out from work
In this series, I’ve included the 5 self love languages into self care routines. Find out which love language you have here and come back to see how to overcome burnout below.
Try these activities to nourish yourself and get through this season!
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I am not a mental health professional and everything shared here is just personal recommendations. Seek out a mental health professional for care.
1. Get outside and go for a walk in a new area.
Change your scenery. Take a break from your high-stress life and major burnout by getting yourself out of the environment that stresses you out more often.
2. Disconnect from social media for some time.
You can’t have effective self care if you are online every hour of your day. You need to give your eyes a rest from all that bright screen light and disconnect from the negativity that is rampant on social media. Choose at least a few hours to disconnect from technology per day.
3. Have a lunch date with a friend or co-worker on your break.
This can be done virtually too for social distancing. Pick a date and time. Either Face Time or call each other to talk about what’s happening in your life.
4. Have a picnic on the grass with a nice view.
Not too many people actually get outside and sit down in the grass doing different activities. We’re constantly tied to our phones and devices. Get outside, get some sun and enjoy some nature.
5. Lay on the grass or beach listening to calming music or nature sounds.
There’s something about listening to calming sounds or music and being in a calming environment. Get away from people, family, co-workers and just close your eyes and listen to your music or nature sounds. Allow your mind to drift off into daydreams.
6. Use a sick day or plan a vacation from work.
It is okay to use a sick day if you are burnt out. Use this time to rest and regain your energy to be productive again. You might have been not using your full vacation time pre-pandemic, but now is the time to use all of your paid time off to help yourself say sane. Don’t feel guilty about it. Prioritize your mental health.
7. Practice breathing exercises daily.
Anytime you feel like you are going to go off in an argument or you’re feeling frustrated with a situation, try to do some breathing exercises before addressing the situation. This will help with your irritability.
8. Get up early and go to bed at the same time every day.
Most productive people wake up sometime between 4 a.m. – 8 a.m., but it really depends on what time your workday starts. Always wake up at least 3 hours before you have to work. You want your body to be fully woke by the time you have to start working. This also gives you the time to eat a healthy breakfast, clean your workspace, and exercise.
9. Meditate and exercise for 30 mins before you start work.
Get a quick workout in whenever you feel tired. Take notes of the times you feel tired and schedule a meditation and/or exercising session during those times. Create a mood-boosting playlist to go with your workout.
10. Learn a new skill or improve your skills in something fun.
Have you started learning a language, but you took a really long break? Pick it up again and start studying with fun games or watching movies in that language. Did you start cooking during this time? Bake some new dishes! Take your mind off of your stressors and try some fun activities.
Words of Affirmation:
11. Write in a gratitude journal.
Have a journal just for things that you are grateful for and make a goal to write in it at least every week. Even when everything feels like it’s collapsing in your world, there’s always some hope somewhere.
12. Create a Vision Board.
We might not be able to control every aspect of our lives, but we can control the vision. Where do you see yourself this year and in the long-term? Create a vision board for each year or whenever you have a life changing experience and you need some clarity on which direction you take.
13. Engage in positive self-talk.
Don’t dwell on negativity too long and start a pity party. Feel your emotions, but don’t leave yourself sitting in them forever. When you feel insecure, challenge your mindset that you’re just making up worse case scenarios and it isn’t based on facts. You are in control of your thought process.
14. Create encouraging playlists featuring artists that inspire you.
If there’s one thing that boosted in confidence over the past few years, it’s creating playlists that brought out my inner Boss. I felt very insecure about myself before then and everyday, I would listen to songs that talked about the type of woman I wanted to become. I told myself I am her over and over again until I actually did become who I wanted to be.
15. Connect with a mentor or coach.
When we have someone who knows and has been through our situation before, we begin to feel more supported. It’s always good to have several mentors or coaches in different areas of our lives. This could be a family member, a friend, someone at your workplace, or someone that you networked with. It’s important to have people that can give you the wisdom to deal with your difficult situations.
16. Watch some TED Talks.
Start your week out with an inspirational video talking about a topic you want to learn more about or an issue you are currently struggling with. Find people that have been in your shoes and watch them explain how they overcame it. It will make you feel like you can overcome it too.
17. Write yourself a love letter for your future self.
Show yourself some self care by writing encouraging letters for your future self whenever you feel down.
“I love you and I just want to let you know how proud I am of how far you’ve come.”
“I feel truly blessed to have you here in my life.”
“You’re so strong with all that you’ve been through and you keep going.”
18. Write a poem or make a painting that explains your feelings in the moment.
Put it in a frame or photo book collection. Turn your feelings into art. You don’t have to just sit in sadness. Create outlets for your feelings.
19. Use Post-It Notes to remind yourself how amazing you are.
Place post-it notes all over your house of all the things that you love about yourself. Push your negative thoughts that you aren’t enough away when you read these.
20. Write to your friends and family about how much you love them.
We often forget to appreciate our friends and family more. Remind them how meaningful they are to you.
21. Take a warm bath with the essentials.
22. Treat yourself with a full mani-pedi.
Save a lot of money by doing your own manicures and pedicures at home. Try the Foot Spa Misiki Foot Bath Massager. It heats up to a temperature that you can set too.
23. Try the 10-step Korean skincare routine.
Korea heavily dominates a good portion of the skincare industry. For me, there’s just something about having an in-depth skincare routine rather than just slapping things on your face. It actually feels like a whole spa day when I use a whole line of products! Of course you don’t have to do all 10 steps everyday, but they are really great for days you want to feel great. Try The Little Book of Skin Care for a guide to the whole routine in detail.
24. Have someone give you a massage.
Have someone else give you a massage. There’s always a tense area somewhere as we’re constantly stressing out or sitting for long periods of time. If there’s no one that can give you a massage, you can get a massage machine.
25. Create a DIY homemade face, neck, hand, leg mask.
Brighten up your skin and look more healthy with natural masks. Use masks in less common areas where people usually get wrinkles to slow down aging.
26. Stretch during your work breaks.
You’re sitting down or standing in one place for hours at a time. Take a break once an hour to stretch and look away from a screen to adjust your eyes.
27. Either go to the gym or create an at-home gym area.
Have a consistent place where you go to exercise multiple times a week and set a specific time you go. Create workouts focused on overcoming burnout.
28. If you live with others, give more hugs. Hug yourself too!
Start or end your days with giving your family more hugs. You never know what might happen tomorrow, so try to bond more with your family. When you feel sad and there’s no one there, hug yourself!
29. Get a bunch of plushies for your bed and hug them.
Have a bunch of cute smiling plushies of things you like and surround yourself with them when you go to sleep. It will help you to feel less alone.
30. Curl up in a soft blanket in your favorite PJs.
Get cozy and read a book. Drink some tea and relax before you go to sleep.
Acts of Service:
31. Improve your diet and take vitamins.
You are what you eat. Stop eating junk food all the time and learn how to create better portions. Eat a healthy breakfast and measure how much nutrients you are actually getting. Are you taking the daily recommended iron? Are you eating enough fruits and veggies recommended for you? Eat healthily and take your vitamins daily. Self care includes making sure your body is healthy on the inside too.
32. Declutter your space, clean your house and embrace minimalism.
It’s hard to feel motivated when your house is a mess or cluttered. Embrace a more minimalistic lifestyle so you don’t have to constantly clean every hour.
33. Cut toxic situations and people out of your life.
If it’s not a necessary part of your life and you can do without it, cut out toxic people and situations in your life. When a friend is constantly disrespecting you and you’ve already confronted them about it, it’s time to remove that friend from your life. If you have toxic people in your life, it makes your burnout worse.
34. Make an appointment to talk with a therapist about mental health care.
Therapy is becoming much more common in this decade. See a therapist regularly if you have access to one to prevent future burnouts. They’re literally trained in how to do self care right and help you address childhood traumas that still affect you today.
35. Learn to say No sometimes instead of always saying Yes.
Value your time more and stop being a people pleaser. If you really can’t take on any more tasks, tell people upfront your situation and firmly tell them no. Start speaking up when you have too much to handle. Sticking up for yourself is a form of self care.
36. Take advantage of the resources your employer offers.
If your employer offers employee assistance programs, use everything that you need. For example, some employers offer third-party services for counseling. Get a copy of all the benefits that your employer offers and list out a plan of how you can utilize it all when needed.
37. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss burnout.
See what can be done about your workload before it gets worse. Speak with your manager about your situation and they might be able to delegate certain tasks to someone that’s more able or help you more in your role. It’s normal to feel burnt out sometimes and companies should work with employees to find a solution.
38. Time-block to get more done in shorter time.
If you are feeling burnt out, try to start with small bursts of tasks that you love doing before diving into the hard tasks. By accomplishing a few small things first, it will set you up to feeling more motivated because you’ve accomplished some things in your day so far.
39. Have an accountability partner to make sure you take care of yourself.
Choose someone that you are close with to remind you and hold you accountable for when you are not taking care of yourself and do the same for them. Check-in with each other and give each other ideas on how to better take care of your mental and physical health.
40. Use a productivity journal or try bullet journaling to manage your time.
Visualize how to better manage your time and write it down every night. Write down a few tasks (ideally 3 top tasks) that you want to complete the next day. Then measure how long it takes to complete it in your journal. Record how you spend your time and when you feel the most burnt out. That’s the time you need to allocate breaks and set aside time for self care.
41. Buy yourself plants that improve your mood.
Putting more plants in our room helps filter the air and makes breathing easier. Adding lots of color, especially green, blue and purple helps to reduce stress.
Some plants that improve your mood include:
- Aloe Vera
42. Create a Self care or Hygge corner.
Add your most cozy items to your favorite spot in your house. Use this space whenever you feel overwhelmed and want to release your stress. Learn how the Danish create a cozy life in The Little Book of Hygge. Hygge is a Danish way of living that includes the art of coziness and living a stress-free life. Add your favorite throw blanket, fluffy pillows, books, plants, string lights, Himalayan salt lamp, dim lights, candles, pajamas, and more to that area. Spend time here whenever you want to escape from stress.
43. Invest in better bedding for better quality sleep.
Do you have an uncomfortable bed, but don’t have the money to buy a full-on new one? Try getting a mattress foam topper. Adding extra accessories to your bed can make a crappy bed feel softer. Try to find what hotels use for their beds.
44. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser and Essential Oils.
Essential oil diffusers are great for if you live in an apartment or dorm that doesn’t allow you to burn candles. Plus they have a lot more variety as you can mix and match the scents to create your ideal smell.
Some good calming essential oils to try:
45. Get creative with an Adult Coloring Book.
Who said coloring books are just for kids? Relive your childhood memories and take out your colored pencils, markers, or crayons and start coloring with 100 Flower Designs. This is a great way to practice self care by enjoying activities you did as a child.
46. Set up a movie theater-like movie night.
47. Jade roller to massage your face for your skincare routine.
Something as small as massaging your face can help to relieve some of your stress. Jade rollers are on trend and they help to get rid of tension in your face.
48. Use a Bubble Clay Mask that will make you laugh.
This charcoal bubble clay mask not only deep cleanses your pores, but it also bubbles up like a huge cloud on your face. It makes you look like Santa Clause, but with the whole beard on your face. It’s really funny and laughter is a form of self care.
49. White Noise Machine to Block Out Noisy Neighbors
If you have noisy neighbors and highly stressed, a white noise machine is a great option to help drown out the noise. There are different sound options that you can use throughout the day too. Get better sleep with a consistent sound.
50. Replace bright lights with Himalayan Salt Lamps.
Bright lights keep us awake longer so use dimmer lights before you go to bed. A Himalayan Salt Lamp is a great option and it feels very peaceful and aesthetic by a bed or on a desk.
What self care ideas get you through burn out?