Preventing Burnout During Stressful Life Events
Updated: Apr 2
After all the past two years have thrown at us — the pandemic and adjusting to a new normal in its wake — we now have something else making fear-inducing headlines. I'm talking about all the recession discussion that's been going around lately.
Periods of economic uncertainty bring up fear and limiting beliefs for most people. It's a natural reaction, but we want to make sure we aren't letting a scarcity mindset take over our lives. With fear leading the way in stressful situations, we're not very likely to get where we want to go or enjoy our lives on the journey.
Remember how everyone hoarded toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic? That's a scarcity mindset in action. People get grabby during stressful life events and it actually creates shortages that wouldn't otherwise be there. This happens with the economy too.
The Myth of Security
We all need money to survive. That's just a fact of life that isn't going away. But the idea that if we just hustle hard enough and put enough money in the bank, we'll finally feel secure — that's a lie. Have you ever noticed that no matter how many financial goals you meet, that feeling of security never comes? That's because when we place all our faith in things beyond our control (our employer, the economy, etc.), we always feel powerless and unsteady; like the rug could be pulled out from under us at any time.
So, how do we break this cycle? No matter what the stock market looks like, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself — your mind, your health, your skillset, your growth, and your self-awareness.
Today, we're going to explore three ways you can prevent burnout at home during a recession or any other period of high stress.
1. Ask Yourself If You're HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)
When you feel irritable or burnt out, ask yourself if you're HALT — Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Identifying the reason behind your emotional state can help you address it and feel less overwhelmed.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, we have the power to counteract these states by introducing an opposite energy into our routine. Like increases like and opposites create balance. Here's what I mean:
If You're Hungry: We have the word "hangry" for a reason. Not being properly nourished can leave us sluggish and short-tempered. You can counter this by making sure you're eating the same number of meals at approximately the same time each day.
For example, if you like to eat lunch around 1 pm, stick to this schedule as much as possible. Working all day with no lunch break until 4 pm one day and then skipping lunch entirely the next is most definitely going to contribute to your stress.
If You're Angry: It's summer and it's hot. The heat can make us more prone to anger than usual. Balance out that boiling energy by staying hydrated, filling your bathtub with cold water and dipping your feet in, or spritzing rose water on your face. These little cooling tricks can help you regain your composure in moments of irritability.
If You're Lonely: Many of us are still not getting as much as much human connection as we did before the pandemic. Even if you're introverted, humans are social creatures and we need to feel seen and loved by others.
Try signing up for a virtual group (could be a club, a networking group, or a class), going for walks with friends, volunteering, or leaning on your faith community. If working from home has you feeling isolated, make it a priority to do something social during your free time.
If You're Tired: According to the World Health Organization, exhaustion is a symptom of burnout. If you find yourself with chronic low energy, you need to introduce more rest into your life. And I don't necessarily mean more sleep!
Activities such as meditation, walks, restorative yoga, gardening, or just sitting quietly for a moment with a glass of water can all make you feel more rested. Even if you aren't able to get more hours of sleep a night, you can introduce little moments of peace and ease into your day. Preventing burnout at home begins with actively seeking out activities that recharge your battery.
The Takeaway: During stressful life events, it's very helpful to identify these underlying HALT feelings. It helps us regain control of our emotional state and steer the day in a positive direction.
2. Cultivate a Positive Attitude
Positivity in the face of hardships isn't naïve; it's a secret weapon that can help you navigate even the darkest of days. It will keep you in the present moment, focused on what you can control rather than spiraling and fixating on fears about the future that may not even come true!
Here are three positivity prompts that I challenge you to write out every day for the next 30 days.
Today I will prioritize...
Today I am thankful for...
Today I will release...
Fill in the blanks each day and watch how your perspective starts to shift. Maybe today you will prioritize enjoying the warm summer evenings, be thankful for a family that loves you, and release obsessing over past mistakes you've made at work.
3. Stop Feeding the Fire of Panic
When the news seems all bad, it's easy to get into the habit of doom scrolling and regurgitating all the scary information you've collected to family and friends. Take a beat and ask yourself: who is this really helping? It's one thing to be informed but is filling your head with fearful language going to stave off the recession?
No . It's only going to rob you of your peace.
Try limiting your news intake to 20 minutes per day. Take social media breaks, slow down, and start listening to yourself instead during stressful situations. Some things are out of our control but you have a say in how you move through the world, even when things are turbulent.
You Are Your Greatest Asset
These three burnout prevention tips are simple but that doesn't mean they're easy. It takes time and patience to commit to implementing them and seeing the positive results they yield, but it's so worth it.
When the economy is rocky, it's important to remember that you are your greatest asset. You are not your job, your paycheck, or your $401K. Stressful life events come and go and you will still be standing at the end of any stressful situation.
Investing in your growth, your wellbeing, and your joy is a decision you will never regret. Feelings of safety don't come from the stock market or what we hear on the news; they come from deep within ourselves.
We have the power to cultivate peace and ease in our lives, no matter what's happening externally.
If you're ready to make an investment in yourself — the one asset you're guaranteed to have for life — schedule a breakthrough call with me today. I'd love to share the tools I have to get you out beyond survival mode, into a place where you can thrive.