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9 Ways to recover from burnout

beach-woman-1149088_1920This is my third and final post on the topic of social events. In a perfect world, I’d have plenty of time to prepare for an event, I’d pace myself, and I’d leave with energy to spare. Unfortunately, real life rarely goes according to plan. I wanted to share a few things I do after a social event to recharge.

1. Put things away.
As soon as I get home, I put away everything I’ve brought with me. I hang up my coat, put my shoes in the closet, and tuck away my bag. This is sometimes hard when all I feel like doing is falling into my bed. But keeping my room clean makes me feel better.

2. Don’t overanalyze.
Don’t beat yourself up over what you may have said or done. There will be time for self-reflection later. Don’t dwell on the negatives. Focus on giving yourself time to recharge.

3. Recharge.
Take the quiet time you need. Make sure you’re alone. Do things that make you feel happy and refreshed. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. You’re worth taking care of.

4. Laugh.
Laughter is great for stress relief and I always feel so much better after watching a funny movie or comedy videos on Youtube.

5. Mentally prepare for future interaction.
You’ll have to eventually go to work, interact with family, grocery shop, etc. Mentally prepare yourself to interact with people. Or take measures to minimize your energy drain. A pair of headphones helps shut out most of the chatter at the grocery store. And self-checkouts are a lifesaver.

6. Connect with loved ones.
As both introverts and human beings, we crave meaningful connections. Take the alone time you need. But take time afterward to connect with those you care about.

7. Create an oasis in your home.
Make a space in your home that can be used for quiet. Put things in it that you love. My favourite place is a comfy armchair in my room. It’s draped with cozy throws and pillows. I love curling up in it while reading a good book. If that’s not possible, a quiet spot outside can work beautifully too.

8. Take lots of small breaks.
It’s usually not feasible to disappear for days or weeks on end. Try to work quiet time into your daily schedule. It will help keep you refreshed throughout the week. Some things I enjoy doing include light reading before bed, going for a walk, working out, dancing, cooking while listening to my favourite podcast, planning out my week, and taking care of my herb garden.

9. Don’t feel guilty.
Being introverted is a gift and is just as wonderful as being extroverted. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Also, there’s nothing wrong with you. You aren’t defective or somehow less of a person because of the way you function. You are an incredible individual with so much potential.

Do you have any other tips or tricks?

5 signs of burnout

tokyo-2805508_1920In my last post, I talked about ways you can prepare for social events. I wanted to continue with this theme. Sometimes it can be hard to tell when you’re starting to get burned out (other times it’s pretty obvious). I wanted to share a few things to look for.

1. Easily irritated.
Normally minor annoyances don’t bother me. I usually ignore them. But when I’m getting burned out, my tolerance level is pretty low and I feel like snapping at people.

2. Brain fog.
It feels like there’s a haze over my thoughts. I can’t think clearly and it takes me a long time to process anything. I usually speak slower than normal and can’t always find the words I’m looking for. My sentences will often trail off before I finish them because I’ve forgotten what I want to say. Even small decisions like “what do you want to eat” become difficult. I usually end up zoning out of conversations.

3. Feeling ill.
When I get burned out, I get headaches, sore muscles, fatigue, and nausea. The more burned out I am, the worse it is. But even minor burnout makes me feel unwell.

4. Exhaustion.
As burnout sets in, I start feeling more tired than normal, but it quickly progresses to total body sluggishness and fatigue. Just staying on my feet becomes a difficult task. All I can focus on is moving forward. Conversation becomes impossible.

5. Need to be alone.
When I’m burned out I just want to be alone. I’ll sometimes get panicky or feel trapped if I’m surrounded by people and there’s no immediate escape.

If you’re feeling burned out, and you can’t leave, there are still a few things you can do to help. Take breaks as needed. Take a short walk outside, move to a less crowded area, spend some time in a washroom stall, or plug your headphones in and drown out the surrounding noise. Also, make sure you’re taking care of yourself physically too. Get plenty of sleep beforehand, stay hydrated, and eat when you’re hungry. It may not solve the problem, but it can keep it from getting worse.

Do you have any other tips?