Signs of Being Burnt Out and How To Fix It

11.30.15

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your daily life? You’re not the only one. With all of the pressures and stresses of life (work, social, family, finances) – it’s easy to find yourself burnt out. If you think this might be you, check out the signs of burn out below and learn how to recharge.

SIGNS YOU’RE BURNT OUT

You Keep Drawing Blanks

When you’re under stress, your adrenal gland pumps out cortisol, and research has shown that this hormone can hinder your recollection skills, making it tougher to access stored facts (including so-and-so’s name and where you left your keys).

Adding lack of sleep into the equation and your memory can diminish even further. “During sleep, your brain replays whatever you learned that day and moves it into long-term storage,” explains Sandra Ackermann, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in biopsychology at the University of Zurich. When you don’t get sufficient rest, the process your brain goes through is interrupted.

Body Takes Longer To Heal

Whether you give yourself a paper cut or get a small cut from pruning roses, you can except the healing process to take longer than usual if you are burnt out. “When you get an injury, your immune system engages right away, sending signals to produce collagen, form a blood clot and recruit cells to protect against germs,” explains William Huang, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. “But when you’re stressed, your body has higher levels of chemicals called glucocorticoids, which suppress your immune system and make healing slower.”

Strange Dreams Are Made [from] This

If your dreams are a mixtures of The Walking Dead – meets – Golden Girls (two of our personal favorites), this may be a sign that you are in need of more sleep. Sleep deprivation seems to have a correlation to more intense dreams.

One explanation is that when you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, your brain tries to make REM sleep the top priority. REM is the most restorative stage where dreams occur. “Typically, REM sleep doesn’t begin until about 90 minutes after you fall asleep,” says Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at the Sleep Disorders Center at NYU School of Medicine. “But if you’re exhausted, the brain can get there in as few as 10 minutes.” The brain will cycle through the other sleep cycles (stages 1 -3) at a more rapid speed in order to make up for the deficit in REM. This allows more time for creative “nocturnal imaginings” to occur.

 

SOLUTIONS FOR PREVENTION

These simple solutions can help relax your mind and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep.

1. Yoga Poses

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
  2. Use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
  3. Inhale through your left nostril.
  4. At the top of the inhale, close your left nostril with your right ring finger and release right nostril.
  5. Exhale and inhale through your right nostril.
  6. Close right nostril again and exhale through left nostril.
  7. Repeat the sequence 16 times.

 

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent and soles of feet on the floor.
  2. Cross right ankle over left knee.
  3. Clasp your hands behind left hamstring and draw thigh toward your torso.
  4. Hold for up to two minutes, breathing deeply.
  5. Switch sides.

 

  1. Sit by a wall with right hip and shoulder touching it, knees bent.
  2. Roll onto your back and extend legs up the wall. Stay here for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the most important foundation practices for meditation. You should set aside a few minutes in morning and evening to sit quietly and consciously breath using your diaphragm. Here are a few helpful tips from yoga meditation teacher Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati:

  1.  Allow ribs to slightly flare out to the sides while the shoulders, upper chest, and abdomen remain motionless.
  2. Do not allow jerkiness or irregularities to disturb the steady flow.
  3. Breathe within a comfortable depth
  4. Allow breath to flow continuously, with no pause allowed between breaths
  5. Breathe evenly so that exhalation and inhalation are of the same duration

3. Foods With Good Sources of Vitamin C

According to a wellness study from UCLA, consuming foods high in vitamin C can reduce stress and boost the immune system. Berries, red bell peppers, and kale are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps lower the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and blood pressure during high-anxiety situations.

4. Night Time Routine

“For the best sleep, you have to find a way to separate the day from the night. That might mean taking a quick shower before bed or starting a new bedtime routine, like writing in a journal or doing some yoga.”—Joyce Walsleben, PhD professor at the NYU Sleep Disorders Center.

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