Have you heard the word burnout before? Or have you loosely thrown around the phrase “I feel burnt out”?
Burnout is a serious threat that individuals with busy lifestyles, individuals who take on too much or put extreme pressure on themselves to excel need to be very cautious of. Burnout is a state of chronic stress that is put on your body, which can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, as well as depression-like symptoms.
Do you find yourself feeling both wired and tired? “Wired and tired” is one of the stages in burnout and is a very crucial to be identified before you do more harm to your body and overall wellness. If you are in the “wired and tired” phase, some symptoms may include you feeling a little anxious or irritable, having trouble sleeping as your mind is running 100kms per hour and having reduced productivity and performance while doing tasks. In this phase, you may also experience gastrointestinal pain and feel bloated or sluggish after every meal. Many people also tend to gain weight only in the mid-sections of their bodies.
“Wired and tired” is also referred to as the resistance phase, as your body is producing excess cortisol to combat the effects of stress. Cortisol is one of the adrenal hormones that regulates blood sugar and reduces inflammation, immune response and stress reactions. When your body is stressed for a long period of time, it cannot keep up with the production of cortisol, which can cause insomnia. This can stage can last for days, months or even years before you get to burnout.
If you are nodding your head while reading the above, it’s time to save yourself!! Nourishing your body with the right types of foods will help get your body get back on track and reduce the effects of burnout on your body.
- First things first, stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Imbalances in blood sugar levels increase cortisol levels, therefore creates a negative cycle. Cut down on the following:
- Refined sugar such as cookies, candies, donuts and any type of pastries
- Eliminate any foods that contain white flour such as bread, rice and pastas.
- Eliminate and cut down on sugary drinks such as pop and fruit juice.
The foods listed above increase your blood sugar levels and although give you a comfort feeling when eating them, they contribute to the spikes in blood sugar levels, which cause those mental and physical crashes. One of the quickest ways to stabilize your blood sugar levels is to make sure you start your day off with a well-balanced breakfast and carry that through the day with well-balanced small meals every 3 to 4 hours.
Make sure your meals consist of:
– Healthy proteins: animal or plant-based sourced;
– Healthy fats: avocados, nuts and seeds; and,
– Healthy fibers such as vegetables, fruits and small amounts of whole grain.
Taking time out to nourish our bodies with healthy foods will help our body glow and shine from the inside out.
- Secondly, nourish your body with multi-tasking mineral magnesium.
Magnesium is crucial in regulating your body’s hormones, which will further assist in reducing the effects of burnout. As part of your daily diet routine, incorporate foods with high multi-tasking mineral magnesium, which include bananas, okra, seaweed, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazilian nuts and coniferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.
- To help with mental fatigue, decrease or slowly eliminate caffeine.
Don’t freak out – I’m not telling you to entirely cut out your beloved morning coffee, but rather, to limit caffeine intake. Instead of drinking 2 or more cups of coffee per day, try having just one cup with or after breakfast. It is important not to consume coffee on an empty stomach. Consuming coffee on an empty stomach can have a negative impact on your overall gut health. Reducing caffeine from your diet will also help with the reduction of anxiety levels, allow more efficient absorption of nutrients and promote balanced brain chemistry.
- Lastly, Rest and Digest/Practise of mindful eating.
We are all guilty of this… being on the run trying to fit in meals in between clients or daily tasks. Even if you were eating healthy meals you would feel bloated, have really bad acid reflux and not have the energy to carry throughout the day. During my studies for holistic nutrition, I learned that the majority of us do not give ourselves time to rest and digest and truly appreciate the food that was in front of us.
Take at least 30 minutes for yourself for every meal to enjoy your food, you deserve it. Be present with your food, put all your distractions away including your phones, computers, and turn off your TV. Sit down for your meal and be present with your food. When we practise mindful eating our body relaxes and we have put all possible stressors away. When you first sit down pay gratitude towards your food and make eye contact with your food. Simply by doing this you have already started the digestive process by releasing digestive enzymes to help with digest your food. Within couple of minutes of practising mindful eating you will notice a tremendous difference.
Nourishing your body is key and you owe it to yourself. Your body will thank you!
By: Preet Bains
Preet Bains is the owner of Machine Fit and Aura Holistic Health. She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP), and a Personal Trainer. Preet’s passion and mission is to educate individuals about wellness and having a mind/body connection, especially the healing power of nutrients and the power of emotional well-being.