If you’re feeling down know this: you are not alone. Millions of people have burnout symptoms and we all eventually recover. So it’s ok to have negative emotions. It’s not only the feelings that matter but also what you do with them. Here is a short series of blogs to give you new insights and practical tools to speed up your wellbeing.
Let’s begin with the most important insight: your recovery process should be made highly personal. Despite what many people suggest, there is no fixed way to alleviate burnout symptoms. In Restart we suggest a double approach. Of course you need to look at the mental causes of your burnout. But we also suggest a focus on the physical, simply because symptom reduction can be just as beneficial to your recovery.
From these pages we cannot help you identify the causes. These need to be tackled with a Help Team consisting of friends, family and health professionals you can count on. What we can do however is tell you about simple tricks that reduce the symptoms of burnout. We have found those to be as important as the ‘deeper’ mental aspects.
A good first step is to try and remove some triggers. For some this could be reducing or stopping social media attendance or news addiction. For others this means gradually reducing unhealthy habits. This practice reduces stress hormones in the body, which in turn relaxes your mind. Try to slow down the cigarettes, alcohol and meats for a start.
Next up are simple things that make you go ‘out of your mind and into your body’. If we feel burned out you can often get stuck in thought. A focus on the body however gives your mind the opportunity to calm down and again reduce some stress hormones.
Since your recovery is highly personal, it is up to you to decide what work for you. But to give you a sense of what we mean, why not try a few of these out? A spa or sauna, a long walk or a physically demanding sport such as boxing, Tai Chi, squash or swimming. Other suggestions are dancing for a bit in the middle of the room or doing a yoga class.
Even something simple as putting two fingers between your brow for one minute can already relax your state of mind. Anything physical is good to go. And take it easy of course; there is no need to rush things. It is normal to be down sometimes so always cut yourself some slack. The more you relax into it, the quicker your wellbeing will grow.
Rogier van Kralingen is a Dutch writer, speaker and musician with extensive experience in the business world. He is a three-time nominee and one time winner of the Dutch Innovation Literature Awards (PIM Award) and owns media production company The Whole Story.
Relevant work:Restart (on burnout - English) - buy bookThe Outerweb (on the future of the Internet - Dutch) - buy book
More books:De Groeimotor (on innovation - Dutch) - buy bookEmotional Innovation (on business values and emotions - Dutch) - buy book
Read more articles by Rogier:
- The importance of relaxation- Reaching a state of company flow- Burnout recovery - podcast transcript