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Discussion on: You're on FIRE! 🔥...in the WRONG way: a story about burnout 😵

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial • Edited

A wonderful post, I would just like to add a couple of items to the "The road to recovery..." section that helped me when suffering from depression (which is very similar to burnout in terms of lethargy, state of mind etc.)

Getting to sleep (so you can get enough sleep) can be a massive issue.

Here is one of the best tips I ever received. The advice here can be applied if you are just struggling to get to sleep in general.

  1. Have a hot shower about 30 minutes before you go to bed. (maybe 45 minutes if you have long hair - see next part)
  2. Make sure you dry your hair etc. and then go for a 10 minute walk outside. (dry your hair so you don't end up getting ill!).
  3. Go to bed - don't play on your phone, do anything else etc. go to bed.

This works because of a natural occurrence in our bodies. As the day draws to a close and we get ready for sleep our body temperature naturally drops.

By having a hot shower (raising your body temperature) and then going for a walk outside (lowering your body temperature) you "force" your body to recognise this state.

Also there are the ancillary benefits of a schedule (something that is important when you are down in any way), time to gather your thoughts in the shower and on the walk and a tiny bit of exercise.

On the last point - don't walk at a fast pace, just a "leisurely stroll", you don't want to sky rocket your heart rate!

Still can't sleep?

If you cannot get to sleep after 30 minutes or so...get up again!

Go do something that doesn't involve looking at a screen (blue light emitter). Read a book, clean something or just sit and listen to music with headphones on.

Don't worry if you don't feel tired, just relax. Eventually you will feel tired so go try again.

There is an important reason for this - you do not want to associate your bed with not sleeping, it can be very difficult to break that association.

If you find yourself being very tired until you go to bed, at which point you wake up and are wide awake, this is the issue you probably have, you have associated your bed with not being able to get to sleep.

By getting up and doing something else you can slowly break this association. as hopefully by the time you have read a book etc. you are so very tired that your psychological association between bed and not sleeping is over-ridden by pure tiredness.

After a few successful nights of falling a sleep (even if it is the second or third try) your brain will start to reset and it will become easier.

Batch cook meals

When you are in "I can't be bothered" territory, cooking every night becomes a chore and you end up eating crap. This then feeds a negative mood or disposition.

However you often find times when you manage to "pick yourself up" - at this point the first thing you should do is cook a load of meals. Don't worry about the 100 other things circling in your head - just think "food".

Go do some shopping if your need to and then cook.

By meal prepping there are two advantages:

  1. You don't have to cook each evening, reducing the decision fatigue of what to eat (which when you are struggling can use up a lot of mental energy).
  2. It stops you turning to takeaway when you can't be bothered cooking, it is easier to just put a pre-prepared meal in the microwave than call for takeout.

batch cook cheat tips

If you really can't muster the energy to even cook batch meals, just buy some pre-cooked chicken (assuming you aren't vegan or vegetarian of course! In which case some protein source that is pre-cooked), some microwaveable rice and one of those "steam veg" packets.

You can have a meal in less than 5 minutes using just the microwave that is healthy enough.

You can eat the same meal several days on the run by just throwing different spices or sauces on it.

Stopping over eating

One other thing when you are down is that you tend to over eat things like crisps, chocolate etc. as they release endorphins (pretty sure it is endorphins, if that is medically incorrect the principle is a hormone that makes you feel good for a short while) for a short term rush.

To counter this - go high protein!

Protein fills you up quicker.

So I used to have chicken on a stick and roasted chick peas handy as snacks.

Along the "high protein" route:

Skyr yoghurt, Lizi's Low Sugar granola (or any low sugar granola), and flavoured protein powder.

Massive amount of protein, low fat, low sugar and easy to eat.

Sugar is your biggest enemy when you are struggling with mood. That includes high carb meals with high glycaemic index carbs. Go whole wheat etc (slow release carbs).

Summing up

I could write a very long post on this alone so the advice is obviously very generic / surface level.

In summary - bedtime routine of shower, walk, sleep will help you sleep. Making eating healthy as easy as possible and a low sugar diet will help you stabilise your mood.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Thank you so much for these tips and the thorough comment! I really appreciate your additions to the conversation! 🙌🏻😊

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Shaquil Maria

That's a post right there.😅 Great addition to the main post!👌👌

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial

Thanks Shaquil!

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