We’ve all been there – feeling exhausted, unmotivated, trapped, and ready to give up. Struggling with burnout is no joke! BUT, we don’t have to stay there. When you start feeling the signs of burnout creeping in, the best thing you can do to combat it is to face it head on. Below are our 6 tried & true tips for beating burnout.
- schedule ‘recharge’ time
If you’re started to feel burnt out, chances are you’re juggling a lot right now. I know it can feel impossible, but taking even just half an hour to yourself can really help reset your burnout clock!
Personally, I am an introvert, so recharge time for me means staying home alone in comfy clothes, not answering my phone, watching TV, and eating my favorite snacks for an hour or two. I like to cap this off with a nice workout and a long shower, and every time I feel brand new!
There are times when I start to identify the warning signs of burnout – irritability, frustration with even minor inconveniences, feeling defeated, or helplessness – and I know I simply do not have the availability to carve out a few hours of recharge time anytime soon. In these situations, I try to create a mini recharge oasis for myself in the midst of whatever I am currently doing. Sometimes simply changing into comfier pants, making myself a hot tea or peppermint mocha, and lighting my favorite candle goes a long way!
In essence, as soon as you start to feel the burnout grumpies making an appearance, stop and do something nice for yourself – however small it may feel – to honor yourself and tide you over until you can have a proper recharge time.
I’ve also started sprinkling in mini recharges oases for myself – giving myself an extra 5 minutes to slow down in my morning and bedtime routines a couple times a week, putting on a facemask while I make dinner, or chatting with my sister while doing chores or errands – that help keep the burnout at bay!
- mix up your routine
Normally like to run the treadmill? Try the elliptical! Are you a weightstack machine fanatic? Try a kettlebell or resistance band routine!
We also suggest trying something you’ve never tried before, or even something outside of your go-to or comfort zone, to really mix it up. There are SO many ways to be active, like dance classes, hiking, kickboxing, kayaking, mountain climbing, swimming, even archery! Finding a new activity can not only help break your brain out of a burnout rut, but may also present you with a new favorite hobby!
- take an active recovery day
Like a recharge day for your muscles, the importance of active recovery days (and rest days!) cannot be overstated! The human body is so amazing and smart, and pretty good at telling us what we need. I’m sure we’ve all heard the adage of the pregnant woman who jumped in her car and drove miles into the wilderness without knowing where she was going, to end up eating handfuls of red dirt that apparently contained high levels of minerals that her body was severely lacking.
Let’s be clear, I am not suggesting you drive aimlessly or eat dirt (but hey, you do you!); but rather, listen to your body and be open to changing your plans based on what your body is telling you it needs.
If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s possible that you would benefit more from a leisurely walk, yoga or gentle stretch sesh, meditation, or even a nap than you would from pushing yourself to do your workout.
Remember that it’s okay to take an extra rest day, too, if you’re feeling sore or tired! Doing a workout begrudgingly or half-assedly can lead to injury, or just having a Bad Time, neither of which we recommend.
- do a fun fitness activity
Much like mixing up your routine, swapping out your more ‘formal’ exercise routine for something fun can turn your whole day around! Rather than dragging yourself to the gym, why not invite a friend to go on a hike or take the dog on a walk with your neighbor?
Former athlete? Look for a local event or team you can join; play basketball at the park or volleyball at the beach! Whatever it is, just find a way to do something active that makes you smile. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins in your system, the body’s natural happy-chemical, so combining the act of getting your heart rate up with something you enjoy is a sure-fire way to banish those burnout feelings and get back on track!
- join a group fitness class or group
Have you ever tried a group fitness class? The energy is ELECTRIC!! Something about working out with a whole group of people always leaves me feeling so pumped and excited! I know when I’m feeling burnt out, often the last thing I want to do is to be around other people (and trust me, my introvert-centric recharge days are definitely needed + appreciated); but the last LAST thing I really want to do is move around or be active. For some reason, combining them seems to cancel it out (two negatives make a positive, I guess? idk, I went into the science field, not math!) and I always end up having the best time!
Joining a group fitness class – whether it’s a one-time event or becoming a part of a fitness group – really instills a sense of community and camaraderie that leaves you feeling accomplished and absolutely enthused. If you’re competitive, like me, look for a bootcamp-style fitness class or group to really push you to your limits! If competition doesn’t rev your engine, look for a more fun-based fitness group to get that athlete’s high from the encouragement and laughs along the way!
Did you know that the fitness cult offers a variety of group fitness classes monthly?! Check them out on our #group fitness page!
- workout with a buddy
If you’re feeling especially unmotivated to hit the gym, try inviting a best friend, partner, sibling, or family member to join you! You’ll get to step into the teacher or trainer role for a moment, which changes your point of view and can definitely shake up those burnout feelings.
If you have a friend who is well-established in their physical fitness routine, invite yourself to join them! Seeing a new routine or perspective can provide a total reset to your burnout or boredom and help renew your excitement and motivation about getting active!
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up. We all have ups & downs; days where we feel unstoppable and days where we feel, well, very stoppable! Just keep taking it day by day and remember that the way you feel right now will not last forever, no matter how permanent it might feel. You are capable of accomplishing so many things! But, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Hercules didn’t battle Cerberus on a weekly basis; so be kind to yourself and let yourself take time to rest, reset, and recharge. At the end of the day, you’ve got this!!
mental health resources
Mental Health FIRST AID Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
NIH (National Institute of Mental Health) Resources (Free crisis text line!)
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – 24/7 Free Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illnesses) Helpline: 1-800-950-6264 (Free crisis text line and chat!)
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