5 ways to unwind and ward off burnout

We all know the feeling in the pit of our stomachs that’s a seamless combination of butterflies, knots the size of Regent’s Park, and somehow an exhausting plague. This is otherwise known as burnout, or burning out, where your career is going at such a rate that you physically cannot keep up and your body seems to want to throw in the towel in a trade for some bubbles, a bath, and our favorite show on Netflix.

But usually, that isn’t a viable option for more than a day or so. This year should be the year of putting ourselves first and more importantly, taking care of ourselves in order to ward off burning out and putting our best foot forward every day. But if this feeling seems unavoidable, is there anything that can actually be done? Can you actually prevent burn out? It must be some kind of magic we need to take to market.

1. Recharge and relax

Whether this is getting outside for some exercise or just curling up with some blankets and a good book, recharging is a great way to give your body some needed rest. Just remember to actually not think about work and looming to do lists. That can wait until you clock into work in the morning. And don’t forget to break out your comfiest loungewear so you can really kick back and put your feet up.

2. Turn off your electronics

Yes, even your iPhone so you can’t check Instagram. Unplugging is a great way to re-center yourself back to reality and actually breathe a little bit. Plus, it is a great way to remember that there is, in fact, a world outside a 5- inch screen with filters, best days, and no pain at all.

3. Play some bingo

A game not solely for old people anymore. Playing bingo on online sites like these is strangely satisfying, especially when you get a row cleared and you get to shout it out. Even if you don’t win, a few games of bingo can make for a nice mindless distraction.

4. Make a playlist

Do not forget to put it at full blast and rock out a bit. It is always surprising that this isn’t more utilized. Putting together a playlist on Spotify can be strangely satisfying as the OCD within you comes to the fore deciding on genres and order of tracks.

Once that list is ready a solid dance party, whether solo or with friends, is underlooked as a great way to get the body moving and just have a little bit of fun for once. It may be goofy and remind you of a certain scene in Risky Business but that frankly is the best part. Getting goofy and shaking it out a bit is a great way to take care of yourself, remember that it’s okay to be silly, and also just have a good laugh.

5. Go kickboxing

Or any form of martial arts, really. It’s a great way to punch the anger out while actually get in shape and feel like you really can defend yourself if the horror ever happens that you need to. It is seriously a great stress reliever and it is the perfect way to leave it all on the mat. There’s now a number of female-only kickboxing schools too, so there’s no need to have any anxiety about stepping onto the mat.

And there you have it. Five ways to at least help combat burning out and make the gnarly side effects a little more bearable if at all.  Even when burnout turns out to be unavoidable, take a step back and remember to breathe, count to five.

Nothing lasts forever, especially burnout, and hopefully some of these tips will help you out a little bit. Because after all, we all want to make a bit of money and burning out is too much stress. There’s no time for that. Now go kick some ass in 2018.

This column was originally published on YourCoffeeBreak.co.

Dana has written for I Am That Girl, Man of the Hour, and more.