4 Self-Care Tips for When You're Feeling Burnout

Working in education can be an extremely stressful job at the best of times. This article covers some simple self-care tips to follow when you’re feeling burnout. 

1) Reach Out for Help 

If you’re struggling to stay on top of things at the moment, then you’re not alone. It’s important not to keep it to yourself though and just hope that things get better. Open up about how you’re feeling to your colleagues, or a friend. Not only is it good to talk about things, but it could give you some perspective and they might be able to offer some helpful advice or support. 

Talking about your stress and feeling burnout, is an important part of tackling the problem. And if you don’t feel like you’re able to discuss it with someone you know then there are plenty of anonymous helplines and online support resources that you can reach out to at any time. Educational Support offer a free confidential helpline available 24/7 dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education staff in schools, colleges and universities. 

2) Focus on Looking After Yourself 

When you’re overworked and stressed out, it’s easy to neglect your own health and wellbeing and fall into some bad habits. 

Try to cut down your caffeine intake during the day, especially in the afternoons. It might give you a temporary boost but afterwards, it leaves you feeling lower and more stressed out. Caffeine also disrupts your sleep and getting a good night’s rest is vital to preventing burnout. Drinking alcohol can also impact how well you sleep, so try to resist having a drink in the evenings to help you relax. 

Start planning out your meals at the start of each week so you can make sure you are getting a balanced diet. Avoid takeaways and ready meals, instead cook some healthy meals full of vegetables, protein and fibre, and freeze a few portions for a quick meal when you’re short on time. 

Getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals is going to give you more energy and focus to keep up with your hectic workload. If you’re struggling to stick to a healthy diet then consider adding some extra vitamins into your diet. For example, p5p the "active" or "coenzyme" form of vitamin B6 helps your body to metabolise amino acids and carbohydrates as well as supporting your immune system. 

3) Sleep Well 

When you’re under pressure at work it can make getting a good night’s sleep really difficult. But it’s not impossible and you need to focus on improving your sleep so that you feel more alert and able to handle stress during the day. 

Focus on getting into a good sleeping pattern. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning, even on the weekends. 

Avoid looking at any screen for at least an hour before you go to sleep — cut out the late-night tv or endless Facebook scrolling in bed. Instead, listen to music or read a book to help you unwind. And make sure it’s completely dark in your room so that your brain can switch off. 

If you’re really struggling to fall asleep some people find certain scents can help them drift off more easily. For example, This Works Deep Sleep Spray contains lavender, camomile, and vetivert oil to help you feel calm and ready to sleep.

Alternatively, you could try meditation. Use an app such as Calm, which provides guided meditations and relaxing playlists to not only help you get to sleep but achieve more restful sleep, so you wake up refreshed. 

4) Make Time to Exercise

Schedule in some time to exercise at least two or three times per week. It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re exhausted and stressed out, but you will notice a positive difference that makes it worthwhile. 

Working out gives you a chance to focus on something else outside of work, plus it boosts your endorphin and serotonin levels, which make you feel more positive and focused. If you really can’t force yourself to do something after work, try getting up half an hour early to fit in a quick workout. Or even just start off by going outside for a walk on your lunch break — getting yourself outside during the day can really help your mood and make you feel more motivated. 

For a less strenuous workout, try a few yoga classes. It’s a great way to manage your stress levels because yoga incorporates meditation and breathing exercises that can make you feel more in control. 

It’s completely understandable to be feeling the strain of working in a job that’s usually very stressful. However, it’s important to prioritise your wellbeing — get yourself in a good routine, and practice some of these self-care tips so that you can avoid burnout and feel more positive and motivated. For more self-care tips and ideas on prioritising your own wellbeing why not have a read of our Say yes to yourself’ blog.

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