The advance of technology propelled our generation into a 24/7 work culture. A constantly ‘connected’ culture that, coupled with a fast-paced life, has turned Millennials into the most stressed generation ever.
And there’s a name for it: Millennial Burnout. It affects thousands of women in their twenties and thirties, leaving them exhausted, anxious and depressed.
If you have all the tell tale signs of burnout, it’s time to take a step back and most importantly practise self-care.
1. Juice Daily
Chronic stress is not just an energy robber, it’s also a vitamin thief.
And if you are burned out, then you need a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals more than ever before to help you fight off the free radicals caused by chronic stress.
The best source: JUICING fresh vegetables and fruits.
Raw juices are bursting with vitamins and minerals and are a fast and effective way to get your daily dose of goodness. You get greater levels of nutrition through raw juicing than through eating fruits and veggies because the digestive system doesn’t need to work as hard to break down the food to release available nutrients.
Make sure to pick up veggies and fruits that are high in vitamin C and E and those are the most efficient to fight off free radicals.
2. Balance your blood sugar levels
Balancing your blood sugar levels is probably one of the most important factors in maintaining constant energy levels, which you need with a burnout.
Blood sugar level is a measure of how much glucose circulates in your blood. When the level is too high, the body converts the excess to fat. When it drops too low, you feel hungry and suffer from the infamous ‘sugar crash’, which results in fatigue, irritability, nervousness and much more. If you’re always hungry and suffer from low energy levels, there’s a chance you have a blood sugar imbalance.
Also, fluctuating blood sugar levels create stress on the body and contribute to depleting your adrenal glands which messes your cortisol cycle leaving you tired at all hours.
The most effective way to regain your energy is to cut down on carbs, sugary foods, caffeine and alcohol and eat plenty of low GI (glycemic index) foods in combination with healthy fats and proteins.
3. Plan ahead
When you feel burned out, you often don’t have the energy nor the desire to cook healthy meals. It’s easier to just grab ready-made food from the nearby store (guilty!). If you do this long term though, you are likely to suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies making you feel even worse than you already were.
Eating healthy nutrient dense foods is super critical to keep your energy levels up.
So how do we stay healthy without spending too much time and energy in the kitchen?
- Meal planning: it’s a wonderful time-saving strategy. Granted, you actually need to sit down and create your meal plan but if you make a rolling one, you’ll only need to do it once. You’ll be able to batch cook your meals and optimize your evening routines. Use pinterest or get meal plans available online if you need inspiration
- Keep it simple: cooking healthy doesn’t have to be difficult, quite the opposite actually. Making a fresh, nutrient-dense salad takes no more than 10 minutes, same for a veggie omelet or an oven-baked fish.
- Online shopping: shopping online will save you a ton of time and energy. With your rolling meal plan, all you need to do is write down the shopping list and make a recurring weekly order to keep your fridge always stocked up.
- Keep healthy emergency snacks: to avoid reaching for the chips or chocolate bar when you are crashing down, try to keep healthy snacks in your bag or at home (chopped up carrots / cucumbers, almonds, pumpkin seeds, apple with almond butter, etc.)
4. Make sleep a priority
Sleep is a fundamental biological need. Yet, we are too busy and aren’t making it a priority in our lives. It usually comes well after work, chores and of course after Netflix 😉
However, it’s no secret that sleep is super powerful in repairing and re-energizing the body. Making it a priority and getting a consistent 8 hours of sleep per night is very important to bounce back from a burnout.
What works best is to set a timer an hour before going to bed to allow yourself to unwind: avoid screens, take a bath, do some light yoga, breathing exercises or read a book.
5. Switch off
We live in an age of information overload. Internet, social media, an inbox full of emails are all pieces of information that our brains need time and space to process. And the truth is that, sometimes, our brains get into overdrive.
The best way to shut down all the noise around you is to switch off your phone, close your laptop and take time out for yourself. Whether it’s a trip to your favorite bookstore, a visit to the museum or a walk in the forest, a weekly ‘me time’ session is essential. It will give you the mental space needed to recharge the batteries.
6. Move regularly (but don’t overdo it)
If you are feeling burned out, it’s best to avoid long, intense exercises that could make you feel worse. It might take you much longer than normal to recover from cardio or HIIT when your adrenals are struggling.
The best is to do some light movements, regularly. Get out in the fresh air at least twice a day, take nice long walks in the forest, or even around your home or office, do some light yoga for a few minutes here and there. Just remember not to overdo it.
7. Ground Yourself
Whether it’s a stroll in the forest, a walk on the beach or a hike in the mountains, spending time in nature is powerful. Being in the here and now and experiencing the beauty all around can be quite healing.
For increased benefits, kick your shoes off and practice Earthing (or Grounding). Earthing is the act of walking or sitting barefoot on the ground (grass, sand, gravel, dirt or concrete) thus creating direct contact with the earth. Soaking up the earth’s negatively-charged electrons through the ground neutralizes free radicals in the body and boosts self-healing mechanisms.
Taking ‘mind breaks’ can go a long way in relieving stress and anxiety caused by a burnout. Find a meditation or yoga center close to your home or sign up for an online class if you have never meditated before.
Millennial burnout is real and, if not properly dealt with, may cause a lot of mental and physical complications down the road. Slowing down and practising self-care is super important to bounce back from long periods of stress.