By Megan Hoskins, founder and registered massage therapist, Slow Medicine Company
Helpguide.org describes burnout as “a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.
“Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.”
Of course, preventing burnout in the first place is always best, but sometimes we need to focus on recovery.
We have a background in movement, massage therapy and mindfulness meditation coaching, so those are the tools we’re going to recommend. There are so many beautiful ways to take care of yourself, so find techniques that you can commit to long-term — from talk therapy to laughter yoga and everything in between!
Tip #1 – Movement
Do this movement sequence to make space in the body and physically slow down. Hold each shape for a few minutes, and be sure to listen to your body; don’t continue with movements if they’re uncomfortable.
From a kneeling position, step your right leg forward. Make sure your front shin is vertical while your back leg is on a diagonal to stretch your hip flexor. Repeat on your left side.
From hands and knees, slide your right knee to your right hand while angling your shin to approximately 45 degrees. Your left leg stretches straight back. You will feel this stretch deep in your right hip. Change sides.
Lye on your tummy, propped up on your elbows. For less backhanding intensity, move your elbows a little further forward.
Hip Sway Twist
Lye on your back with bent knees, feet set wide apart. Slowly swish your knees from right to left. You are welcome to hold the pose in a twist stretch for a few minutes on each side.
Rest on your back with a neutral low back. Set your feet wide apart and tent your knees together. Place your hands on your belly and follow the movement of your breath. Ahhhhhhh!
Tip #2 – Breathing
Do this breathing exercise to focus your mind toward a simple and singular task. Equal Measured Breath is a breathing exercise that focuses on balance. The inhalation phase lasts for the exact same count as the exhalation phase.
How to Get Started
There have been many medical studies that correlate the practice of mindful breathing with the reduction of stress and anxiety. This is one of the simplest of the breathing techniques and can be sneakily practiced anywhere ;-)
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Begin to notice your natural breath, but don’t change anything yet. Give yourself a good five breaths or so to just observe.
- Slowly count to FOUR as you inhale. Take a brief moment at the top of your inhalation with your lungs full of air. Then also count to four as you exhale. Again take a moment to feel empty. Then repeat the cycle again to another count of four.
- Breathe this way for several minutes.
- After a few weeks or months with this practice, you may want to experiment with lengthening the count. Just make sure your inhalation and exhalation are the same lengths and you are not creating pressure on yourself to go beyond what’s comfortable.
Tip #3 – Meditation
Download and play this compassion-based meditation daily. It’s like self-care for your soul!
Use promo code “MICHAELGARRON” for 10% off Slow Medicine Company’s Slow Yoga Membership