Exhaustion and Burn Out: How to fill your emotional cup

4/6/20232 min read

man on thinking pose
man on thinking pose

It’s spring (although it may not look it outside)! In Kidder County that means calving season is in full swing. Add to that the weather not cooperating and finances tight with the current economy - it’s easy to be pushed past your point of exhaustion and feel flat burned out and stressed. Stress, burn out, and chronic exhaustion are gateways to larger mental health issues including anxiety and depression. However, there are small ways you can take care of yourself today to help ease the mental burden feeling burned out creates.

1.       Take some time for just YOU

Easier said than done honestly. But know it’s ok to say no. And it’s ok to take a break. When stress overcomes you, take a step back and take a few deep breaths. It helps you reset and reconnect. Even if taking time for yourself means 10 minutes alone in your room drinking a cup of coffee while taking some deep breaths! It counts!

2.       Keep comfortable and cozy

Seriously. Anyone ever heard of the concept Hygge? It’s a Danish word that encompasses cozy comforts that lead to contentment and happiness. How do you do it? Surround yourself with people and things that make you happy. Examples include: wearing those cozy winter slippers, buying yourself flowers for your table, listening to your favorite song, watching your children or grandchildren play, snuggling under a warm blanket and reading a good book. Just to name a few. Everyone’s list will be different. Start thinking of yours now!

3.       Commit to your health

A strong body can help counter the mental havoc that stress and burn out create!

-Exercise: start slow! Even 10 minutes once or twice a day can add up! The current recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate (heart pumping) exercise each week. Evaluate if you hit this and think of ways you can schedule movement into your day. Exercise and moving your body release hormones that not only improve your mood, but also help with sleep (see below)!

-Eat well: Sugar, carbs, highly processed, and fast foods taste great! However, they become the fuel to the fire for fatigue, depression, anxiety, and stress. Opt for foods that are less processed – fruits, veggies, homemade breads and soups. Basically the items on the outer edges of a grocery store. Lacking for time? Make a big meal and freeze it for later!

-Sleep!: Do you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night? Sleep deprivation can affect your concentration, mood, and overall health – so make sleep a priority! Get into a sleep routine (…it’s not just for babies!). Start to unwind about an hour before sleep – turn off screens, put your phone away, and start prepping for the next day. Do something relaxing (like reading, deep breathing, stretching, etc) before you close your eyes to sleep.

All of these may seem far fetched to you now, especially if it’s been a while since you took time for YOU. Be kind to yourself. Little changes, slowly, can really add up to something big. Filling up your emotional cup will not only allow you to cope more easily with burnout, depression, and anxiety, but also allow you to be there for others when they need it too.