There’s an energy crisis affecting all of us, and this one can’t be fixed by unplugging appliances. We’re talking about burnout at work. Instead of loading up on energy quick-fixes like caffeine and carbs, look through all our incredible resources on the topic: from Ayurvedic remedies to nutrition hacks and a few other surprising tips on the topic, we’re all over this one.
We’re also chatting with flower essence maker, Alisa Gould-Simon, for sustainable solutions to beat that burnout. Alisa’s recently launched line of flower essences, Flora Luna will help us all step away from the espresso machine, sit up straight and stock up on essential oils instead….
For more than five years, I burned my proverbial candle at both ends while running a tech startup here in Los Angeles. For the five years prior to that, it was as a journalist. On top of that, I’ve battled insomnia since childhood and had many a sleepless night. As a result, I take both depleting and restoring energy very, very seriously.
I’m a big believer in looking to nature for remedies and solutions wherever possible, so I have researched a lot and sought out top-notch herbalists. While I’m extremely fortunate and my daily grind has become increasingly more balanced, I have countless friends who are leading amazing companies and have to battle exceptionally stressful days. In turn, this army of overachievers often suffers from not-so-sleepy nights.
While there’s no magic cure to burnout (and seeing a trained health professional if you are already taking any prescription medications or suffering from chronic issues is always the best bet), there are many natural and preventative measures that can make a few too many all-nighters a lot easier on the adrenals.
Take A Chill Pill
When your brain is on all day long, it’s important to help ease it off the treadmill with support. Calming teas like chamomile or mint can be super soothing once you’re off the clock. Ashwaghanda is an adaptogenic herb that is associated with stress relief (specifically feelings of nervousness and exhaustion). Passionflower, in Flora Luna essence form, or in capsule form (I love Gaia herbs), helps to quiet mental chatter and overactivity. At the end of the day (or first thing in the morning!) there’s nothing like exercise to release steam and get your system back to its preferred baseline.
Ditch the Coffee
Later in the day, coffee can give you a boost when you really need it, but it’ll also confuse your natural rhythms – and it has the potential to force you to sacrifice a good night’s sleep. Try a black, or better yet green, tea if you’re in need of a caffeine kick post-noon. If you have to have the real thing, try throwing a sprig of fresh lavender in your cup. A natural relaxant, a little bit of lavender can help offset the jittery feel that a strong cup of joe can give you.
Stop And Smell The Rosemary
Need a natural boost? Opt for natural remedies or snacks. I love my Flora Luna Clarity essence, which uses lemon flower to help focus the mind. Rosemary is fantastic for memory, so sipping on rosemary tea or having an essential oil at your desk is a wonderful resource for the final push before giving a big presentation. And… my favorite new practice: snacking on raw, vegan chocolate around 4:00 p.m. when the natural lull hits. This can be a great pick-me-up without the unsustainable sugar rush.
Posture, Posture, Posture
Making sure you’re not straining your neck, wrists or back while working away can be a challenge. Simple changes can make a world of difference. Personally, I highly recommend a standup desk. I am obsessed with the I Am Autonomous adjustable desk that my fiancé just ordered for our home.
Give Your Eyes A Break
During the day it’s easy to jump from your computer screen to your phone and back again without giving your eyes a breather. A best practice is, every 20 minutes, take a stroll (even if it’s a short one to other side of the office and back) and give your eyes a rest from looking at a screen. Follow the 20/20 rule of thumb: 20 minutes of screen time should be followed by 20 seconds of rest. Flux, a free software that automatically adjusts your screen’s brightness and color temperature according to the time of day, is also a lifesaver.
Go Where It’s Green
Whether it’s a tree-lined street outside your office or, even better, a local hike that puts you beyond the reaches of cell reception, nature is one of the best antidotes to burnout. Science shows that simply looking at nature makes us better problem solvers and more creative. So, the truth is, your brain on nature is a sharper, better functioning brain. Plus, spending time in nature and breathing fresh air increases energy. Win-win.
Turn Off The Lights
NBC News recently reported that nearly 95% of people use a device (phone, TV, tablet, etc.) before bed. As a former insomniac, I’ve tried everything under the sun (and the moon) to help me fall asleep more easily. The trick of using only candle light at least an hour before bed (as challenging a routine it may be to introduce) works wonders.
Find Your Me Time
Following all of these recommendations on top of your overwhelming workload may feel like more than you can manage. So, the most important one in my book – above all else – is ensuring that you have time for you. Whether it’s a meditation or yoga practice, soaking at the spa or going on a long hike, giving yourself time to be quiet and listen to your own needs is the best and only way you can give your other relationships or your work your full self. Put this on your calendar and make it a ritual that’s as important as any other meeting you schedule.