Worrying about the future, overexposure to distressing news stories, and juggling work and home life can quickly result in burnout, lack of energy and motivation, and feelings of hopelessness. As we continue to hope for a sense of normalcy to return, it is important that we make the best of our current situations and continue to adapt and cope. These tips can help you nourish yourself with the goal of flourishing.
Take care of yourself. Nothing is more important than your physical and mental health. Stay on top of preventive measures and regular doctors’ visits, and address health issues as they arise.
Eat well. Nutritious foods are key to good health and sustainable energy levels. Strive to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, nuts, seeds, healthy oils and lean proteins.
Avoid loading up on sugar, caffeine and “junk” foods. While they may provide a temporary pick-me-up, they result in a “crash” that can leave you feeling even more depleted. Enjoy these foods in moderation and as a way to treat yourself. Little indulgences of this type can be nourishing!
Allow yourself to rest—without becoming a couch potato! When life gets tough, it can be comforting to enjoy a moment of relaxation in front of your TV or curled up in bed. However, it is important to balance these activities with movement and exercise to nourish your body and mind.
Set boundaries. Nothing can lead to burnout quicker than blurring the lines between work and home life. If you’re able to work onsite, leave your work at work and your home life at home. If you’re working from home, establish boundaries of time, space and thought.
- Time: Stick to a schedule and avoid working outside of normal hours. Don’t work on your days off—you’ve earned them!
- Space: Designate a space in your home for work and keep your computer, phone, notepads, etc. there to avoid your work from spilling into other areas of your home life.
- Thought: While it is much easier said than done, try to turn off thoughts of work when you’re done for the day—and on weekends—to avoid thinking and talking about work during non-work hours.
Lose yourself in something you love. Nourish yourself by participating in activities you enjoy. Schedule regular “me” time to ensure you follow through.
Take breaks from the news and social media. A total separation from these things for several days, weeks or even months can be extremely nourishing and allow for more time and self-reflection. Also, aim to avoid preoccupation with the actions of others.
Virtual gatherings becoming draining? Politely turn down invitations for virtual gatherings and suggest alternative ways to connect instead, such as phone, text or even write a letter or send a card!
Break up the monotony. As we’re *checks calendar and watch* heading into a YEAR of the pandemic, you may be feeling stuck, bored and like it’s a “Groundhog Day” type of situation. Think of safe ways to make life fun again. Try things such as:
- Schedule a “vacation” day where you plan your day and meals around activities found in places you’d like to go on vacation. For example, is a trip to Italy a dream destination for you? Cook an authentic Italian meal complete with dessert, play Italian music, virtually explore tourist hotspots, and immerse yourself in the culture from the comfort of your home.
- Plan a movie night and include all your favorite theater snacks. Turn off the lights, raise the volume and replicate the environment of the theater in your own home.
- Scan real estate websites and find your ultimate dream house. Imagine what it would be like to live there!
- Pamper yourself. Indulge in a long, hot shower or bath with your favorite scented soap and hair products. Take time to shave, do your hair, and clip, file and polish your nails—anything that make you feel as if you just visited the barber, salon or spa.
- Spend time brightening up your home. Get tips here.
If you have a blue mood or fatigue that seems to linger, or you feel continually overwhelmed, there are professionals who can help. Talk to your doctor to get information or resources.