For the past couple of months, I’ve been recovering from burnout.
Ealier this year, my body literally started to shut down and scream at me from the inside:
- My skin started breaking out in rashes
- I felt sick, nauseous, and absolutely exhausted all the time
- My teaching work—the one thing I’d always loved—became something I dreaded (plus I felt like a total imposter. Who was I to help people feel better when I was feeling so bad?)
- I suddenly found it impossible to relax—my body just couldn’t LET GO
- The anxiety I’d worked so hard to heal started hitting me like a ton of bricks
Breaking point came the day I collapsed in my kitchen and laid there catatonic for 3 hours, totally unable to move.
Honestly, I had no idea what was happening to me.
All I knew was that I needed a break.
There are many, MANY reasons for my burnout. Including the fact that all my self-care tools were things I did “because I teach them”.
My meditation practice, for example, stopped being something I did for me… and became something I did to be the best meditation teacher possible. It became about striving instead of nurturing.
So I stepped away from holding space for others to make space for me again.
This was HARD.
I said no to amazing teaching opportunities. I let people down. I walked away from toxic situations that had been crushing my spirit.
I cried a lot. I doubted myself. And I still have no idea what’s on ‘the other side’.
(If you ever have to do this, just know that 1. it’s OKAY to put yourself first, even if it means letting others down, and 2. be kind to yourself in the process.)
For now, I want to share with you what I’m doing to heal my burnout.
Maybe it’ll help you, too.
My current healing tools for burnout
🥦 Diet: this is a major. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been addicted to sugar and my gut health has been totally out of whack. I’ve been eating a vegan diet for a while, but I’ve now switched to whole-food plant-based… and I feel so much better for it.
Since I used to HATE cooking, I’m trying to see this as an adventure in self-care. I’ve been taking The Happy Pear’s online vegan cooking course (which is amazing). My current go-to cookbooks are by Deliciously Ella, So Vegan, and Dr Michael Greger.
🏃♀️ Cardio: something else I used to hate! But the more research I’ve done, the more convinced I am that it’s 100% necessary for shaking stress out of the body and recovering from burnout.
To get my heart pumping, I’ve been doing EMK Fit’s dance HIIT workouts on YouTube at home. They’re so much fun! Moving to music is the only way I can get cardio done. If you’re the same—and you hate burpees—try her videos. She rocks.
🧘♀ ️Yoga: I’ve had a daily yoga practice for the past 5 years. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it.
However, I’ve been diving a lot deeper into healing trauma and working with energy—particularly with Ana Forrest. I feel so ALIVE after her classes. I also highly recommend her book, Fierce Medicine.
🌬 Breathwork: I’ve recently been trying out Wim Hof’s method. It’s wicked. Give it a go.
📿 Meditation: I’ve been using mala beads to practice mantra meditation (Transcendental Meditation-style). Deepak Chopra offers great guided mantra meditations, too.
🌱 Nature and plants: I literally used to hate being outside… which is probably how I ended up with a serious vitamin D deficiency!
I’ve made it part of my daily routine to go for a 20-minute walk and I’ve also started getting houseplants. Being around plants feels like magic.
📝 Journaling: since reading The Artist’s Way, I’ve written 3 pages of journal entries every morning… and it’s a TOTAL game-changer. Meditation helps me become aware of my thoughts, but journaling helps me make sense of them.
I’ve also been attending Dan Simpson’s writing workshops with The Psychedelic Society. They’ve been invaluable in helping me to heal and process.
😴 Sleep, water, and rest: I’d neglected these basic tenets of self-care. I’m now letting myself wake up without an alarm, giving myself a proper wind-down evening routine, and taking time to enjoy ‘doing nothing’.
I’m also making sure I drink enough water and neck plenty of delicious herbal teas. I think a lot of my physical health issues are associated with dehydration and this feels like it’s helping!
🎨 Creative expression: I’m letting my ‘inner artist’ out. I’m going to craft stores and spending time writing, drawing, painting, baking, and creating.
💆♀️ Massage: this feels indulgent for me. I always feel guilty about being pampered, so getting regular treatments is great practice for treating myself well. I like Thai and deep tissue massage.
✨ Simplifying: I’ve been systematically letting go of commitments, reducing the amount of stuff I own, and (as a result) decluttering my mind.
The Minimalists are my favourite source of inspiration for this. They also have a documentary on Netflix called ‘Minimalism’. Watch it.
🤝 Therapy: I saved the best ’til last! Working with a therapist is (and always has been) the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m currently working with an amazing holistic psychotherapist.
I feel absolutely no shame about the fact that I need HELP to manage my mental well-being. It’s not something we have to do on our own. I’ve worked with therapists on and off for 10 years to help me manage my anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and ADHD.
If you’re struggling, get help. I promise you won’t regret it.
This is just the beginning of my healing journey.
But I hope one or more of these tools might come in handy for you!