The UK’s leading burnout coach Rosie Millen is here to transform your energy by making changes to your diet, lifestyle and mindset.
Coronavirus is old news. The World Health Organisation has officially added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which means it will be globally recognised as a disease from 2022.
I’ve been living with burnout since 2014 when, one day, I collapsed in the park. I stayed in bed for three months, couldn’t move, couldn’t talk and, at my worst, I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. This was rock bottom. I thought I was never going to be ‘me’ again.
I went to the doctors one day, but all of the tests came back as ‘normal’ and I was diagnosed as depressed and given antidepressants. I burst into tears because I wasn’t depressed at all, I was just completely exhausted.
I continued to rest and sleep but I wasn’t improving. From my educational background, I knew about the adrenal glands and how stress can affect energy, so I began testing myself and filling out a number of symptom questionnaires. It became pretty clear I had burnout.
I finally did a 180 after changing my diet, lifestyle, mindset and exercise regime. Today, I’m about 90% recovered. My energy is back and I’m living my life with a new and improved perspective.
Here are some of the key signs to look out for:
1. You find small tasks challenging
2. You wake up even after a good night’s sleep and still feel tired
3. Social interactions feel like a chore
4. You’ve lost your drive and motivation
5. You snap at the tiniest thing
Here are my top tips to avoid burning out:
1. Increase your calories! Most people I see are not eating enough and they are over-exercising. Ladies, you need to be ingesting 2,000 calories per day. Please remember: food is energy!
2. Sleep is probably the most important thing. You need to be getting eight hours a night to function properly. The sleep you get between 10pm and midnight, and 7am and 9am, are the most refreshing. If you miss out on sleep and start to make it less of a priority, it’s a stress on the adrenals glands.
3. Productive rest. This is something I encourage my clients to do every day. For 10 mins in the morning or in the evening, take yourself away and lie down to do some deep breathing and switch off your mind. Our minds are constantly busy and naturally tend to overthink. By taking 10 each day and just breathing out slowly it actually lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
4. Meditation. Honestly, if you haven’t started doing this yet, I really encourage you! The best thing meditation does is to reduce anxiety. So, if you are in a state of overwhelm then you need to start doing it now! It really helps to centre you and focus your mind to a more relaxed, positive state. Download apps like Headspace or Calm to get you started.
5. Supplement. Stress is a major robber of vitamins and minerals – particularly B vitamins, so taking a high-quality B complex will mean that your cells have this cofactor to produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in the body. This is your body’s energy molecule.
When people ask me what was the one thing that helped me get back on my feet I always say it was a combination of changing my diet, lifestyle and mindset. However, if I were to list the five things that I did which made me get my spark back…
1. Identifying my stressors and eliminating them
2. Saying no and slowing down
3. Eating more food and taking targeting nutrients
4. Taking breaks from social media
5. Relying more on my support network