Mind and movement coach Beth Fuller shares her expert advice on ways to tackle burnout ahead of the festive season
Burnout is incredibly common and is experienced by many people, yet it still comes as a shock when symptoms start to show. Often, we find ourselves naturally getting on with things, then are suddenly hit by a wave of emotion and brought to tears by the most minor incident. It will often be this moment that we realise just how stressed we truly are, not dealing with issues that have built up.
“Burnout occurs because your body is repeatedly going through an incomplete stress cycle,” says mind and movement coach, Beth Fuller. In our everyday lives, we are well adapted to dealing with stress triggers. Beth says: “we deal with it without thinking most of the time, and then move on. But what we don’t do is deal with the onslaught of chemicals that have flooded our bodies when we’re stressed.” Therefore, our stress cycle is incomplete, leading to build-up and burnout.
30 minutes of exercise or a six second kiss with a loved one are both easy, effective ways to reduce stress. However, a busy work life means that there aren’t many opportunities for hair pros to find a spare 30 minutes to exercise.
As the festive season approaches, it’s inevitable that workloads and pressures will soon soar, so it’s more important than ever to be combatting stress-build up in the most convenient way for your lifestyle.
Beth’s five ways to de-stress and support your wellbeing:
Try to make your mornings a little more mindful
A 4.30AM wake-up and a 10-step morning routine is unrealistic and most certainly a path to burnout. Instead of making drastic changes, start with small things like:
- Not looking at your phone immediately
- Taking a minute to breathe while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew
- Popping your head outside for some fresh air (yes, it’s cold but it’ll help your circadian rhythm.)
Set your boundaries
There is a huge misconception that setting boundaries is just saying no to things. Setting boundaries is about developing parameters that you feel safe in. Our brains love to know we’re safe – which is also why you gain such relief from doing habitual activities. When the feeling occurs, our brains don’t flood us with cortisol (the stress hormone).
Setting boundaries can be as simple as setting ‘office hours’ for responding to client messages. Putting these in place in the coming months will be giving your brain the signal that although things are busy, they’re within the parameters of your boundaries and are safe.
Control your controllables
In service-based businesses, it can feel like you need to be in control of everything and everyone. Unfortunately, that’s the fastest road to burnout. A great exercise that you can do is to create a physical list/table/grid of what is in and out of your control and what you can do about it. For example:
In my control: The energy that I bring to my clients.
What can I do about it? Make sure that I get enough rest and hydrate properly, so they get a gorgeous version of me.
Not in my control: Somebody’s mood when they walk into the salon.
What can I do about it? Offer them a space to be heard and provide my service if necessary or desired.
As a disclaimer, we must acknowledge that many of us have been socially conditioned to be ‘fixers’ and take the weight of the world onto our shoulders. We must attempt to unlearn that one, it isn’t doing us any favours!
Complete your stress cycle when you can
In addition to the suggestions so far, others include:
- Singing (gets you breathing more deeply!)
- Cuddling a pet
- Practising breathwork
- Having a dance in the kitchen