How to Relieve Burnout (& Boost Your Immune System!)

Alright, there's something we need to talk about: burnout aka prolonged stress. It's well known that stress negatively affects the immune system of an average person. For people like us with chronic autoimmune issues... the results can be even more severe. Our systems are already depleted... or more accurately: overworked from fighting itself.

Autoimmune definition:

"relating to conditions and diseases in which normal cells are attacked by someone’s immune system (=parts of the body that fight disease)"

- Macmillan Dictionary

It's also well known that our skin (our largest organ) responds directly to stress and fatigue. This means that making our health a priority is something we need to take very seriously. We ALL have our limits. As much as we'd like to be super heroes with unlimited energy... we're just not.

I'm gonna get real for a second: I recently hit a major burnout wall. I've been overworking myself, setting the bar higher and higher and completely shoving any shred of a social life or "me time" out of the way. While it's brought me a good amount of success, my life has become preeeetty unbalanced.

During the week, I'm out of the house for twelve hours a day so that I can commute to downtown Chicago... and half the time I work on the train during that commute. That's actually what I'm doing right now! ;-)  I often work through lunch breaks on my own projects as well.

This means that I'm COMPLETELY wiped by the time I get home. On the weekends, I've been working another full day from home on my freelance projects. With my jam packed schedule, I was left with Sunday for spending a bit of time with my husband and getting whatever else done that needed to get done around the house. This went on for months and months. Every nook and cranny on my schedule had work packed into it...

I didn't just hit the burnout wall, I smashed all the way through it.

This sort of thing is bound to happen in life. It's completely normal. What happens next is the important part: will you make some improvements or will you keep on going until who-knows-what happens?

Risking your health is not worth it. I promise.

My skin has taken a bit of a nose dive lately and I'm not surprised. I haven't been paying much attention to myself, after all! In an effort to dig yourself out of the rubble and start feeling better, you need to figure out exactly what you need to work on. A little tweak here, some new perspective there... and you can give your mind and immune system that boost you've been needing.

To get yourself kick started, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the most important aspects of my life?
  • What am I spending time on that isn't yielding a whole lot of results? (Perhaps it's time to eliminate one or two things.)
  • When was the last time I did something for myself and what was it?
  • What's something I can start incorporating into my routine that's just for me? (Even if it's just five minutes a day, it makes a huge difference!)
  • Who can I talk to that would be a good sounding board for this type of stuff?

Whether it's slimming down your schedule, finding more time for dinners with friends or getting back to exercising regularly, the solution will be different for everybody. It's time to reflect, make a plan and implement it. The time is now! Why wait?

For some other adjustments you can make, check out my post on how to make your life more like a vacation!