How to Avoid Burnout with a High-Stress Lifestlye
As you know, stress is no joke. When stress runs high, everything else runs low.
Sleep suffers. Your mood suffers. Exercise and good nutrition may be the last thing on your mind.
There are certain times when stress levels will be through the roof, and you just can’t seem to catch a break. Work gets crazy, a family member gets sick, the bills start to stack up – life has a funny way of challenging us just when things seem to be going well.
For the last month, I’ve been adapting to a new schedule and training facility I’m working in. Since early last summer I’ve been working exclusively online, as I moved to San Diego in the fall, and just kept up the online work. It was nice, but it wasn’t enough.
I really missed training clients, and I always want to learn and grow. After all, you can always improve, and even with 5+ years of personal training under my belt, with constant learning and studying the whole time, I know I’ll never be satisfied.
To that end, I took a job working as a strength coach and rehab specialist in a chiropractic and manual therapy clinic here in San Diego. Corrective exercise is a weakness of mine, and being here is like being back in college – I learn something that makes me a significantly better trainer each and every day.
The job fell into my lap, and I was fortunate enough to start with a full patient book. Obviously, this is not a bad thing, but going from working zero hours in a gym to working 30-35 per week is tough (that’s training hours – I’m at the clinic about 50 hours per week on average).
On top of this, I’m still putting in 20-30 hours per week on my online business, as I continue to write for various places and work with my online clients.
I’ll be honest – it’s been absolutely brutal. I’m constantly tired, and six days at the facility in addition to my own brand is crushing me.
During my first two weeks at the clinic I probably worked out three times in total, as I was struggling just to sleep and keep up with everything.
Over the past week, I’ve been going out of my way to implement some habits and changes, and I’ve been feeling much better, and much more energetic. This may not be ground-breaking stuff here, but if you’re anything like me, and have a hard time keeping up with life, here are some steps that have drastically helped me out.
Schedule a Workout
Before, I was just going to the gym whenever I felt like it. Hashtag entrepreneur life.
However, after working a 10-hour shift at the gym, which is very draining as personal training = therapy for a lot of people, going to the gym was the last thing I wanted to do, so I generally just skipped it.
Now I proactively book it into my schedule. Even if it means blocking off an hour when I might have had a paying client, I’m making it a priority. This week I managed four workouts, and feel much better because of it.
The takeaway? Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you can ignore your health.
Take a Greens Supplement
No, I’m not trying to push supplements; this is just something that I really believe is keeping me healthy. When I’m this busy, sometimes all I can do is scarf down a protein shake or some grilled meat with water between clients. When my vegetable intake is lacking, I definitely notice a difference. Not the good kind.
I have since increased my greens intake to two servings per day, and I believe this is a large part of why I haven’t become violently sick, which tends to happen to me when I go for long periods of high stress and little sleep.
Optimizing your nutrient intake is HUGE, especially during stressful times. Nobody wants to get sick. Take your greens powder, multivitamin, or go out of your way to eat more vegetables. You’ll feel much better, I promise.
(I use Athletic Greens, but any high-quality greens will work.)
Go to Bed As Early as Possible
I love reading. More than anything. I also love Netflix binging, and I love working on my business.
All of these are activities that commonly cut into my sleep. I get off work, get home around 9pm, and want to then settle in and stay up all night working with Daredevil on in the background.
However, having the self-control to avoid this, and go to bed around 10 or 11pm, instead of my usual 1-2am, has made an incredible difference in my energy levels. I’m serious – get your sleep.
Schedule Fun Time
I don’t care if you’re Gary Vaynerchuk and work 120 hours per week. If you don’t schedule time for yourself, you’ll lose your mind.
Block out at least an hour a day where you do nothing but enjoy life. Take a walk. Read an excellent book. Sit on the couch and play Xbox, I don’t care. Just do something to let yourself recover from life.
You may not be able to have fun every day, but if you don’t have at least some fun each week, you’ll lose your mind. Take care of yourself.
I hope some of this helped you – it’s been helping me manage 50 hours a week in the practice, and 20-30 working at home on my own business.
If you have any other tips, please drop a comment and let me know. Let’s all help each other get better!