As we slide deeper into 2018, the gusto you had ringing in the new year might be starting to feel more like a distant memory. With lingering cold temps and long nights, burnout can feel imminent this time of year. The good news is there are ways to mitigate before the match is fully lit. Here are some ideas for falling back in love with life and rediscovering the zeal with which you started the year.
1. Begin the day mindfully.
It’s easy to set the day on autoplay and move through the motions. But if you’re waking up every day feeling like lead, consider shaking up your morning routine. Rise with intention. Instead of starting the day with a digital hit, take a minute to check in with yourself, sans phone. Inhale fully, let it out and take a full body yawn. Mindfully set an intention for the day—kindness, patience, sending love to a friend having a hard time, or whatever it is you want to focus on—and make a conscious effort to keep coming back to that throughout the day.
2. End the day graciously.
Close the day with gratitude. Journaling shows significant improvements in mental outlook and can be a powerful way to get in touch with your own psyche. Chances are your gut knows what’s up and is ready for you to listen. Writing it out helps surface those thoughts. End the journal sesh by listing what you’re thankful for—whether it’s your partner, pup, or the dope sandwich you had for lunch.
3. Just do good.
When you’re walking around feeling like an open nerve with fatigue on your heels, take a minute to do something kind. Whether it’s sending a postcard to your mom, holding the door open for someone, or signing up to volunteer around town—find an opportunity to give back. Be bursting with happiness for your friends and strangers walking into their dreams. Studies show that at your lowest moments, the greatest way to replenish your own tank is by giving to and celebrating others. Confusing, I know, but it works!
4. Refresh your routine.
Know that fresh starts don’t come by the calendar year, they come each day. Every sunrise is a new chance to work on becoming the person you were always meant to be, so it’s never a wash if you slip up. Use these missteps as an opportunity for growth. Not sticking to your workout schedule? Consider joining a running group or getting a gym membership that charges you for missing class. Not making headway on your side hustle? Block off a “no-phone zone” for a couple of hours each day where you are heads-down on your project. At the same time, find ways to automate decisions that are sucking time so you can reserve brain power for what really matters. Whether it’s meal prepping, adopting a uniform, or hiring a maid, see what happens when you make space in your mind for the most critical tasks.
5. Let Mother Nature give you a hand.
Although highly treatable, anxiety, stress, and depression are pervasive and often neglected issues that wreak havoc on energy levels and can lead to both adrenal fatigue and overall poor mental and physical health. The earth is budding with myriad tools to help combat this and pump up your creative and energetic juices. Holy basil, ashwagandha, lion’s mane, and rhodiola are just a few natural adaptogens that can help assuage these issues. Give 'em a try.
6. Release what no longer serves you.
Give yourself the best chance for success. Eliminate what does not serve you, whether it’s foods, thoughts, people, social media, or self-sabotaging habits. Let go of anything bringing you down. And be mindful of more insidious things to cut. If you always feel “too busy,” try eliminating something. For example, cut off Netflix or delete Instagram for a week and see what happens to your productivity and mood.
7. Finally, be here now.
Been wanting to skydive? Do it. Book the vacation. Take the PTO. Buy the shoes. Eat the burger. Wear sunscreen. Drink water. Write love letters. Have the conversation. Tell them you love them. Floss. Do what you loved when you were a kid. Find what moves your soul and allow it into your life. And remember to be selfish. If you need sleep, sleep. If you need to cancel plans, cancel. If you’re not well, take the sick day. Buy yourself flowers. Soak up what you need, unapologetically. You are growing and expanding and the universe wants to help you become the greatest version of yourself. Listen to it.