5 Nutritional Strategies to Avoid Burnout and Stay Healthy – Press Enterprise

You’ve probably heard the term “exhaustion.” Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by being overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and overly diluted. While often mentioned in the context of workplace burnout, unpaid jobs like parenting and elder care can also lead to burnout. With more people than ever before working from home and experiencing the boundaries between work life and personal life becoming blurred, burnout is at an all time high. What can you do about it? In light of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s shed some light on burnout and some simple nutritional solutions that can help.

Exhaustion goes beyond stress. While we can often take a break or even a vacation to help cope with the stress of daily life, burnout feels much more insurmountable. Some common symptoms of burnout include fatigue, mood swings, lack of creativity, difficulty concentrating, and reduced performance and productivity. It can also lead to changes in sleep and appetite and a feeling of insecurity and isolation.

While burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis, it can certainly affect your mental and physical health if left unaddressed. The first step in managing burnout is realizing you have it. It is important to seek support and make lifestyle changes to achieve a better balance. While work and home situations can be complicated, we can feel empowered to use nutrition to help fight burnout with healthy eating.

Here are some strategies for optimizing food and nutrition for recovery from burnout.

plan your meals

While meal planning may seem like a short-term chore, it can save you time and energy in the long run, especially at times when we need it most. Plus, meal planning helps you stay organized with meals, taking the pressure of decision fatigue around food. Use meal planning as a tool to ensure you have the right food on hand for when you need it.

Increase the fiber in your diet

Inadequate fiber intake can contribute to constantly fluctuating blood sugar levels, which can lead to anxiety, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and many of the other common symptoms of burnout. High-fiber foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables have a wide variety of health benefits. Fiber helps keep us full and satisfied longer, promotes balanced blood sugar and insulin levels, and supports good gut health.

Focus on fats for brain health

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the brain to function properly. Foods that are rich in omega-3s include flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, seaweed, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines. These foods can support chemicals in the brain that affect mood and cognition.

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