Building Resilience and Avoiding Burnout with Self-Care

By Registered Dietitian Lauren

Do you ever feel like you are burning out? Stress, fatigue, and a long list of responsibilities can make weight loss and maintenance feel like another daunting task to take on. Often, the key thing that’s missing is time to refuel and check in with yourself. You may have heard this referred to as “self-care.”

Does time for yourself feel like a luxury that you cannot afford? The truth is self-awareness, breaks from work, sleep, physical activity, relationships, and yes, healthy eating are not luxuries. They are essential ingredients in your life that keep you healthy, prevent burnout, and build resilience (1).

The Role of Self-Care

When you think of self care, the main goal is not necessarily to get out of town or forget all your troubles. The key is to practice emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence involves the ability to be aware of what you are feeling, and how it can affect your choices and actions.

For example, you may have heard your Livea consultant suggest that you “pause, ask, decide” when faced with a food choice. This is a technique to become more aware of your emotions and reactions to your surroundings and understand how they may be affecting your decisions.

One self-care technique that can help you be more aware of your emotions and how they affect you is meditation. Often, when we hear the word “meditation”, we imagine a long, drawn out session of sitting on the floor quietly. But you can benefit even without a lot of time or space.

Research suggests that just one minute of meditation can help lower your blood pressure, pulse rate, and feelings of stress. If you’re not into yoga, meditation can involve taking a few deep breaths to clear your head (4). You can make meditation accessible for your lifestyle by using whatever time and space you have.

Regularly being aware of how you’re feeling can help prevent burnout because it gives you an opportunity to catch yourself early, before you are worn out. Taking one minute for self-awareness is also accessible and affordable, even on busy days and on a tight budget.

Building Resilience

Resilience is being able to bounce back after challenging times. For example, maybe you have a stressful family situation, and you find yourself going back to some old coping habits and reaching for the treat table. Resilience is realizing how the situation is affecting you and, as quickly as possible, practicing healthier habits again.

Resilience is resetting after getting off track and making your next choice the right choice. If you don’t feel like you have this ability already, it’s something you can learn with practice.

Self-care techniques that help build your ability to bounce back include:

  • Practice Self-Awareness: Regularly ask yourself what is motivating your choices to ensure you keep going in the direction you want to go.
  • Practice Mindfulness in Daily Activities: Observe your surroundings without judging them. Pay attention to the taste of your food. Look around on your walk and notice the colors, sounds, and temperature.
  • Build Supportive Relationships: Your friends, family members, and c