Feeling mentally fatigued or experiencing burnout?

Workplace burnout is an epidemic. This is because we are not listening to our bodies. The rule of thumb is: with every high, there is a low. So when our stress levels are high to get us meeting that tight deadline, we need a comedown space to recalibrate and maintain equilibrium. If you are tackling one deadline after another without a restoration period, you will enter into an energy debt. It’s not a sustainable way of living. Your resources will be depleted and you will soon flat line. To prevent this, make sure you self-care after each deadline or project. Rest and restore. Heal to feel good. Even if you need to have an evening in soaking in the bath with a glass of wine rather than having a night out on the town – take your space. Be willing to negotiate the next deadline if it comes too soon or ask for help to spread the load.

If you are feeling mentally fatigued in your workday take a 20-minute breathing space; every 4 hours, your brain needs a 20-minute rest-and-restore to maintain optimum performance– we don’t have a siesta culture but we can gain the same benefits from meditation.
— Hope Bastine

Try This Office Quick Fix

When you are feeling overwhelmed take a mini-moment. Take three breaths and drawn your attention inward. Check-in with yourself and ask “how am I feeling right now?” and “what do I need to do to self-care?” You can do this with your eyes open or focus on a single point like a button. It is useful to take these mini-mindful moments throughout your day.

Breath Deep and Know Peace!

Breathing is an important part of meditation because it can be both a voluntary and involuntary action – it happens to you and you can do it.

Try this experiment: take a pause from what you are doing by watching and listening to your breath just as it is.

As you do this you will notice you were breathing goes on regardless of whether you are aware of it or not. In time, this shows us that the rigid distinctions we make between what we do and what happens to us is arbitrary. Both the voluntary and involuntary aspects of our existence are all one happening. This then causes you to question the beliefs that perpetuate our anxiety – it invites us to let go of trying to control everything. It invites us to accept there are both some things we can make an impact on and some things we cannot. We are both changing the world and being part of the world. As you continue breathing without trying to force it, you will notice something rather magical happens: you will naturally breath more deeply. Moreover, you will soon begin to feel how in the natural slowing down of your breath it has a powerful effect on your mind and body.

The Science of Breathing

From a physiological perspective oxygen and airflow is crucial to our brain activity. The way we are breathing also gives us a clue to what’s going on in our mind. If we are breathing shallow, we’re probably anxious, and not getting enough oxygen. Deep breathing thought the nose every quickly reregulates our heart rate because the Vagus nerve directly links the nose and the heart thereby rapidly activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Stimulating the Vagal nerve, though yoga and meditation, is crucial to our health and wellbeing; it is one of the most far-reaching nerve in the human body touching almost every organ. Exhales are the breath of relaxation and reduce the heart rate, inhales are activating and increase heart rate. Ideally, we want our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to be balanced. So, inhaling and exhaling for equal amounts of time does this very quickly. For example, Inhale for four seconds, pause, and then exhale for four seconds. If you are too anxious or stressed, inhale for four seconds, pause for seven seconds, and then exhale for eight seconds.

Try out my breathing mindfulness meditation free on the Insight Time App

The Wellbeing Fail-Safe

Connect. Have a meaningful chat with a colleague at the water cooler or when you’re waiting for everyone to arrive at the meeting instead of checking your phones. If a colleague asks: “how are you?” be honest! Say that you’re struggling a little is your deadline or project. They might have some good ideas or help tease out an alternative hiding away in your subconscious because that mental chatter is too loud to hear that still small voice. Research shows two things: firstly, productivity flows when we are calm (in an alpha brainwave state that meditation cultivates). Secondly, stress levels reduce when we ‘tend-and-befriend’.

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