My darling, I want you to know that I see you. I see how you take such good care of everyone and everything in your life. You get to work early every day to stay on top of things. Every major event your kiddos have at school will find you there as a volunteer. You ensure everything and everyone is taken care of. Well, not everyone. The person you let down the most is yourself. If you were to be honest with me, you’d tell me that you are feeling burnt out and depressed.
You can’t believe you said that out loud. It’s bad enough you keep thinking about feeling burnt out and depressed.
Your life is amazing. So #blessed. So picture perfect. Everyone tells you that you’re the peppiest person they know. You tell yourself you’re being a drama queen. Yet, when you finally get a few moments to slow down, that thought keeps coming back to you. You ARE feeling burnt out and depressed. And that pisses you off.
You hate both of those words, don’t you? When you think of someone being burnt out, you see those other moms at the school. The ones looking frantic and unkempt. That doesn’t describe you because you try so hard to look put together. And depressed? Oh, please! You aren’t staying in bed or going days without showering. Maybe in your exhaustion, those words just slipped out.
Darling, it’s just us here. So let’s be very honest. The truth is you are feeling burnt out and depressed. And you hate feeling this way. You’re so sick and tired of feeling overwhelmed. You are just worn out. And you have never had any patience with yourself when you feel sad. Let alone feeling depressed. So, what can you do about it?
Here are twenty-one things to do when you are feeling burnt out and depressed.
One – Admit how you really feel.
Awareness is a powerful thing, so admit how you feel. When you deny your true emotions, you keep yourself stuck. By denying reality – you are feeling burnt out and depressed – you keep circling back into these negative feelings. The truth, my darling, will set you free. It will allow you to take action, too.
Two – Allow yourself to actually feel your emotions.
I know that one of the reasons you stay so busy is to run away from you emotions.
Just like admitting how you really feel is critical, so is actually allowing yourself to feel. If you’re feeling burnt out and depressed, stop pretending you aren’t. When you allow yourself to feel your emotions, it allows you to move through them rather than linger in them.
Also? I know that feeling this way makes you angry. Allow yourself to feel angry, too. All your emotions are valid. Don’t forget that.
Three – Are you being overly judgmental towards yourself?
Each of us has an inner critic. Originally, our inner critic kept us from feeling embarrassed or shamed. However, overtime, it becomes that negative voice inside us. So, why are you so hard on yourself, darling? It’s hard to feel positive when your inner dialogue is mean. And continued criticism by anyone can cause us to feel depressed.
Ease the pressure by cutting yourself some slack. And reminding that inner critic of yours to chill.
Four – Take a hard look at your schedule and to do list if you’re feeling burnt out and depressed
Let’s be real here, sugarplum: you are most likely overbooked. Clear space on your calendar. Since we’re being honest here, what if you stopped doing things that aren’t really that important. What’s the worst that could happen if you don’t volunteer for every event at the school? What if you allowed your kids to buy lunch at school instead of making it every day? Reduce the number of commitments and pencil in a morning of nothing.
Because, baby, life is what you create. And, darling, you must create some breathing room in your schedule so you don’t feel so worn out. What if you took one morning a week to sit at your dining room table and have your coffee instead of rushing off to work.
Five – Are you spending anytime doing things you enjoy doing?
When Brene Brown studied people who had the ability to bounce back after a set-back, she found that folks who didn’t play and weren’t creative were depressed. So, maybe the answer to feeling burnt out and depressed is spending time doing just that: play.
Your idea of play may be riding your bike, reading a book, or drawing. When was the last time you cooked a beautiful meal? Or wrote in your journal? Or danced around the living room?
Play and creativity open the door to ease, which will help when you’re feeling blue or worn out.
Six – You don’t have to do it all. At least by yourself.
I know that you clean your house better than anyone. And your kids never load the dishwasher as efficiently as you. As for handing over the band bake sale to that frenemy of yours will be disastrous. Or admitting to others you really don’t have it all together. Darling, you cannot do it all. Delegating some of your tasks to others is one of the smartest things you can do to ease feeling burnt out and blah.
Seven – You are feeling burnt out and depressed, maybe you need to stop trying to have it all.
By trying to prove you have it all, you are wearing yourself out. I know that your co-working is amazing. She is great at her job, has a hot sex life, and is a perfect mom. What if she were pretending, too? Most likely, she is. Just like you, my dear.
We all want to put our best foot forward. We want others to look at us and admire how wonderful we are. No one has it all together all of the time. When you stop trying to have it all, you can begin to ease those feelings of being burnt out.
Eight – If you’re feeling burnt out and depressed, take a look at your diet
It’s tempting to dive into the comfort of cake, chocolate, and other kinds of comfort foods when you’re feeling depressed. And when you’re feeling burnt out, numbing out by eating is tempting.
I believe that food is all about love (which is why I include recipes every month in my newsletter). However, it’s important to remember that food is about not only nourishing the body but also tantalizing the mind and comforting the soul, I also know that I feel better when I give my body lots of whole-food based meals.
Fresh fruits and vegetables will make you feel better than cake, at least in the long run. You need dark greens. I’m not personally a fan of Kale, but I do love Swiss chard and spinach! Choosing lean proteins is important. Don’t rule out grass-fed beef and wild fish, as they are great sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
Nine – Commit to drinking enough water
Because it’s not hot, we don’t tend to drink as much in the winter month. Being inside and with heaters all day makes the air dryer, so it’s just as important to stay hydrated now as it is in the summer months. Sip on water all day (add lemon or lime for a burst of citrus and flavor). Make cups of hot tea. Have broth based soups. Dehydration makes you cranky and tired, so drink up!
Ten – Your Physical World Can Affect How You Feel
Everything is energy and living in a cluttered environment can drain yours. Get your house in order. Even if that means hiring someone to help. Get a big garbage bag and pile in all the winter clothes that no one wore last year as well as those summer clothes that haven’t been worn either.
Cull through your books. Recycle or store those magazines. File all of the stacks of papers. Get rid of things you just don’t need. Want more ideas? Snag my “Clearing Clutter for Mind, Body & Soul Newsletter (my free monthly gift for 30 Days to Clarity subscribers).
Eleven – If cleaning the house sounds overwhelming, begin with one room.
All those suggestions may sound like even more to do. Yet, I know that if you’re feeling burnt out and depressed, you need a sanctuary within your home. Begin by clearing one room, like your bedroom. Clear all the flat surfaces. Get rid of anything you don’t use. Bring in some fresh flowers or light a favorite candle.
One of my tried and true tricks on quick-tidying a single room is to remove everything that you don’t need in that room. Put it in a bag or bin and store it. By getting it out of sight, you have one room that is peaceful and welcoming. When you are feeling burnt out, you need a place to retreat to that feels peaceful.
Twelve – Speaking of your bedroom, are you getting enough sleep?
We are a sleep deprived civilization. The more research they do on sleep, the more they discover that adequate sleep is critical for mental and physical health. If you are feeling burnt out and depressed, it could be you aren’t getting enough sleep. The average adult needs a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night.
Thirteen – Are you getting any exercise?
Research on anxiety and depression shows that exercise can improve mood and reduce anxiety. And when you commit to getting some exercise, it will also help ease those feelings of being burned out. Because exercise creates endorphins, it will also ease those feelings of being overwhelmed and burned out.
Yes, I know it seems like one more thing to add to your to do list. But you, my darling, are worth it.
Fourteen – Spend some time in nature if you are feeling burnt out and depressed.
There’s nothing like the beauty of snow or the way the moonlight shines across your lawn. Nature allows us to connect to our real inner rhythms instead of those outside demands. Layer on the clothing. Wrap a scarf around your neck. Put on a hat. Feel the wind in your face. Let the light of the sun (or the moon) shine upon you.
A series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being out in nature made people feel more energetic after spending time in natural sightings. Additional research by doctors found that patients recovering from surgery and heart problems had shorter hospital stays and needed less pain medication when they saw nature out their hospital window versus seeing a brick wall.
Fifteen – Consider getting all gussied up.
There’s nothing like getting all dressed up to boost your mood. Research has shown that what you wear does make a difference in how you feel about you. Take time to tend to yourself. You can go out if you like. Or. You can get dressed to the nines for an intimate dinner at home. So though it sounds silly on the surface, attention to what you wear can help you ease feeling burnt out and depressed.
Sixteen – Update your foundations if you’re feeling burnt out and depressed.
Speaking of dressing up, when’s the last time you bought a new bra? How about underwear? Socks? Go through your foundational garments and ditch anything with holes, stains, or elastic that’s shot. Ladies? Invest in at least one new beautiful bra and panty set. Gentlemen? Invest in some new underwear, socks, and undershirts (if you wear them). When your foundational garments are in tip-top shape, you’ll feel better. (Besides, sexy lingerie will make you feel sexier and more powerful.)
Seventeen – What if you were to dive into the sensual?
Speaking of foundational garments, indulge in silky and lacy garments to tempt your senses. Buy some high thread count sheets and sleep naked to tantalize your skin. Luxuriate in a bubble bath. Stand under the full-blast shower-head. Fix a cup of cocoa. Wrap yourself in a fluffy towel. Dim the lights. Put your brain on “hold” and just allow your senses to run wild!
Eighteen – Make sure you get some full body contact if you are feeling burnt out and depressed.
There’s nothing like full on body contact to release the good endorphins.
I have a girlfriend that gives the absolute best hugs. Full body contact and longer than most folks are comfortable with. And after my father died, she was the one I most needed to see. Because I needed that longer than average full body contact in addition to sex.
Hug. Snuggle. Lean into the warmth of others. This works with children, pets, and adults. This will help you work things out from a place of love. So, if you’re feeling burnt out and depressed, sex and affection can help.
Nineteen– Yes, I went there: sex can offer some relief, too.
Sex may not be the answer to everything, but it certainly is a good answer to a lot of questions. Get naked and sweaty. Indulge in soft caresses. Kiss that spot behind his left ear.
I know, I know. When you’re feeling burned out and depressed, sex may not sound appealing. And besides, you’re too busy for sex. Really? Don’t use the excuse that you don’t “feel like it” or are too busy. Let your inhibitions go and get naughty.
Orgasms are good for you, so even if you aren’t partnered up, a little personal tending may be in order.
Twenty – Feeling burned out and depressed may mean you need to take some vitamins.
Did you know that a lack of Vitamin D can add to us feeling depressed? One of the big ah-ha’s this summer was that I had a Vitamin D deficiency. At your next doctor’s appointment, ask if your doctor can check your Vitamin D levels. And discuss a vitamin and supplement regimen that fits your health needs and lifestyle.
As much as I’d love to say you can get everything you need in your diet, I’d be lying. The first time I really understood this was seven years ago when my doctor suggested a prescription strength Omega 3 to better support my heart. In concert with my doctor, my daily vitamin pack has totally changed how supported my body feels, especially in the winter months.
Twenty-One – Last, But Not Least: Seek Help
Sometimes the best thing you can do when you feel burnt out and depressed is to get some help. Yes, the aforementioned help of hiring someone to clean the house or asking your partner to take care of some chores. I’m also talking about help from the pros.
Now may be the best time to hire a life coach. Maybe a therapist is the answer. And don’t forget to talk to your doctor. There may be an underlying medical issue that is adding to you feeling depressed and burnt out. There is no shame in taking medication if you and your doctor agree it can help ease depression or anxiety.
You deserve to live a daily life that feels loving and nourishing. That’s impossible to do when you are feeling burnt out and depressed. Darling, I know that you want to take care of everyone. And I know you want to ensure that everything on your to do list is done. Life is more than an endless to do list.
Remember that if you aren’t taking care of you, then it will be hard to truly care for anyone else.
Coaching may help when you are feeling feeling burnt out and depressed.
Would you like to explore the options by talking to someone that’s been there? Get some support for your over-scheduled life?
Are you seeking practical advice? Someone to talk through potential pitfalls and solutions? Do you desperately need support around your crazy-busy life?
I have space for two new clients this summer. You can find details about packages and pricing here.
Drop me an email at: debra AT debrasmouse.com and we’ll schedule a call to see if we’re a good fit.
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