The first thing is to recognize that you actually are burned out and feeling stressed. This can actually be hard to do when you're in the midst of it.
I recommend looking at all the following symptoms and see if any of them apply to you.
Feel apathetic and uninterested in your work?
Feel overwhelmed and fatigued or have a short temper?
Have difficulty in relationships that usually bring you meaning?
Feel sick all the time or like you can never quite get over body aches or colds?
If any of this applies to you, then you probably are burned out, and it's time to take some steps to recover.
Identify the Activities Where You Feel Recharged
The first thing when you recognize that you're burned out or stressed is to try and remove the stressors from your life. This can be pretty hard to do, and the most important thing on your list of to-dos is to prioritize yourself. I know that can be hard, but it's essential.
When you prioritize yourself, it's really important to do things that recharge your battery and fill your cup. They should make you feel better when you're finished with them. When you're fatigued, it's easy to turn to a glass of wine or TV show to just zone out, but these things don't actually recharge you. They keep you in a state of drain.
So what are things you can do? Well it's different for everyone, so I'm going to give you a huge tool kit to pick from. The key factor is you have to feel good and or at least better than you did when you started the activity.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The first thing that is so essential to everything is a healthy diet. Choose non-processed foods and vegetables - things that don't stress your system to digest them. A lot of shakes and smoothies - things that are partially digested for you can be really helpful and easy and delicious. Once you have the building blocks to help recover and give your body the energy it needs, it can help with all the next steps.
Identify the physical things you can do and want to do. Everybody's different. Sometimes a long run or a hardcore heavy hit workout can feel really good. Other times yoga or pilates - something that's just simple movement can feel really good and much better.
A walk is almost always helpful. Anything out in the sunshine and getting fresh air is key. The more you can be outdoors, the better. Try things that are just fun! Dancing or moving freely are great options!
Practice Spiritual Habits
You don't necessarily have to be religious. These are just things that connect you back into your body and yourself.
Try things like journaling, meditation, breathwork, reading, writing poetry, drawing, even just coloring. These are all things that pause and slow down your body and help you connect back in. When you do that, you can recognize when you're feeling stressed and when you're feeling better.
It's really key to start understanding yourself and how you work and starting to build back some of the resilience and strength in your body.
Give Yourself Mental Challenges
Challenge your mind and connect with other people. Try a new project. I know that sounds counterintuitive and stressful, but sometimes adding a different type of stress can rewire your body and actually help you feel like you're accomplishing new goals. So try something new and different, and see if at the end you feel better.
Sometimes being alone and trying a project by yourself, reading a book or doing a Sudoku can be a good mental break. Other times laughing with friends or accomplishing a project outside with people can also be really helpful.
So again, see where you're at and which feels better for you and try that one. Again both can be true at different times.
These are just a few suggestions. There are a million other things that you can do that feel good and recharge your battery. The trick is you just have to feel more energized and better when you finish the activity.
Let me know what works for you!