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If You’re Worried About Burnout, Meet Break Rituals

Learn how to infuse little sanity breaks into your routine.

The secret to break rituals is that you embed them into your day, every day. (Image: Shutterstock).

Do you find yourself waiting for the chaos to break, but it never seems to let up? Today’s work environments are being called “modern hazards”, parenting has become sport and most of us are lucky to find five uninterrupted minutes to ourselves.

Burnout is being called “today’s occupational risk”. Vacations or major breaks from the chaos are hard to come by. That’s why I make it a point to include tiny break rituals on my must-do list. Little escapes from the chaos helps me say a big noooo! to burnout and yessss! to sanity. Here are a few of my favorites:

· Drinking coconut water with extra ice

· Reminding myself that I’m not a robot or machine

· Making someone in my office laugh

The secret to break rituals is that you make an intentional effort to take a hiatus from all the noise and do something that contributes to you feeling less frazzled and more centered. There are no one size-fits-all, but finding small rituals that put a big smile on your face and help you breathe a little more add up. Including consistent “me-time” in your routines can have a cumulative effect on your health bottom line.

Can this really help? Burnout can feel inevitable in a world where the space to regroup is being erased by long to-do lists, non-stop pings and mounting expectations to strap on our capes and perform like Super-heroes. Research show that when we retrain our brains to take simple and regular breaks, it raises our energy, boosts our mood and gives us needed solace from the constant adrenal overload and over-stimulation of today’s always-on culture.

Here’s how to get them on your calendar:

1) Give yourself permission. 

Guilt is a thing when it comes to self-care and taking me-time. We’re conditioned to think we’ll be less productive, even though brain science tells us the opposite. People who put their own masks on first are much more likely to stay well and do well. 

2) Brainstorm possibilities. 

Create a list of your favorite high impact activities – the little breaks that cue up your brain that it’s me-time.

3) Keep it simple. 

You don’t want to have to create more chaos by including something too complicated that you defeat the purpose. Be intentional about weaving in rituals that naturally fit with the ebb and flow of your day. If you’re already taking a break, focus on relishing the moment and giving your brain some needed respite.

4) Be intentional. 

Identify what helps you find your Zen and give yourself permission to make it a practice. Savor your drink. Breathe the air. Get outside. Protect this time as sacred. Consistency is key.

Want help making a habit of protecting yourself against burnout? Try this book.

Enjoy your well-deserved break rituals. 

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