Escape From the Burnout Society

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Burnout: The best tips to prevent chronic stress and overcome burnout Part 1

I have gathered the 15 best tips I received from my guests in 2020 and those I have discovered by my own experience and research in the last three years. It took me more than two years to completely heal from a massive burnout and I want to make things for you a lot easier. So I recorded these advises in my podcast with a complete explanation of ach advice and this is the place where you find a summary and the links to all the books and scientific researches I mention in my podcast (episode 16). Listen the podcast here. Do you want to get the transcript of the podcast? Join my newsletter and you will receive it on the 10th of the month.

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1. Overrate your sleep
Make this your priority number one because one of the most important tools your body needs to break the circle of chronic stress and bring homeostasis (or balance) back into your system is through good quality sleep. Moreover, sleep deprivation and poor sleep is linked with deterioration of the short-term memory and longer-term cognitive decline, including the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s dementia on the long term. Recommended links:
The documentary “Mysteries of Sleep”
TED talk Sleep is your superpower by Matt Walker who explains in a masterful way how sleep is terribly underrated in our modern society.

2. Avoid alcohol before sleeping and diminish drinking coffee but the best is to stop at all with both.
The more stressed you are, the least coffee and alcohol you must drink. Drinking alcohol will relax you a bit after a busy day but it will also shorten the amount of time you spend in deep sleep (even one drink) and the next morning you will feel everything but fresh. This is not what you need when you have a burnout or are overstressed. What you need is sound sleep to recover.
Let’s be honest: I love coffee and my day starts usually with one cup of coffee but when I was very stressed and almost burnt out I had to learn the hard way that drinking coffee made things worse. Adding stimulants to your overloaded system is a very bad habit. Some people do it and they seem to be OK with it, but the reality is that coffee and alcohol disrupt the natural processes in our body that make us alert or relax. When this balance is damaged you get to the worst scenario: you can’t wake up in the morning and can’t sleep at night. Listen in my podcast how this happens.
Recommended links:
Study carried out by Julia Pietilä
Peer-reviewed article by W. R. Lovallo (2005)

3. Learn a breathing technique to help you recover and to relax.
Any technique will help you because breathing is not only essential for getting the oxygen we need to survive but it is also a basic need our nervous system has been programmed to demand and therefore, receiving every breath, calms us naturally. But of course you want to know more about breathing and start today with an easy exercise so listen to my podcast and start with one.
Aware, The Science and practice of Presence by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel
Adrenal Fatigue Solution

4. Engage in physical activity every day
In my most active years I would train five to six times a week. I would run, bike, swim and go to the gym. I got overtrained once and learned to periodize my efforts. Eventually I became a running instructor and since then I help people to train wisely. Frankly, when my professional career got too demanding and I became a mom I had to dramatically decrease the amount of time I spent sporting. I went from 5 days of sport to hardly one or two, and I can tell you this is not enough to even maintain our muscles after our fourth decade. I have talked with many men and women about this radical change in our lifestyles. We are torn apart in pieces by the Burnout Society and we find little time to take care of ourselves. Work and children become a priority that usually sends our health to the last priority we care about. Until you get sick…

So I will explain how the vicious circle works and how to get out of it.
Scientific American in 2019 by Herman Pontzer (free summary). It’s called: “Humans evolved to exercise.

5. Meditate
I can’t stop considering meditation one of my top five tips for people to prevent burnout. I think that meditation brings so many benefits that everybody should give it a try.
Guided meditations will help you lead your thoughts through a mental journey to a desired state of mind while mindfulness will make you more aware of the present moment. There are many kinds of meditation techniques from counting with every breath from zero to 100 and back to paying attention to each part of your body. There is for sure a technique for you. Just remember that there can’t be goals set like you could do when you go to the gym. Practicing is the goal itself and by doing it you will change your brain.
Recommended links:
Literature research by Hari Sharma
Sacred Acoustics Binaural tracks for meditations
Eben Alexander M.D. website

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  1. Yong Popejoy February 6, 2022

    Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

    • EFBS's 'host (Gabriela) May 9, 2022

      Thanks for your comment!

      Begin with putting your sleep on priority nr. 1. Your mental, physical and spiritual recovery happens when you sleep. That is why you need to pay the most attention to it. Regular hours, enough hours and a quiet dark place ti sleep.

      Then get a good app to meditate at least 10-15 daily.
      Meditation can be even done while walking. There are walking meditations that cab make you aware of your stress. Relaxation begins with awareness. Awareness of your stress will lead to reflection and little by little you will get solutions and feel more relaxed.

      If you can’t quit coffee or alcohol just don’t drink any of these before sleeping. At least three hours before goint to bed

      I wish you luck and stay healthy!

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