• Nisha Jackson, PhD

Are you burnt out?

We've talked about burn out, but how do you know if it's happening to you?

We're all susceptible to burnout. One day, you’re on top of the world! Crossing tasks off your to-do lists, working out regularly, eating right. Then suddenly, you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, need more coffee and start reaching for sweet treats. In your haze, you notice you've been more jumpy/jittery, exhausted but you can't sleep and little stressors fluster you. Life has become overwhelming...

If any of this sounds like you, you might be experiencing burn out! It may feel like this new norm is irreparable but with these 7 minor lifestyles and adjustments, you can get yourself back on track and feeling incredible again!

Step 1: Switch up your diet and eating schedule

Unfortunately, this means you're going to have to cut the sweet treats and midnight fridge raids. The first step to feeling better is reducing blood glucose spikes and dips. Your meals should contain lean proteins (chicken, turkey), healthy fats (avocado, coconut, nuts), and fibrous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts). Lean proteins clear brain fog and improve memory and focus. Healthy fats provide you with energy, increase vitamin absorption and encourage hormone production. Fibrous vegetables keep you feeling full longer and stave away afternoon cravings. Research suggests that intermittent fasting has a ton of benefits for the body, including boosting your metabolism, and allowing your body time to burn calories and fat between meals! You are allotted an 8-10 hour window in which you can eat, discouraging you from those late-night treats. 

Step 2: Take Vitamin C

The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating metabolism, response to stressors, and supporting the immune system. They do this by using Vitamin C reserves to produce cortisol and other adrenal hormones. When you're stressed, your body burns through vitamin C faster so the key to maintaining your cool and fighting off illness is to support your adrenal glands with foods high in vitamin C (red peppers, strawberries, guavas, kale, spinach, broccoli, oranges, apples, and papaya) and also supplement your diet with high dose of Vitamin C during particularly stressful times throughout your day.  

Step 3. EXERCISE!!

Exercise releases endorphins that help improve your mood. It also gets the blood flowing which improves brain function and clears brain fog. Low impact exercises like walking, yoga and light strength training benefit your body more than extreme exercise, like high-intensity cycling, because they don't overwork your stress glands. Over-exercising, over-thinking, over-indulging all tax your body and ultimately have no benefits, especially when you're burnt out. 

Step 4. Drink your water!

The human body is 60% water so it's no wonder why dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue and decreased brain function. Drinking water with lemon or trace minerals like Celtic or Himalayan sea salt helps with absorption and can be a great pick me up when you're starting to feel sluggish. 

Step 5. Find a private spot to get some peace and quiet

Just 10 minutes in the morning and evening of uninterrupted quiet time can reset your mind, body, and soul. You don't have to meditate in a cross-legged position. Lying in bed, going for a walk or even sitting in your car with the seat reclined and your eyes closed will work just as well! Couple this quiet time with some deep, cleansing breaths. You can even make up a mantra to help you get into the mindset like: "Breathe in love, breathe out stress". Think of this as your time to ground yourself. It should be spent without your cellphone or any other distractions. 

Step 6. Prioritize sleep!

Research shows that the body requires a minimum of 7-8 hours of deep, restorative sleep per day, more when we are stressed. Between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., the body produces the vital hormones that are responsible for recovery. By staying up late and ignoring your internal body clock, you're overwhelming your brain, nervous system, hormonal system, and physical body, preventing it from properly recovering and stunting its ability to produce necessary hormones to get you through the next day. Sleep begets sleep! The less you sleep, the harder it is to fall asleep. Create a healthy bedtime routine and enjoy how incredible it feels to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. 

Step 7: Train your brain.

Have you ever heard of the power of positivity? Well, perhaps you've heard of mind over matter. There is so much power in our thoughts. Even something as simple as saying "I'm so stressed" is enough to convince yourself that you're in over your head. If you find that your mantra is one of stress and hardship, flip the switch. Every time you notice yourself going down that dark path, try replacing it with phrases like "I choose myself and am ready for better health. This is not an emergency and I am in control of my life." 

You now have the tools to recover from burn out and it's never too soon to take the first steps to optimal health. Start your journey today!


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© 2018 by Nisha Jackson

*this degree is from an unaccredited college and is not approved for use in Oregon