9 of the Best Foods to Eat to Help With Burnout
Has the pandemic burnout hit you yet? If you answered 'yes', know you're not alone.
Health experts agree there appear to be far more cases of burnout since Covid hit, due to physical distancing having changed the way we live and work, the deafening noise of an anxiety-inducing political and media climate, and a growing pressure to over-perform at work under a cloud of economic uncertainty.
If you're feeling burnt out, your first port of call is simply to recognise it. Then, consult a health professional you trust to help formulate a plan of action.
If you're unsure of how to spot the signs of burnout, we've previously detailed the three main stages to look out for here.
Something you can do immediately, however, is to look at your diet.
Experts agree that nourishing food is a game-changer for people experiencing burnout. Burnout can be detrimental to a weakened immune system, and food is one of the best ways to support your immune system.
But when work-related stress and anxiety is consuming your every waking minute, the thought of spending any of the precious time, thought and energy you have left planning and preparing healthy food for yourself can feel ridiculous and impossible. When you're exhausted, don't you just want to order delivery and down a few glasses of wine before you have to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again?
"If you want to be full of energy, zinging through life, then you need to have good gut health to help boost immunity," says CEO of TIFFXO Tiffiny Hall. "Start with wholefoods, limit sugar and processed foods [and] drink plenty of water."
So, whether you're mid-burnout or feel it coming on, it's important to do what you can do to support your immune system. Nourishing food will supports serotonin production and improves gut health - in fact, up to 90 per cent of the body's serotonin comes from gut cells. Plus, we all know good food can boost your mood and improve your mental health.
9 best foods to help with burnout and emotional stress
1. Dark, leafy greens
The darker the vegetable, the more likely it is to contain high concentrations of folic acid, which is a nutrient that helps your body produce serotonin. Up your intake of spinach and kale—a green smoothie is an efficient way to get enough in your system on a daily basis.
When you're experiencing burnout, make sure you are getting enough fibre. The most fibre-rich foods around include pears, strawberries, avocado, apples, raspberries, artichokes and bananas. Make fruit your snack of choice, and use them in smoothies.
Substitute rice and pasta with lentils, chickpeas and beans, which are all legumes loaded with fibre, minerals and protein.
Adaptogens are a class of herbs and mushrooms commonly used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, known to help the human body handle physical and emotional stress. They are incredibly powerful because, unlike prescription medications, they don't interfere with the body's natural processes. Some good dietary sources of adaptogens include ginseng (particularly Indian ginseng, aka ashwagandha), Holy Basil, lemon balm, reishi mushrooms and St John's-wort.
Plant foods that are unprocessed, unrefined and unpackaged are going to do more for your immune system than you can imagine. It doesn't have to be all or nothing; even eating a few strawberries instead of a packet of chips will do something for you.
It's highly likely you aren't drinking enough water. Do whatever you can do drink more! Infuse it with lemon slices.
7. Dark chocolate
Opt for chocolate with at least 70% cocoa and you'll up your magnesium, which is a nutrient that our body needs to stay healthy. Raw cacao is the best food source for magnesium.
8. Hot herbal tea
A simple chamomile tea can relieve feelings of burnout. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties at play in this herb is a powerful way to calm anxious thoughts.
What's one food that is both easy to digest and synonymous with comfort? Soup, of course. Like hot herbal tea, Be efficient with your soup intake and make it a hearty one loaded with nutrients.
If you are concerned about your health, please consult a health professional.