by Emily Nagoski, PhD & Amelia Nagoski, DMA
Let’s Talk About BURNOUT…
I first learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things to Tell You podcast episode #18 about anxiety back in May of 2019. Did you know that in order to deal with stress, you need to complete the actual stress cycle? 🤯
I was recently reminded of the life-changing concept of unlocking the stress cycle when Brene Brown hosted authors Amelia and Emily Nagoski on her podcast Unlocking Us this fall. If you haven’t listened to either of these episodes yet, they are a must!
“The good news is that stress is not the problem…To be “well” is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again. Stress is not bad for you; being stuck is bad for you.”
This information was truly life-changing for me and this has been a book I have gone back to again and again. Honestly, I had never thought about stress management in that way until I read this, but it makes SO much sense.
How We Handle Stress…
And this is actually really good news because as much as we may wish, while our stressors may change throughout different life stages, they never actually go away.
So how do you complete your stress cycle if stress is a part of our lives every single day?? Even if you eliminate your stress trigger (closing down your work email, going for a drive when it has been an incredibly exhausting day with your kids, etc) you still have stress that is for lack of a better phrase, trapped inside your body.
Moving The Stress OUT of Your Body…
In order to move through and complete the stress cycle, you have to physically move the stress out of your body. Avoiding the stress may help temporarily, but the stressors are still floating around in your body…meaning you are tense and probably on high alert with this pent-up energy.
How you physically get the stressors out can be highly personal for all of us, whether it is exercising, a good cry, laughter, or creating something-these actionable steps help you return to calm…also know as completing the cycle.
For me, getting outside and walking every single day is something I plan to fit in, even when life isn’t making room for it on its own (or when it is 6 degrees outside like today!) Good thing I have the best walking buddy…
“The moral of the story is: We thrive when we have a positive goal to move toward, not just a negative state we’re trying to move away from.”-Burnout
This book was also just a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives. Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors.
“The quality of our lives is not measured by the amount of time we spend in a state of perfection.”
Have you read Burnout? How do you close your stress cycles? Has it changed during 2020? I would love to know your thoughts!
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