Are you facing mental, emotional, or physical burnout? And perhaps you know that this is an important moment for you to pause and hit that reset button, and maybe reach out for help to make your mental, emotional, and physical health a priority?
If you’ve been watching this Summer Olympics in Tokyo, most likely you’ve witnessed some of the most incredible bravery of all time.
And one of my favorite stories is that of gymnast Simone Biles.
The world watched in shock as Simone Biles, one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time, stepped down from competition this year to prioritize her mental and physical health.
I’ve had several moments of burnout when I hadn’t learned or wasn’t using the proven transformational tools that I use today to prevent burnout — sometimes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
As a young woman in my early 20s, I was a professional dancer.
Like any professional athlete, we have been taught to press on, to ignore the signs of mental burnout, to ignore the signs of physical burnout and to show up and perform. And over those years, I definitely experienced burnout.
It’s been an intense time in our world, and many people have been turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, including overworking and underresting.
In fact, a new study by Asana found that more than 89% of American workers said that they faced burnout in 2020, and that nine out of 10 workers also admitted to working later last year than ever before.
And Aetna found that even though 95% of us say that mental health is important, only 26% of us prioritize it.
Do you prioritize your mental health?
12 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health
As a Health & Wellbeing coach, I have helped literally tens of thousands of incredible souls, especially heart-centered, change agent women, create amazing health and well-being and all around successful results in their lives.
And one thing I know for sure is, especially for women, we are very, very good about putting other people’s needs as a priority. So often, we put our own needs on the back burner. But that doesn’t have to be the case!
And so I’m going to be giving you 12 proven ways to shift from burnout to breakthrough and to make your mental, emotional, and physical health a priority, so you start to see amazing results in your life today!
If you’d prefer to watch and listen rather than read, I invite you to check out the video version of this blog post here:
Still with me? Great, let’s dive into the 12 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health and Be Your Best Self!
1. Acknowledge How You Are Feeling & Speak Up
Even with the intense pressure of an Olympic athlete who’s destined and expected to win gold, including from the expectations from her country, her family, her teammates, her coaches and herself personally, Simone Biles was able to be honest with herself and to acknowledge what was really going on, and this conversation went viral.
What I have learned over many years of being a professional dancer myself, and as a transformational life coach, is that no one else’s expectations of us are more important than prioritizing our own emotional health and mental well-being.
As a gymnast, if you aren’t 100% focused, that could potentially lead to pretty severe injuries. And she said in a post that she developed what was called the “twisties,” meaning that her brain and her body, all of a sudden just weren’t sinking up, which would cause her to lose track of where she was in the air.
We know that Simone Biles and many of her teammates had been through a tremendous amount of mental, emotional, and sexual abuse by one of the doctors on the US Olympic team.
She also recently had to work through the sudden loss of one of her family members.
Simone told Vogue that she did fall into some depression:
“At one point I slept so much because, for me, it was the closest thing to death without harming myself,” she said. “It was an escape from all of my thoughts, from the world, from what I was dealing with. It was a really dark time.”
(If you’re in the U.S. and have mental health concerns or are experiencing depression, or if you know anyone who is struggling with mental health issues or thoughts of harm, self-harm or suicide, you can call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can call them anytime, day or night. There is also a chatline available as well.)
Related post: be Why You Need to Feel Heard – and 3 Powerful Reasons You Deserve It
2. Listen To Your Body’s Wisdom
As Simone Biles was trying to push on, ultimately her body gave her a sign, “You’re not okay. Let’s just give her a bout of the twisties, which will create an opportunity for you to pause and really address the mental and emotional issues that have risen up. And then once we address those, then we can continue to move forward.”
So as much as we don’t want some of these symptoms, it is our higher self, our body wisdom’s way of telling us to pause and to slow down.
Maybe it’s a common cold, an injury, chronic body pain, a case of the twisties, or whatever it might be, but it is not something to suppress and just press on. It is something to address, because whatever we suppress will express itself one way or another. So listen to that body wisdom.
3. Ask for Help
We saw Simone Biles reach out to her coaches and to her psychologists and her family and the people that were around her to rally and support her in making a really empowered decision for herself, even in the face of letting some people down.
She said that she had been seeing a psychologist every couple of weeks.
When you are not feeling okay, raise your voice and ask for help, whether it be a therapist, to a counselor, or to friends, to really have that moral support that we all need at times.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, the head of the household, a mother, a business owner, whatever it may be, just know that we all have times when we need to lean on someone else.
It’s not a sign of weakness, but it is absolutely a sign of our greatest mental strength so that we can live a healthier life.
As a leader and change agent, you also need to be supported.
As we’re going through life, as much as we just want to power through, our bodies will sometimes force us and require us to take care of these deeper issues and these deeper traumas that we face.
And so I’m really grateful to hear that Simone Biles did get some help from a mental health professional that helped her to tune in with herself and feel more comfortable, and less anxious.
Simone said that during one of her first therapy sessions, she didn’t talk at all because she wasn’t sure that she was ready to accept help:
“I thought I could figure it out on my own, but that’s sometimes not the case. And that’s not something you should feel guilty or ashamed of,” she said. “Once I got over that fact, I actually enjoyed it and looked forward to going to therapy. It’s a safe space.”
Once we’re ready to accept help, we recognize that it’s not a sign of weakness, but a symbol of strength and bravery.
3. Find a Positive Outlet
After stepping down from the competition, Simone Biles flew from Tokyo to the United States and we saw her smiling and having fun as she reunited with friends and family, and attended her boyfriend Jonathan Owens’ NFL team practice game in Texas.
The question I would have for you is how do you have fun? How often do you allow yourself to have fun?
Even just a few minutes of laughter can make all the difference to release some of the mental, emotional and physical stress that we deal with every day in our personal lives.
5. Set Boundaries
Simone Biles set the ultimate boundary as the world watched, and this is why I admire her courage. It can feel hard to say no, and many women that I work with say “yes” when their inner wisdom is urging them to say, “No, I’m not going to go do that today.”
Today, ask yourself what is it that you’re doing that is really out of obligation?
Maybe this would be a boundary that you could set. even for a period of time, that will allow you to take that pressure off of yourself and invite additional help?
6. Get quality sleep
I would say of all the things in our daily activities in our regular routine, including nutrition and movement and getting outdoors, getting enough sleep is by far one of the most important elements to prioritize your mental health.
So often when we’re stressed, it will lead to staying up and watching TV a little too late, which messes with our melatonin, and our natural sleep cycles.
So to really be disciplined, set an alarm on your phone so you’re making a commitment to, at that time, turn all those electronics off, maybe take a warm bath, do some gentle stretching, or listen to a guided meditation before sleep, to get into a powerful “put yourself to bed” sleep pattern.
Our body resets itself when we lay flat: all of the toxins in the brain and the body get flushed out, but if we’re sitting up too late and staying up too late, we don’t get that same release of those toxins in the brain.
This is why sleep helps us have healthy hormones, which lead to healthy moods, which leads to a healthy mental and emotional state.
7. Get Outside
I work from home as a transformational coach, and I notice a huge difference in my mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
if I wake up and I have a busy day, and I just come right to the laptop, do the work that I’m here to do, and then all of a sudden realize, “Wait a minute. I haven’t even stepped outside today.”
Taking a few deep breaths and sunbathing, not for long periods of time, but just to soak up that vitamin D, is all you need sometimes.
I love to take walks, take my dog for a walk, go for a hike, or take a little bike ride. Getting some outdoor movement and sunlight has such a positive impact, and is so key to our mental and emotional health.
There are so many studies that have been done on the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of daily movement, especially the positive hormones that get released.
One of my favorite ways to get movement in, especially on a busy day, is the five-minute rule: to do five minutes of movement or dance, just popping in my favorite song and getting my dancing groove on, or walking around the block for five minutes.
Even if I’m not going to get my workout shoes and workout outfit on, I’ll pop up, walk myself around the block and come back, and I just feel like I’ve hit the refresh or reset button after these physical activities.
Give it a try!
Related post: 3 Simple Ways to Make Moving Your Body Fun and Enjoyable
9. Have a Gratitude Practice
So much of our mental health has to do with the thoughts that we’re allowing to run in our minds, and to catch the thoughts of self-criticism or criticism of others, or going down the path of really negative thinking.
As we saw Simone Biles’ story go public, there were polarizing opinions about what she should have or should have not done, and she was questioned over and over.
However, we saw her focus on being grateful for the support system she has and for the opportunities she’s received.
Pressing the pause button on the negative thoughts and voices and focusing on gratitude can help tremendously.
When you focus on one win, one thing that is good about today, it can make all the difference in the world.
10. Take Mental Breaks
Simone Biles stepping down from an Olympic event is a loud message that it’s okay to take a break. We didn’t really know whether she would come back to the competition; however, taking that break was what allowed her to get herself back into a healthy place and we all know she ended up winning the bronze medal on beam!
A powerful tool that I’ve implemented that has really made a major difference in my life is experiencing little mini moments of guided meditation.
Sometimes, I’ll just go sit in the sun, I’ll play one of my favorite audios and I’ll do a little guided meditation. Other times, I’ll do a walking meditation. Sometimes, I’ll do a moving dancing meditation.
It doesn’t have to be just a seated meditation, and there are several apps that you can find to help you in this practice.
I give you permission to also take a mental health day. You don’t have to be physically sick just to unplug and say, “I’m taking a day off. I’m not cooking dinner, going to the gym, or going to go into work. I’m just going to take a day for myself.” Whatever that might be, you can absolutely give yourself that gift and prioritize your mental health.
Just a few days of eating unhealthy food will wreak havoc on our ability to actually produce the feel-good hormones.
But when we’re eating healthy, real food, food with digestive enzymes like a banana or an apple, or a bowl of salad, or water that our body is so craving, it can make all the difference in the world.
Oftentimes, when we are burned out or stressed out, we can turn to sugar, caffeine, alcohol, substances as a coping mechanism, .so watch for that and make sure that you’re feeding your body well and are hydrating well, since our gut and our brain are intimately connected.
If we’re eating well, we increase our ability to produce positive hormones that are required to have that feel-good mood in our daily lives, especially during challenging times
12. Practice Personal Development
My final tip today is recognizing that we are in this life to grow, that our spirit is seeking an ever-expanded version and expression of itself by means of us.
This includes reading personal development books, maybe listening to a personal development, positive podcast or reading blogs to really be seeking to improve yourself.
And maybe that could lead you to transformational life coaching here at Brave Thinking Institute.
I feel very blessed to have received coaching and support during my time of burnout, and now as a transformational coach to provide coaching and mentoring to amazing souls who are seeking a breakthrough.
Take my client Kimberly as an example.
Kimberly Tilton is a graduate of my program called the Vibrant Healthy Woman Program, and she is radiant and thriving. When she came to me, she was suffering from bouts of depression, suffering from being overweight and burned out.
She talked about having a chronic, overly-powerful inner critic, and weekends where she would just sit on the couch and eat junk food and overly watch Netflix. She desperately wanted to see a change.
And so she found the Vibrant Healthy Woman Program, and here’s a quote from Kimberly as the vibrant, healthy, radiant woman mentally, emotionally, and physically that she is today:
“I completely re-patterned a very heavy habit of self-criticism which had been running since childhood. This has led to deeper feelings of self love and acceptance, freedom, expansion, and abundance as I move through life. I am finally releasing extra weight, which I’ve carried as a form of protection for over 15 years! I’ve made major changes to my diet and have released 40 pounds. Also, I found it easy to release the clutter in my home, which had plagued me for decades! Now I live in a home that is organized and beautiful. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer and to have had such massive growth in the past year due to her programs and her incredible skill as a coach and mentor!”
This is just one story of literally thousands of clients who have worked with us at Brave Thinking Institute, who have gone from burnout to breakthrough; from feeling sluggish, tired, overworked, and not good in their skin to having flow in their lives; to having new daily habits and patterns that are life-giving to live a vibrant, healthy, radiant life that they love living.
And guess what?
When our cup is filled, when we are taking care of ourselves, especially us as women, we’re better mothers, we’re better wives, we’re better entrepreneurs, business owners and change agents in all the different roles that we play.
Just know that you matter. Your mental, emotional, and physical health matters. You are worth it.
Speaking of pausing and taking a moment to reflect, listening to your body wisdom, and asking for help, let me make this really easy for you.
My invitation to you is to receive a gift, one of the gifts that I love to give.
We carve out a certain number of complimentary Vibrant Healthy Woman consultations, which is a complimentary session where we help you take a peek at some of the habits and patterns that really aren’t serving you. Give them a good square look in the face to see what isn’t working, and then create a vision on some goals that you would love to manifest if you could wave a magic wand.
And then we help you identify some of the blocks or paradigms that have been keeping you stuck, and create a blueprint, a plan, an outline for how to begin to shift those results.
And if it looks like we might be a really great fit to work together, we can just help you discover all of the details about potentially joining the Vibrant Healthy Woman Coaching Program.
So my encouragement to you is to take the first step to prioritize your mental health by clicking here and claiming your complimentary Vibrant Healthy Woman Consultation, because in order to see new results, you need to do something you haven’t done before.
If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’re going to keep getting the results that you’ve always gotten.
The world is waking up, and realizing that we can no longer live at a pace that leads us to burnout.
In order to thrive as individuals and as a society, it is time for us all to speak up and prioritize our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
This is potentially a wake-up call, an opportunity to say, “Yes. I would like to make a difference. I’d love to see some changes in my life.” And just know that you are absolutely worth it.
What are you doing to prioritize your mental health? I hope to see you on the other side!
To your Vibrant Health,