Are You Stuck in a Burnout Cycle?
We’ve all heard of the “fight or flight” response to stress. The fight or flight response is our body's automatic reaction to danger, which prepares us to either face the threat or run away from it. The stress cycle goes into the details of the beginning, middle, and end of the body and mind’s response–and yes, there is an end! It might feel like a never-ending roller coaster ride of emotions that we all experience at some point in our lives, but if you learn how to take steps to complete the cycle, you’ll have a healthier relationship with your body’s natural ups and downs.
What Is the Burnout Cycle?
Think of it like this: You're cruising down the highway of life, everything's going great, and suddenly, a wild obstacle appears, like a traffic jam, a surprise assignment from your boss, or even just a disagreement with a loved one. Now, the burnout cycle is what happens next, the series of reactions that occur in your mind and body when you're faced with a stressful situation. Your heart rate might speed up, your breathing might become faster and shallower, and you might feel a surge of adrenaline or cortisol (those pesky stress hormones) coursing through your veins.
But here's the thing: Our bodies aren't designed to handle this kind of stress for long periods of time. Eventually, we need to find a way to complete the stress cycle and return to a state of calm. Completing this cycle can be one way to find personal wellness. As Drs. Amelia and Emily Nagoski write in their book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, “Wellness is not a state of being—it’s a state of action. It is the freedom to oscillate through the cycles of being human… Grant your body permission to be imperfect and listen to your own experience."
Tips to Complete the Burnout Cycle
Physical exercise: Going for a run, doing yoga, or any other form of physical exercise can help release tension and pent-up energy, completing the stress cycle.
Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths can help slow down your heart rate and ease anxiety, which can help you feel calmer.
Creative expression: Engaging in creative activities, such as writing, drawing, or painting, can help you process your emotions and release stress.
Talking to someone: Reaching out to a friend, family member, or therapist can provide a supportive space to talk about what's stressing you out and help you feel more grounded.
Mindfulness practices: Meditation, mindfulness, and other relaxation techniques can help you tune into the present moment, reduce stress, and complete the burnout cycle.
Taking a break: Stepping away from the source of stress, even if it's just for a few minutes, can help you reset and come back with a clearer mind.
Adaptogenic Herbs for Going Through the Burnout Cycle
Herbs that that fall into the category of adaptogens contain compounds that provide stress-protective effects by regulating homeostasis. Basically, regulated homeostasis = regulated stress cycles = active wellness. There are many herbs that are used in this way, but here are a few of our favorites that you can find in our tincture:
Hemp: Contains cannabinoids that have been shown in studies time and time again to reduce anxiety levels and support homeostasis.
Damiana: The star compounded of damiana is apigenin, which targets the nervous system to help to reduce anxiety.
Schisandra berries: By regulating cortisol levels, schisandra berries can boost mood and help you feel less stressed out.
Remember, different things work for different people, so it's important to find what works best for you. Don't be afraid to experiment with different methods and see what helps you complete the burnout cycle and feel more at ease. The key is to recognize when you're in the midst of the burnout cycle and take action to complete it. That way, you can avoid getting stuck in a constant state of stress, which can lead to all sorts of nasty health problems down the road.
So, if you're feeling stressed out, don't worry! You're not alone, and there are plenty of ways to complete the burnout cycle and find your way back to a happier, calmer you.
Nagoski, E., & Nagoski, A. (2019). Burnout: The secret to solving the stress cycle. Random House.
Panossian, A., Hambardzumyan, M., Hovhanissyan, A., & Wikman, G. (2007). The Adaptogens Rhodiola and Schizandra Modify the Response to Immobilization Stress in Rabbits by Suppressing the Increase of Phosphorylated Stress-activated Protein Kinase, Nitric Oxide and Cortisol. Drug Target Insights, 2, 117739280700200. https://doi.org/10.1177/117739280700200011
Skelley, J. W., Deas, C. M., Curren, Z., & Ennis, J. (2020). Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 60(1), 253–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japh.2019.11.008.
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Kumar, S., Madaan, R., & Sharma, A. (2008). Estimation of apigenin, an anxiolytic constituent, Inturnera Aphrodisiaca. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 70(6), 847. https://doi.org/10.4103/0250-474x.49143.