Five Ways to Avoid Burnout

The holidays are over. The kids are back to school and offices are again fully staffed.

So why do you feel so burned out?

Burnout, whether it's in your career or your personal life, often occurs in the winter months as people, especially those living in colder climates, find themselves feeling a bit lethargic due to the shorter days and frigid temperatures.

Recovery from the hustle and bustle of the holidays also can leave people feeling drained of energy.

To recover from burnout, motivational speaker Snowden McFall, author of “Fired Up!” offers her clients these five tips:

1.) Take a vacation. “Twenty-six percent of Americans never take a vacation,” McFall recently told “And studies show that women who take two weeks of vacation each year can cut their chances of having a heart attack by 50 percent. So you should take a vacation, even if you have to borrow someone’s house to do it.”

2.) Laugh. Toddlers laugh several hundred times a day, but the average adult laughs just four times, said McFall. “Laughter has healing power,” she said. “It’s been shown to boost the immune system. So listen to funny tapes or podcasts of your favorite comedian during your commute. Watch funny movies. Do things that regularly encourage laughter.

3.) Give back. “This is an unlikely one that most people wouldn’t think of,” McFall said. “But when you volunteer to feed people who are starving or stop off at a homeless shelter on your way home from work, it can really put things into perspective and make you think about how well-off you are. And you feel better when you help nurture other people.”

4.) Deep breathing, meditation. Taking a break and looking inward helps people both mentally and physically, McFall said. “It increases your circulation,” she said. “Meditation and deep breathing increase circulation, cuts the duration of hospital stays and leads to fewer business errors. Take time to do some deep breathing every day. Meditating also reduces blood pressure, improves memory and can reduce cholesterol.”

5.) Exercise. “Sixty percent of Americans do not get enough exercise to keep their immune system functioning properly,” McFadden added. “Find a buddy. Join a class. My husband and I are both achievers so we started doing ballroom dancing. It’s a really good way to relax and have fun.”