Like probably everyone on Earth, I’ve been struggling with burnout. Not just at work, which according to an April 26 report on Forbes.com is alarmingly high for women. The report cites Deloitte’s Women at Work 2022: A Global Outlook survey and states that “the disruption caused by the pandemic as well as shifts to the ‘new normal’ of work are taking a heavy toll on women.” Even though I’m one of those lucky ducks who get to work remotely and have a decent work-life balance, I’m battling classic burnout symptoms, including energy depletion, trouble getting started on projects and tasks and feeling as though my mind is going in 1,098 directions. I’m confident I’m not alone in feeling as though it’s not only work burnout, but also life burnout. In attempt to cure myself, I did a spring reset, which involved doubling down on a lot of my usual practices and adding a few new ones.

Yoga and meditation are my salvation and I continue to cling to those practices for dear life. While journaling was always a top tool in my toolbox, I hadn’t been doing it with any regularity, so I got that back into the rotation. So for five days, I created a yoga and meditation retreat at home in which I began each day with my usual yoga, meditation and journaling practices, ate a plant-based, ayurvedic menu (using delicious and hearty seasonal recipes by Claire Ragozzino) and took a daily walk. I also worked a yoga nidra meditation session into most afternoons or evenings to amp up my efforts.

Spring Reset
Photos by Melanie Warner Spencer
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Next, I spent time doing things I love and going to my favorite places. For me, this meant sketching more, taking lots of photos and otherwise making things, ducking into various local bookstores, coffee and tea shops and hitting the New Orleans Botanical Garden. If you are looking for a soul satisfying adventure, I can’t recommend the botanical garden highly enough. It’s a retreat in and of itself.

Finally, one way I can usually get my creative energy moving is by trying new things. Throughout the week, in addition to attempting new recipes, I took a cooking class with friends. I also checked out the Wellness Café at Spyre, the holistic wellness center former Norwegian Seamen’s Church on Prytania Street. I wrote about Spyre for Biz New Orleans, but had yet to go and enjoy the café. Anyone can eat in the café and the center offers a host of classes, day passes and packages for members and non-members alike. I’m looking forward to returning to check out a yoga class in the gorgeous Chapel and perhaps the dry sauna and hydrotherapy packages. I’m not much of a podcast listener, which is why I’m including this in trying new things. About the time I started exploring ways I could combat burnout, I got the Mindful newsletter announcing its four-part series, Burnout. It is described as a “hopeful, clarifying, and solutions-oriented series will help us all develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be living with burnout and offer a roadmap and online community for a different (productive, but joyful) path ahead.” The pod includes an ebook, meditations and other helpful tools. Sign me up!

While I can’t say I’m completely cured, my soul certainly feels much more satisfied these days. In addition to my daily yogic practices, I just have to remember to keep immersing myself in art, nourishing food and time with friends. That seems to be the secret sauce to keep burnout and ruts at bay.

Do you have tried-and-true burnout remedies? Email melanie@myneworleans.com to share.