Stressed, Exhausted, & Burned Out: Signs You Need a Break



When we are exhausted and burned out by constant stress, we are unable to function at our best. It may feel like we are looking at the world through a haze, simple tasks can become a struggle, and we may get frustrated and lose our temper more easily. Some signs you need to take a day to revive your mental health, Julie says, include:

1. Disturbed sleep – You find yourself sleeping either too little or too much.

2. Brain fog – Your mind seems sluggish and you have trouble focusing on tasks, remembering things and paying attention.

3. Low productivity – You notice you are not getting as much done as usual and everything seems to take twice as long as it should.

4. Low mood – You feel you have lost your connection to loving life.


One reason people get to this state is they push themselves to go-go-go, plowing through their to-do lists without taking any time to care for themselves. Another reason — particularly common to moms and women — is feeling guilty that they are somehow overlooking the needs of their families or friends. But if you’re experiencing the signs above, it’s a red flag that you need to take time out for yourself.


“You must put on the proverbial oxygen mask first, so you can show up to serve others as your best self,” Julie says.


Some of Julie’s favorite ways to rest and recharge are spending time in nature, taking a slow warm bath, listening to soothing music, and exercising. Here are 10 ways she suggests to rejuvenate your mental health, reboot your mood, and boost your emotional wellness:


1. Meditate. Download the Insight Timer app and pick a guided meditation to do every day. Insight Timer now has over 100,000 meditations, but don’t freak out — they are organized and searchable by length, topic, and author. Julie has a nice collection on there, including meditations on Giving and Receiving Compassion and Loving Kindness and Letting Go which are good for emotional wellness. Try a few and pick the ones that speak to you and fit your schedule.

2. Get grounded through the soles of your feet or by rubbing a here-and-now stone.

3. Practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth.

4. Take time out for mindful eating.

5. Stroll with a purpose with mindful walking.

6. Practice taking in the good.

7. Be in the moment with your favorite music. Make a playlist of songs that move you.

8. Practice the Sending-Receiving Meditation.

9. Try calling yourself “sweetheart,”  “dear,” or another term of endearment.

10. Engage in Loving Kindness Meditation for yourself and others.


About Julie Potiker: Julie Potiker is a mindfulness expert with extensive teacher training in a variety of tools and methods, including Mindful Self-Compassion. Through her Mindful Methods for Life program offerings and her book — “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos” — Julie helps others bring more peace and wellness into their lives. For more information, visit