In our fast-paced, always-on world, it’s easy to go-go-go until you just can’t anymore. One minute you’re killing your to-do list, the next you can’t get out of bed. Or maybe you’re living in a constant state of overwhelm and feel completely paralyzed. Or on edge all the time, lashing out at your S.O. and becoming irrationally irritated at that colleague who keeps eating during meetings.
Burnout can manifest in different ways. Though we usually talk about it in relation to work, it can actually stem from any situation that creates consistently high levels of stress without relief (for example, caring for a sick loved one, dealing with a deteriorating relationship, or, you know, living through a worldwide pandemic).
Lifestyle changes can go a long way in dealing with—and preventing—burnout, but they’re not always easy to make when you feel unmotivated and uninspired. That’s where CBD comes in. It can help give you some relief, so you can start feeling like yourself again. More on that soon, but first, it’s helpful to know what CBD is and how it works.
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is one of over 113 active compounds found in the cannabis plant. It interacts with certain receptors in the brain and body that play a key role in regulating mood, stress, appetite, and pain. We still have a lot to learn about everything CBD is capable of, but many people find it helps them calm down, feel less anxious, and sleep better. In other words, exactly what you need when you’re dealing with burnout.
If you’re currently in a state of burnout, here’s how to get some relief.
Decompression is key when you’re mentally exhausted. In a perfect world, you’d clear your schedule, fly to Mexico for a month, and do nothing but drink margaritas on the beach. But assuming that’s not doable, carving out small moments of R&R can still make a huge difference.
Try adding mini-breaks into your workday. Put up an away message and go for a walk outside or do some light stretching. Taking a low dose of CBD about 20 minutes beforehand can help you disconnect more easily and come back to work re-energized and ready to focus.
You can also use CBD to help you unwind at the end of the day. Whether taken alone or combined with a hot bath, an episode of “Schitt’s Creek,” or whatever your preferred mode of relaxation, CBD can help quiet your thoughts and ease some of the tension in your body, so you can forget about the 65 things on your plate.
As with most things in life and health, good sleep is crucial when you’re recovering from burnout. Unfortunately, burnout also makes it hard to come by. Either you’re using prime sleeping hours to catch up on your to-do list—or you’re up till 4 a.m. thinking about your to-do list.
While CBD can’t make you shut down your laptop, a higher dose can help you close all the tabs in your mental browser, making it much easier to drift off. In the morning, you’ll feel better rested and more refreshed, putting you in a much better place to tackle the day.
Keeping your stress levels low is the best way to keep burnout from rearing its ugly head again. Incorporating CBD into your every day can help you tackle new challenges with a calm head so you don’t become as overwhelmed.
Stress is a normal part of life, but if you’re not regularly taking time to relax and decompress, it can build up. Practicing self-care daily—not just when you’re at your wit’s end—can go a long way in helping you stave off burnout.
Much like drinking a glass of wine to unwind, taking CBD can be a great self-care routine on its own. But you can also incorporate it into other stress-relieving rituals—for example, taking it before meditating to usher in a greater sense of calm or before cracking open a new novel to help you concentrate.
You can’t do everything, so you have to be selective about how you spend your time and energy. Be honest with your boss, friends, and family members about what you have time for and practice saying no to the things that don’t align with your values. You can also set specific boundaries (no checking work email after 8 p.m., no social media in bed) to limit distractions and give yourself a much-needed break.
If you’re struggling to leave work at work, try taking CBD just before you clock out. It can help you create mental distance between your 9-to-5 and your home life, so you can enjoy the evening without thinking about that nagging email in your inbox. You can also use it for better focus and concentration when you are at work, so you can get more done and have more time for the things that matter. Burnout can feel overwhelming, but with proper rest and relaxation, things will get better. While CBD isn’t a magic bullet, it can provide some much-needed relief, putting you in a much better place to reset and take back control of your life.