Burnout Recovery In Nature

What is burnout:

The World Health Organization says burnout is a health condition characterized by feelings of exhaustion, negativism and cynicism, and reduced productivity. While it’s likely either you or someone you love will suffer from burnout, the good news is that time spent outdoors is a way to achieve burnout recovery in nature.

Watch the video below to learn who’s at risk for burnout, and signs you’re experiencing burnout.

Why Burnout Recovery In Nature?

Analysis of studies published in the UK concluded that time spent in green environments improves self-esteem and mood. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20337470/

Time spent in a forest helps lower blood pressure and blood levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html

Attention fatigue is what you get when you over-use the filters that help your brain focus on a specific task. High-achieving health care professionals, entrepreneurs and artists have to be able to focus to do good work. Spending time outdoors is a natural remedy to mental attention fatigue.

The combination of better mood, improved body relaxation, and relief from attention fatigue help explain the great power of burnout recovery in nature.

When you can’t get outside, even looking at pictures of forests, lakes, or oceans can help. Check out some of my nature meditation videos. I post one the last Friday of every month.

My Story About Burnout Recovery In Nature

Six years ago I suffered great burnout after I went through pressure-packed months caring for my father as he died from cancer, followed by intense grief over his loss, then followed by being laid off from my job. Big surprise? I got sick. I developed severe vertigo that led to double vision, nausea and vomiting, and inability to walk straight. There were mornings I crawled down the steps from my bedroom because I was afraid I’d fall and hurt myself otherwise.

When I got a bit better, but was still very unsteady on my feet, I started the habit of walking at a nearby nature preserve every Sunday morning. I stopped there on my way home from church.  (I probably wasn’t that safe driving either, but I went to an early service when there wasn’t much traffic on the local roads.)

I chose this nature preserve because it was close to my home, it had a level path around a lake, and the path was covered with a thick layer of tree mulch which I hoped would cushion and protect me if I fell down. I was so unsteady I was afraid to walk on a sidewalk or paved path for fear of hurting myself when I fell.

Week after week, month after month, I walked around this lake early on Sunday mornings. I breathed the scent of oak, ash, maple, sycamore, moss and ferns. I admired turtles sunbathing on logs.

Radnor Lake burnout recovery in nature

I marveled as colors changed with the seasons.

I got better.

I want you to get better too. Shed the exhaustion, leave the overwhelm, let go of the “why bother” or “what is this worth.” 

You matter, my friend. You are created for a purpose, and there is something for you to do that only you can do in your special way. Build your special life, and make space for burnout recovery in nature.

©️ 2022 Healthy Habits Communications LLC


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