5 Simple Steps to Avoid Burnout

5 Simple Steps to Avoid Burnout

5 Simple Steps to Avoid Burnout


In our modern society, it seems like we’re always on the go- on our phones, checking Facebook or Instagram, browsing the internet- it feels like we never have time for ourselves, even when we’re by ourselves! We’re always doing doing doing, with no time for being. Now add to the mix skipped meals, busy schedules, heavily processed foods, not enough sleep and you have a total recipe for disaster, stress and burnout. 


All of this stress is taking a huge toll on our overall sense of wellbeing while wreaking havoc on our brains. It causes our built-in stress circuit- the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis– to become chronically activated leading to further feelings of disconnect, stress, and ultimately burnout. Its a vicious, vicious cycle: Stress leading to lowered brain function causing more stress and eventually burnout. So caring for your brain is one of the most powerful things you can do to get back on track, present and fully engaged with life.


In this article, I’m going to teach you 5 simple yet powerful steps you can take NOW to strengthen and care for your brain to avoid burnout. If you incorporate this morning ritual into your daily life you will become more focused, engaged and present with yourself and others, and avoid feeling stressed out all the time. Before we get there, let me introduce you to the star of the show…


A Brief Primer on the Brain 


At the most basic level, your brain is a collection of cells housed within your cranial bones that allows you to:

  • Organize your thoughts

  • Experience emotions

  • Smell, taste, touch, hear and see 

  • Walk, move and engage with your physical environment


 But much more than that, your brain is how you perceive and experience the world, your self and the people around you. Its a source of healing, inspiration, creativity, passion, empathy, connection, gratitude, spirituality and learning. The ability to enjoy and savor a delicious meal, the excitement we feel when reconnecting with an old friend, the thrill of falling in love- all these things are enhanced when your brain is working in tip-top condition. 


When its not, it can be the cause of suffering, depression, fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, migraines, stress, anxiety, apathy, fear, lack of focus and concentration, irritation, loneliness, loss of memory and disconnect. And if its really out of balance, it can be at the root of many serious chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia. 


What You Can Do Now 


For many years, I’ve worked with thousands of patients to create highly-personalized action plans to help them achieve total brain health. These plans ranged from the simplest strategies to incredibly complex ones crafted through much investigative work and extensive lab testing. Here are 5 of the easiest steps that you can take NOW to strengthen and care for your brain and avoid burnout. 


Step 1: Practice conscious belly breathing first thing in the morning

  • As soon as you wake up, I want you to sit up, and breathe

  • As you’re breathing, bring your awareness to the breath going in and out of your nostrils

  • Feel your belly expanding and contracting with each cycle of inhalation and exhalation

    • It may help to place your hands gently on your belly

  • Start out at 3 minutes and work your way up to an hour


Step 2: Drink 1/2 liter of water in the morning

  • Prepare it the night before and put it next to your bed

  • Add some freshly squeezed lemon for an added zing and to balance out your pH 


Step 3: Take a high quality fish oil 

  • 1000 mg of an EPA:DHA blend in the morning 

  • Repeat in the evening


 Step 4: Move!

  • After your belly breathing, water and fish oils, do something that gets your blood flowing 

    • Walk

    • Jog

  • Jam out to your favorite tunes to really set your brain and soul afire


Step 5: Eat a high quality breakfast

  • Focus on low sugar, moderate protein, and high fat

  • Example: soft-boiled eggs, avocado and asparagus


And there you have it!


To get maximum impact, I highly recommend that you do your ritual first thing in the morning, because what you do first thing in the morning completely sets the tone for the rest of your day. When I began incorporating this morning ritual into my daily life, my energy, mood, focus, concentration, presence and engagement sky-rocketed, and I was able to handle all that life would present to me with much greater grace and ease.


The power in this ritual, as in all rituals, lies in the follow through. Intentional repetition is the key to learning, building mental muscle, and neuroplasticity. Its all about crafting the small habits and constantly repeating them so that they’ll have the biggest positive impact on your life. And as you continue this process, you will most likely experience deeper connection, more presence, more energy and engagement with yourself and the world around you.


Try it out for a month and along the way, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. 


In the Spirit of Full Engagment,


Dr. Titus Chiu