Since we've been focusing on the topic of burnout lately, I've come to realize that burnout or stress doesn't discriminate when it comes to the individual, type of job, location, etc. Unfortunately, it can affect just about anyone. But fortunately, there are so many ways to manage and deal with burnout or extreme levels of stress.
There isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy to conquering burnout, since it's all based on your own personal preferences and lifestyle. You could find that taking a vacation and unplugging provide some much-needed rest and relaxation or that making sure you get a workout in a couple of days a week is your form of stress relief. Maybe it's getting the courage to talk to your boss about your workload. Or maybe it's establishing a self-care routine at night, whether that's meditating, experimenting with aromatherapy, or journaling.
And because managing your stress is so individualized, we're always curious to know what works for other people. We asked five successful women how they cope with burnout and stress. Read on for their tips, and think about incorporating some of their techniques into your life.
Make Time to Work Out
"It sounds cliché, but I always try to squeeze in a workout. Sometimes the pressure of eating well and working out while traveling for business adds MORE stress. But even if I squeeze in a long walk, I know that I will feel better for it. When I’m in NYC, I try to see my trainer, Stephen, at S10 as often as possible. He is super calming, reassuring, and I always leave him feeling a little bit better than when I came in. When it's just not possible with my schedule, I try to walk to appointments and meetings. A midday walk really helps to clear my mind and get me through the day." — Shiona Turini, stylist, costume designer, and consultant
"Working out—this is the best way for me to de-stress and feel reenergized. It's the one hour of the day I can guarantee that I have completely for myself!" —Raissa Gerona, chief brand officer at Revolve and co-founder of Alliance Apparel
"I always make time to work out, whether it's at home or the office. Sometimes I'll hop on the Peloton bike in our office in between meetings to help clear my head during the day." —Tamara Mellon, designer and entrepreneur
Prioritize Wellness and Self-Care
"I suffer physically with stress. I get terrible headaches and a painful trapped nerve when I become overly stressed. So I schedule wellness and self-care like any other appointment, meaning I actively make time for acupuncture, adjustments with an osteopath, and working out with a trainer. I don't cancel these appointments because I know if I'm not operating at my peak, it's a slippery slope. It's part of my job to work on myself pretty much every day." — Emma Grede, co-founder and CEO of Good American
"On particularly stressful days, I'll take a bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil when I get home. I also swear by the Lord Jones oil. I find that it helps with my anxiety, reduces inflammation and makes me feel calmer, too." — Mellon
"I have a really strong relationship with my energy and spiritual healer, Mashell Tabe. She is actually a facialist specializing in micro-needling, red light therapy, and ultrasound, but every single thing she does is energetic. Her intuition is uncanny. If I'm particularly stressed or overwhelmed, like clockwork she reaches out and centers me. I do not make any huge decision without talking it through with her. She has given me insight into everything from my career to working through family relationships to deeper internal healing." — Turini
Expand on Your Work
"I've found that when I have general burnout, I'm lacking that creative fire that energizes and inspires me. This is usually a sign that I need to iterate—that may mean within my position or beyond it. Finding a new purpose that motivates you to wake up excited every day is key." — Geri Hirsch, creative director of Saie Beauty, fashion and beauty blogger
Adopt the Power of No
"I'm a furious goal-setter, and I'm very focused on what I need to achieve daily, weekly, monthly, yearly—so as I'm asked to do things, I essentially benchmark everything (from a simple phone call to travel or a meeting) and ask myself, 'Is this getting me closer to one of my goals?' If it's not, I just say no!" — Grede
"It can be really hard in the workplace to say no to things, but often the pressure of saying yes leads you to an overpacked calendar, an inbox you're behind on, and general burnout. Don't be afraid to say no to a boss, to a co-worker, or to yourself, obviously within reason, and do it with grace and purpose. There's a great book called Essentialism if you need more guidance on this one." — Hirsch
"I religiously use my Calm app and meditate every night for at least 10 minutes. I found that just having this quick moment to myself helps me unwind from the day." — Mellon
"I meditate every morning, a routine I copied from my husband, but it really helps me avoid becoming overwhelmed when I inevitably have too much on during the day." — Grede
Create Boundaries—and Stick to Them
"Set boundaries for checking and answering your emails, meetings, and even social media." — Gerona
"I'm unrelenting in my schedule boundaries, so I don't allow the stress of every day and the constant moving pieces to get me off track with the bigger picture of what's actually important in my life. I leave the office at 5:30 p.m. so I see my children, do bath and story time, and put them to bed. It's really important that my assistant and staff allow me to uphold this. It's not a secret; I don't slip out the door. It's a rule, and no one expects anything different of me." — Grede
"Eat as healthy as you can—feeling good and having energy starts from the inside. I found that eating clean allows me to do this, but at the same time, I indulge myself and eat pasta and ramen whenever I feel like it. It's all about balance!" — Gerona
Take a Vacation
"After huge or particularly stressful jobs, I try to take a solo trip to reconnect with myself and get centered. The first time, I literally googled 'hiking trips in Spain,' and it led me to The Ashram in Mallorca. My life was changed. Strenuous hikes and twice-daily yoga will do that to you! I leave feeling completely restored and refreshed with a newfound clarity on the next projects and plans.
"Obviously, when I'm in the thick of a particularly stressful period, I can't jump on a plane and go on a hiking or meditation retreat, BUT one huge takeaway from those excursions was that I feel better when I have a routine. For me, this means waking up early, going for a walk to get a coffee, and planning my meetings in blocks of time through the day. For example, I will schedule all of my meetings or appointments either in the morning OR in the afternoon. Not both. At first, blocks of back-to-back appointments felt intimidating, but dealing with them all in one chunk of the day frees up the rest of my day and allows me the space to be creative, rest, or work on myself." — Turini
Become a Mentor
"An old college professor once told me that living my dreams allows others to live theirs. This really stuck with me because it reminded me that I was once someone (and I still am) who needed guidance and a mentor to help me navigate the workforce. It can be a serious breath of fresh air to meet with college students or join some kind of program that aims to help young adults find their way and inspire them in their career. You'll probably remember what you felt like at their age and how grateful you are to be where you are." — Hirsch