Top 5 Ways to Prevent a Burnout

Top 5 Ways to Prevent a Burnout

Stop the bad before it happens
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So, last week I wrote about noticing the signs of burning out which is a threat we all face at this time of year. This week I am going to share tips on how to stop and/or prevent a burnout from happening. However, before I go into that I would like to address a common misconception.

Stress and burnout are not the same things. Stress is short term. It is an out of control feeling, but once the situation changes it lessens or goes away. Burnout extends over a longer period of time. It is the feeling meaningless and a disconnect in what you are doing. Basically, you are just going through the motions. Now that we know the difference let’s talk about how we can stop burnout:

1. Create a social contract with positive relationships

This can be done by investing more time in your closest relationships. You can become more sociable with your coworkers. This one is a biggie, limit your contact with negative people.

2. Reframe the way you look at work/school

Find the value in what you are doing. You are working for money to get something or going to school to obtain your career. Find balance in your life. If you have work and school and relationships to maintain like me than you need to find time for each and balance them all without spreading yourself too thin. Make friends at school/work to enjoy them more. Lastly, take some time off. If you simply can’t find balance, take a vacation.

3. Re-evaluate your priorities

Set boundaries in your life. Learn to say no when you know you simply don’t have the time. Nourish your creativity by trying something new or revisiting an old hobby. Take a daily break from technology and connect with the real world. Set aside some relaxation time for yoga or some mindful breathing to relax your senses. Lastly, get plenty of sleep. This is more important than we would like to admit and needs to be paid more attention to.

4. Make exercise a priority

Exercise releases chemicals in your body that can rejuvenate you to be more productive. Set aside 30 minutes a day to get in something as simple as a walk to get the blood flowing. Try rhythmic exercise, where you move both your arms and legs. It is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. To maximize stress relief, instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts, focus on your body and how it feels as you move.

5. Support your mood and energy levels by eating a healthy diet

First, you need to minimize your sugar and carb intake because these lead to the crashing feeling. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, trans fats, and foods with chemical preservatives or hormones. Eat more Omega 3-fatty acids to boost your mood. Avoid nicotine as this is a stimulant and increases your anxiety. Lastly, alcohol in moderation as this is only a temporary solution.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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