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6 Practices to Focus on when Burnt Out with Cari Li

I recently shared a graphic on what to focus on if you’re burnout and it’s been shared by many in the fitness industry and also by quite a few doctors.

Since the information was so helpful, I wanted to go into the details a little deeper for you.

The reason why this information is so important is because often times we either 1) don’t know we are burnt out and 2) approach it incorrectly and therefore pushing ourselves deeper into burnout.

Today we are focusing on the Drowning level. If you’re not sure where you’re at, take the FREE Fitness Level Quiz to find out.

Please recognise where you may have applied protocols that didn’t work for you and understand why that may have happened as you listen / read so you can be sure not to repeat them.

  1. Recovering your energy vs. aiming for weight loss

A common circumstance of burnout is weight gain, especially around the midsection and so we often want to immediately apply weight loss tactics.

Unfortunately these weight loss tactics are not often created for someone who is burnt out and further stress the body inappropriately.

This is why so many of us work so hard and get insignificant results that disappear as soon as we stray ever so slightly.

Instead you should first focus on recovering your energy so that your body can get to a place where it is ok with what’s needed for physique change.

In other words, we should wait till our body can handle the stress that we put it through in physique change instead of just stressing it even more.

  1. Improving sleep quality vs. pushing through fatigue

I know rest is never glorified while pushing through is, but there is a time for both.

When you ignore the fatigue, your body will come to a point where it forces you to rest. So if you’re in the Drowning stages, you’re going to need more sleep than you usually do until you recover.

Make sure you practice sleep hygiene, get your nutrition on point for improved sleep quality and even have an evening routine to help you wind down.

  1. Nourish with food vs. Dieting and depriving

I understand the want to go straight to dieting with weight gain and so we start eliminating meals, cutting calories, removing carbs, going on keto, intermittent fasting, etc.

However, that practice often times backfires on us, especially when we are burnt out.  This is why I do not promote calorie deficits to my clients while they are in the survival phases.

Instead, focus on nourishing your body with whole foods so that it can restore itself! I’m not saying to binge on whole foods, but this is not the time for you to be withholding nutrients from your body.

When you’re body has found some stability in the thriving phases, then it will be more flexible with physique change and can actually handle to stress too.

  1. Walks in nature vs. H.I.I.T. Workouts

Once again, HIIT workouts have become the goto workout for weight loss and it’s not that they don’t work, but they aren’t the best option for someone in the survival and more specifically what I consider the Drowning stage. ( Take the quiz here to find your fitness level. )

HIIT workouts push your body quite a bit! That’s why they’re a great workout, but that amount of stress from exercise for someone burnout is usually too much.

There may be results for a short period of time, but it will probably push you further into burnout which is why you fall off the program and gain all the weight back.

Instead, go walk in nature and focus on activities that destress you since your stress levels are already so high. When they calm down, your body is open to more stress and you can work some intensity into you exercise.

  1. Time Management vs. Ignoring self-care

When we are burnt out and overwhelmed, the last thing we think we have time for is self-care practices. I get it…buttttt that’s a big mistake.

If you’re in a state of overwhelm, where you’re running in circles being “busy” all the time but not really getting anywhere, then you need to stop the madness and really look at how you’re spending your time.

I know we pride ourselves on being “busy” and there’s comfort in business because that’s a great excuse for not facing what we need to face.

Here’s the reality…

When you’re in the thriving stages, you can spend less time on self-care but make sure you’re disciplined with holding a standard so that you don’t slip into the surviving stages.

When you’re in the surviving stages, you need to spend more time on self-care to recover so you can function better and more productively.

This should be great motivation for reaching and staying in the thriving stages of fitness.

  1. Healthy boundaries vs. Self-sacrificing

I know we are very caring people, that’s what got us into this mess, but there’s a time for stretching yourself for others and it’s not really now. If you continue to stretch yourself now, you’re going to put off / lose your ability to help those you care for.

Let’s also realise, we often get into this place because we are placing our care in the wrong place sometimes and so reevaluating who / what should be receiving our energy is very helpful.

This can be a very hard one because we find a lot of validation in being needed and the truth is that you’re enabling someone to 1) not respect your boundaries and therefore not respect you and 2) not have their own boundaries and respect themselves.

Making this shift can require a lot of work, which is why it’s best done with good support. It can also bring up a lot of hostility in other people towards you because suddenly you are not available to them. This helps to filter who is truly in a give and take relationship with you.

I hope going into detail with these points help clarify the direction you need to take to start thriving again.

To find out if you should be implementing these and for clearer steps in how to do this, here is access to the exact Fitness Level Quiz that I use for guiding my clients. It will tell you exactly what level you fall into: Drowning, Treading Water, Swimming or Running. In addition, you’ll have access to a training series for your level sent to you so that you know how to implement workouts and nutrition to get you to the next level.


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