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Fuelling You: Nutrition Tips to Combat Workplace Burnout

Feeling like your work is sucking the life out of you? Does your to-do list resemble Mount Everest, and your energy levels are about as high as a deflated whoopee cushion? You probably have burnout. Lots of people experience this so you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s a way to stop and prevent future burnout. I am talking about nutrition!

That’s right, the food choices you make can be the difference between feeling like a smouldering ember and a raging inferno of productivity. I’m not talking fad diets or deprivation here. I’m talking about strategic nutrition, about feeding your body the right stuff so you can feel lighter and better.

 

Start with a Power-Packed Healthy Breakfast

The old saying about the most important meal being breakfast holds a lot of truth. Consuming a balanced breakfast is known to tone your day–you’ll have energy for the morning. For example, a smoothie with Greek yoghurt, spinach, berries, and a spoonful of almond butter can give you a nutrient-dense start. Alternatively, whole-grain toast with avocado and a poached egg offers a hearty and satisfying option.

 

Boost Energy With Smart Snacking 

Reaching for unhealthy snacks like crisps or sweets might give you a quick energy spike, but it’s followed by a crash that can worsen burnout. Mixing protein and fibre can help balance energy levels. Nuts and seeds, Greek yoghurt with a handful of berries, or hummus with carrot sticks are fantastic options to stabilise your energy and provide nutrients.

 

Balanced Lunches for Gut Health 

Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms in the digestive tract, which is essential for efficient digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. A well-rounded meal is important for lunch as it helps you regain energy lost during the morning. Think grilled chicken or tofu on a bed of quinoa with a colourful mix of roasted vegetables. Incorporating a variety of colours in your meal can ensure you’re getting a range of vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget to add healthy fats like avocado or olive oil, which can support brain health and mood regulation. Try including fibre-rich foods like vegetables and whole grains to maintain your gut health. Yoghurt or kimchi are fermented foods that allow for healthy digestion and diversify your microbiome.

 

Importance of Hydration 

Dehydration can lead to fatigue and difficulty concentrating, exacerbating feelings of burnout. Try drinking about 10 – 12 glasses or more of fluids a day. This can include water, tea, coffee, milk, soup, etc. Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk to remind yourself to sip regularly. For flavouring, infuse your water with slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint. ‘Does tea count as water intake?’ Yes! If you love tea, drink that specifically herbal tea.

 

Corporate Wellness–Avoid Afternoon Slump 

The post-lunch slump is common, but it can be managed with the right food choices. Avoid heavy, carb-laden lunches that can make you feel sluggish. If you need a mid-afternoon energy boost, eat snacks like fruit paired with a handful of nuts, or a slice of whole-grain toast with nut butter.  You will have steady energy release and stay alert and focused. You can read all about corporate wellness nutrition here

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These brainpower boosters keep your cognitive function sharp and can even improve your memory. Fatty fish like salmon, as well as avocado, flaxseed, and walnuts, are your best bet. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve mood and cognitive function. You won’t have to worry about the mental fatigue associated with burnout. Incorporate these foods into your diet regularly. For instance, enjoy a salmon salad for lunch or sprinkle flaxseed into your morning smoothie.

 

Mind Your Daily Caffeine Intake

While caffeine can give you a temporary energy boost, too much can lead to jitters and heightened anxiety, which can contribute to burnout. Try to limit your coffee intake to the morning hours and switch to green tea or herbal teas in the afternoon. Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes calm and focus without the crash associated with coffee.

 

Plan and Prepare Nutritious Meals

Planning and preparing your meals ahead of time can ensure you have nutritious options readily available, even on your busiest days. Spend some time on the weekend preparing meals and snacks for the week. Think colourful stir-fries with lean protein and brown rice, pre-portioned yoghurt parfaits with berries and granola, or chopped veggies with hummus for quick and satisfying snacks. 

 

Ask Your Dietitian for Help

You are not alone in the fight against burnout. Eating the right food, focusing on self-care, and slowly creating a healthy lifestyle will help your productivity and well-being. Burnout recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t overwhelm yourself with drastic changes. Start small. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small, and gradually build a healthy lifestyle that empowers you to conquer the workday and live a life full of fire!

Inside Out Nutrition is one of Ireland’s leading nutrition consultant companies. We have dietitians who have a combined experience of over 25 years! With us, both individuals and organisations can achieve their nutrition goals. Book an Appointment!