10 unusual methods highly intelligent people use to manage stress and burnout

Ever felt mentally and physically wiped out? That might be burnout creeping in, and it’s causing you extreme stress that hangs around for a while and messes with you.

And you know what? You’re not alone. Many people have been going through this thing, especially in the past decade. 

In a survey done on U.S. workers, more than half of the respondents said they felt burnt out in 2021, more than before the whole pandemic situation, and we know how that went. 

Dealing with burnout can be a real challenge, so it’s super important to learn how to bounce back before things get worse.

So, let’s hit the reset button for your mind and body, shall we? Here are 10 unusual methods highly intelligent people use to manage stress and burnout.

1) They laugh even when not feeling it

Even when things get tough, smart people still manage to crack a smile. It’s not just about feeling the laughter. They actually use it to relieve stress. 

Smart folks know that a good laugh can be a quick stress-buster and make them feel better, even if it’s just for a moment. 

A little laugh can actually trick your brain into feeling happier. When you feel happier, your heart is in check, and all the tense muscles in your body get the nice, relaxing break they deserve. 

Using laughter to stay mindful helps you see the bigger picture.

2) They use time blocks for every activity

Time blocks are your secret weapon for feeling more in control and less overwhelmed. 

They’re your best move against procrastination. I use them to assign a specific time for each task as a tool to stay focused and get things done. 

For example, I dedicate time from 7 to 9 a.m. to a key project that requires my full attention. That’s the time when most people are still at home or commuting and haven’t even started working yet. 

It’s also the time when I get no new emails I have to deal with immediately, making it perfect for the things that matter the most. 

Now, smart folks get that burnout sneaks in when work takes over life. With time blocks, they make sure to throw in breaks, personal time, and even a bit of fun.

Afternoons are awesome for brainstorming ideas and polishing up your presentation. You’ve hopefully dealt with key things by then and you’re feeling lighter and more relaxed.

Of course, your time blocks don’t have to match these examples, but every task you tackle with time blocks helps you feel more stress-free. 

Don’t forget that lunch break and a quick stroll to find that sweet balance.

3) They share their tasks as they know it’s not a “one-person job”

Mastering productivity is an art, and doing everything yourself plus multitasking might seem like the way to go, but it actually slows you down.

Sure, others might not do the job exactly the way you would, but that’s okay. The crucial thing is getting the job done. By letting go of these worries, you become more productive and less stressed.

Smart people recognize they aren’t miracle workers and embrace the power of delegating tasks.

4) They chew gum

Yes, you heard that right – chewing gum. Chewing gum might seem surprising, but studies actually show that it can make you more awake and in a better mood. 

It helps you react faster, especially when the task is hard. It also improves your attention and can actually increase feelings of relaxation and lower your stress levels.

The cool part is it’s super easy. Just unwrap the chewing gum, enjoy your favorite flavor that instantly makes you smile, and take short breaks from what you’re doing. 

It gives you time to clear your mind.

5) They keep journals about their thoughts

This is the method I use, and it helps me a lot. I actually do it old-school – pen and paper.

I spend a lot of my time behind the computer screen writing, so the nice change of using pen and paper by itself is stress-releasing for me. 

Plus it’s nice to practice my handwriting. You simply forget how to do it after some time and it feels awkward.

A journal, digital or physical, provides a personal space to share your emotions, needs, and experiences. 

Just pouring out your thoughts can be comforting. But I also use it to clarify my goals and steps to reach them. 

If you have a challenge, journaling is like chatting with yourself. It helps you find solutions and sort out issues, and you know what? It doesn’t judge your thoughts.

It’s a perfect recipe for preventing burnout. 

6) They take short breaks during work

Taking short breaks at work feels like hitting the fast-forward button for productivity. They’re stress-busting, focus-boosting superheroes!

Sitting for long hours is a reality for many people, and it’s like giving your body a lullaby – not great. 

So, to keep your body in happy dance mode, find time for short breaks. Even a quick stroll around the block every 30 minutes does wonders. Or you can literally dance if you’re working from home. 

Now, if you’re a workaholic in a rush, here’s the deal. Set alarms every 30 minutes to an hour. 

Take mini breaks. Your body and mind will thank you with more productivity and overall happiness. 

So, if you spot someone taking quick breaks, they’re not slacking. They’re smart individuals just rocking the secret code to a smart, stress-free work life!

7) They do power naps

According to the Mayo Clinic, napping is like a mini superpower for your body – it raises alertness and boosts your overall mood. 

For people with super vigilant jobs like pilots or drivers, power naps are the secret weapon. They recharge them, keeping accidents and drowsiness at bay. 

Safety first, right? 

But here’s the cool part – napping isn’t just a mood lifter. It’s an immune system booster, too. In a study, 30-minute naps worked wonders for stress relief and boosted immune benefits.

So, if someone asks why you’re napping and throws shade like “Napping is for babies,” just hit them with this comeback.

8) They stay active

Smart folks ensure they get regular exercise. They understand the importance of staying active and moving their body

Not only does it feel good, but it also plays a significant role in managing stress because it helps ease depression and anxiety by emitting feel-good endorphins.

Bright minds understand the connection between a fit body and a happy mind. That’s why staying active is a crucial stress reliever and burnout prevention

It keeps you better prepared to tackle whatever life throws your way.

Consider joining a gym, or if that’s not your style, work out at home, take walks, or enjoy bike rides. Just stay active.

9) They find someone who “gets it” and who can support them

Smart folks also know the power of having someone who truly understands what they’re going through. 

Wouldn’t it feel great to talk to someone who really gets the challenges you’re facing?

When you share experiences, it creates a sense of empathy and makes you feel supported.

Stress brings a rollercoaster of emotions for all of us. Having someone who supports you emotionally is like having a safety net – someone to talk to and lean on during tough times.

In my case, that’s my better half. But it can be a supportive friend or a colleague you can trust. 

It can be a person who gives you fresh perspectives and ideas to tackle problems. 

Hearing different viewpoints helps us approach problems more effectively.

10) They say “no”

Being smart about your health includes knowing when to say “no” and maintaining a healthy life balance. 

Intelligent people have this awesome skill of saying “no” when things get overwhelming. 

They get that taking on too much can lead to stress and mess with your health. So, by confidently saying “no” to extra stuff, they make sure there’s time for chill moments, personal stuff, and hanging out with friends.

They know that “no” means self-care.

Final thoughts

Stress is like that uninvited guest who never seems to leave, right? But don’t worry. Everyone can bounce back from it.

The secret to making this stress-fest called life more bearable is treating yourself like the VIP you are. 

What I want to say here is that you should take care of yourself, and I hope these methods will help.

And if you can’t do it alone, find someone who can help you. Because let’s face it, sometimes we all need someone to nudge us in the right direction. 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

7 ways good parents discipline their child without causing hurt feelings

8 personality traits that could derail your career, according to psychology