Recognizing and Navigating Burnout

In today’s world, the term “burnout” has become all too familiar. Many of us have experienced it or know someone who has. Burnout is a pervasive, multi-faceted issue that affects people from all walks of life. Its impact on mental health cannot be minimized. As people take on multiple roles as caretakers, professionals, parents, volunteers etc., and expectations continuously mount, bodily systems that at first make us feel heroic begin to diminish. Let’s explore what burnout is, how it affects our mental health, and most importantly, what we can do to combat it with the help of therapy.

Burnout is more than just feeling tired or stressed; it’s a chronic state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged periods of excessive stress or work demands. This can be compounded by the abandonment of practices and habits that provide self-care and replenishment as we become busier and overwhelmed. Burnout symptoms can manifest in various ways, but some common signs include:

1.     Chronic Fatigue: Feeling tired all the time, even after a full night’s sleep. For some this may cause a reliance on caffeinated beverages or sugar for energy.

2.     Cynicism and Detachment: Developing a negative outlook and detached attitude towards work or other responsibilities.

3.     Reduced Performance: A noticeable drop in productivity and effectiveness. One may ask “why am I so disinterested in my work or making plans”?

4.     Increased Irritability: Becoming more easily frustrated or angered as if your “fuse” is short.

5.     Physical Symptoms: Experiencing headaches, body aches, digestive issues, or other physical ailments due to stress.

As you can see the symptoms are diverse and for this reason, burnout takes a significant toll on mental health. The relentless stress and exhaustion can lead to a range of mental health issues, including:

1.     Anxiety: Constant worry and fear about meeting expectations or deadlines.

2.     Depressive Episodes: A pervasive sense of sadness and hopelessness.

3.     Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing on tasks and making decisions.

4.     Impaired Memory: Forgetfulness and difficulty retaining information.

5.     Sleep Problems: Insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns.

It’s important to note that when our bodies experience change in some way that causes distress, it’s advisable to consult a medical doctor to rule out medical issues as self-diagnosis is never encouraged. Having said that, being able to recognize the signs of burnout is crucial, but acting is even more important. One effective way to address burnout and its impact on mental health is by working with a therapist. Here are some ways therapy can help:

1.     Identifying the Root Causes: A therapist can help you explore the underlying causes of your burnout as it is often related to many factors that have been forces in life for extended periods of time. By understanding what’s driving your stress and exhaustion, you can develop strategies to address these issues.

2.     Learning Coping Strategies: Therapists can teach you coping strategies to manage stress and prevent burnout. These strategies may include relaxation techniques, time management skills, and setting healthy boundaries. Coping strategies while only a piece of the puzzle are important on the healing path.

3.     Providing Emotional Support: Therapy offers a nonjudgmental and confidential space to express your feelings and emotions so you can get closer to understanding your own needs. It allows you to vent, integrate your experiences, and gain perspective on your unique situation.

4.     Building Resilience: Through therapy, you can develop emotional resilience, and “glimmers of hope” which helps you bounce back from setbacks and cope with life’s challenges more effectively.

5.     Setting Realistic Goals: A therapist can assist you in setting realistic and achievable goals, helping you avoid overextending yourself and falling into past behaviors that may have contributed to burnout.

Stress is unavoidable and as people we are doing our best to strike a balance in life. Stress itself is not a bad word; in fact, we are often at our best when optimally stressed, which can make us feel accomplished and even proud. However, when our resources are consistently overrun by stress levels, we enter a chronic state of distress. This is why it’s essential to remain mindful of daily individual resources so we can take action to prevent and recover from burnout. It also helps to take account of our protective forces (friends, alone time, gym, etc.) that bring us back into our bodies and calm the nervous system. Seeking help from a therapist is a valuable step in this process, as it provides the guidance and support needed to regain a sense of control and mental well-being. Remember, you don’t have to face burnout alone – there is help available to guide you on the path to recovery and resilience.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

The Tools

Shifting Mental States I recently watched the Netflix documentary “Stutz” which was inspired by a 2012 book titled “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. “Stutz” delves deep into the realm of mental health and self-discovery through the scope of the therapeutic relationship Phil possesses with his client Jonah Hill who also happens to be the director. I will explore the essence of “Stutz,” and the tools it introduces.

We all experience states that we shift through dozens of times during the day. States may register in our brain as feelings or in our body as sensations; even if we don’t consciously identify them, they are impacting us on some level. At the heart of both the book and the documentary lies a set of transformative techniques known as “The Tools.” These tools are designed to empower individuals to break free from beliefs and behaviors that don’t serve us. Each tool provides a unique approach to overcoming obstacles and accessing untapped reservoirs of inner strength.

1.     The Reversal of Desire: This tool challenges the notion that discomfort, or adversity should be avoided at all costs. Instead, it encourages individuals to embrace challenges, reframing them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

2.     Active Love: Active Love emphasizes the importance of cultivating compassion and empathy during angered states, not only towards others but also towards oneself, which can be difficult for many. It facilitates deepening a sense of self-worth and acceptance.

3.     The Grateful Flow: This tool centers on cultivating gratitude, even in the face of difficulties, fear, or anxiety. It shifts the focus from what’s lacking to appreciating the abundance that surrounds us, fostering a positive and resilient mindset.

4.     Inner Authority: Inner Authority empowers individuals to tap into their innate wisdom and intuition, enabling them to make decisions with confidence and clarity.

5.     Jeopardy: Sometimes even when we know what we need, we may still choose to not utilize resources available to us. Jeopardy as a tool challenges individuals to confront their deepest fears and anxieties, ultimately dismantling the power these fears hold over their lives.

Through its vivid portrayal of “The Tools,”, “Stutz” offers accessible strategies for those seeking to discreetly shift states and behaviors at home or at work. As viewers, we are reminded of the untapped reservoirs of strength within us, and that we have far more agency than we often claim to meet our emotional needs effectively. These tools, while certainly accessible individually, can be enhanced by working through them with a mental health professional. In our practice at New Day Vitality, we facilitate spaces where clients can “Try On” tools and skills that can create a more fulfilled life.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

The Gifts of Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is a concept that recognizes and celebrates the natural variation in human brain function. It encompasses a wide range of neurological conditions, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. While these conditions come with unique challenges, they also bring a plethora of gifts and talents that contribute to the rich tapestry of human cognition and creativity. In this blog post, we will explore the gifts associated with neurodivergences and provide valuable tools and strategies for individuals to thrive while embracing their learning differences.

1. Unique Perspectives: Neurodivergent individuals often have a unique way of seeing the world. They may notice details and patterns that others overlook, offering fresh insights and creative solutions to problems.

2. Intense Focus: Hyperfocus is a common trait in neurodivergent individuals, allowing them to delve deeply into their interests and passions. This intense concentration can lead to exceptional expertise in specific areas.

3. Innovative Thinking: Neurodivergent minds often excel in divergent thinking, making them exceptional innovators and problem solvers. They can approach challenges from unconventional angles, leading to groundbreaking discoveries.

4. Empathy and Compassion: Many neurodivergent individuals have a heightened sense of empathy and a strong desire to help others. They can connect with people on a profound emotional level, making them excellent caregivers and advocates.

5. Creativity: Neurodivergent individuals frequently exhibit remarkable creativity in various forms, such as art, music, writing, and more. Their unique perspective and intense focus can lead to the creation of captivating and original works.

Tools for Thriving with Learning Differences

1. Self-Acceptance: The first step in thriving with a learning difference is self-acceptance. Embrace your neurodivergence as an integral part of who you are. Recognize that it comes with both challenges and strengths.

2. Education and Awareness: Learn about your specific neurodivergence. Understand how it impacts your learning style, communication, and daily life. Knowledge is empowering and can help you advocate for your needs.

3. Advocacy: Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Inform teachers, employers, and peers about your neurodivergence and the accommodations that can help you succeed. Self-advocacy is a vital skill.

4. Structured Routines: Establishing structured routines can help you manage time and tasks effectively. Utilize tools like calendars, planners, and task management apps to stay organized.

5. Support Networks: Connect with others who share your neurodivergence. Support groups, online communities, and local organizations can provide valuable guidance, understanding, and a sense of belonging.

6. Assistive Technology: Explore the wide array of assistive technology available. Screen readers, speech-to-text software, and mind-mapping tools can aid in learning and productivity.

7. Alternative Learning Methods: Find learning methods that suit your style. Visual aids, hands-on experiences, and interactive learning can be more effective than traditional approaches.

8. Time Management Techniques: Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique (working in short, focused bursts with breaks) can enhance productivity and concentration for neurodivergent individuals.

9. Mindfulness and Stress Management: Practice mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques to manage anxiety or overwhelm. These techniques can help maintain focus and emotional well-being.

Neurodiversity is a beautiful and essential part of the human experience. While learning differences may present challenges, they also bring unique gifts and talents that contribute to our world in profound ways. By embracing your neurodivergence, seeking support, and utilizing appropriate tools and strategies, you can not only overcome challenges but also thrive and make a positive impact on the world. Remember that your neurodiversity is a gift that can help you shine brightly in your own unique way.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Disney therapist mom here ☀️


A black and white image of the word justice.Yep, Disney mom proud and all pure love of everything Disney.

It’s interesting, often people will ask me as a therapist what do you get out of Disney? What’s the mental health piece? As I often refer to Disney as my very expensive self-care.

Truth is Disney brings me back to basic. Disney reminds of the simple joys that as we grow older we tend to miss, forget, or no longer notice.

Disney elicits the essence of mindfulness to see the child’s great big smile when in awe of the park. Or to notice the connection of families. The happiness individuals feel and it rays like sunshine on a warm day simply walking through the park.

Disney reminds me that life is complicated and sure this is accurate, yes, of course, but there’s also so much joy. So much pure, authentic joy and happiness, absolutely incredible.

Disney reminds me of when I was a child and the happiness that I felt every second in the park with my parents. Embracing my inner child gives me the opportunity to connect with some of the deepest layers of myself while at Disney.

Disney allows me to grow, to evolve. There’s so much knowledge in Disney. So much to learn, and that opportunity I take every single time.

Disney allows me to practice mindfulness, to be present in the experience and enjoy the seconds vs. planning for the next.

Disney provides me awe moments, you know the moments that take your breath away? The moments that make me feel alive, vibrant, and connected to others and something bigger.

Disney may not be everyone’s favorite place in the world, but it’s mine.

So this Disney therapist mom wanted to share for just a moment the joy that Disney brings to me and my mental health. Feeling truly grateful.

Love, sincerely the Disney therapist mama â¤ï¸


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

10 ways to live a more fulfilling healthier and happy life today:


So we all want to live a healthy and happy life right? Sometimes we don’t feel fulfilled in the everyday routine. We get stuck in the autopilot of it all. It gets exhausting, maybe even draining.


Let’s talk about 10 simple ways you can begin to implement today to live a more fulfilling healthier and happier life today.

  1. Practice gratitude

Choose each day to show up with a grateful heart. Even for the small things in your life, food you eat, roof over your head. This can all adjust the way you see and feel about your life and world.

  1. Choose to smile

There’s a ton of research that shows smiling helps us internally as well as externally. It helps us feel lighter and more at ease, plus it costs nothing. Try it out today.

  1.  Mindfulness

Living a mindful life allows one to be present in all of your feelings and experiences, the more present we are the more regulated we become.

  1.  Say no

Say no to people, places and things that don’t align to what truly makes your soul happy.

  1. Practice Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are essential. They are a perfect example of self- care. The healthier boundaries we choose the happier life we live.

  1. Exercise

Get moving, exercise increases endorphins that help us feel good. Get moving today.

  1. Surround yourself with people that love and truly care about you

When you surround yourself with a healthy team, you yourself begin to make healthier choices for you.

  1. Live for your moments

The moments that take your breathe away. Live and be those moments.

Manage Stress

Be conscious and aware of your stress. If it gets too high it’s time to implement something different.

  1. Choose goals that are realistic

Set goals that are realistic and achievable. Be kind to yourself. Choose compassion.


So today is your day, your day to begin living a happier and healthier life. Which of the 10 will you start to incorporate in your life? New Day Vitality is here to help.



Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella