When Burnout Sets In: Ways to Reset and Realign

by Djuna Passman and Heather Bernstein

How many of us have fallen into the, I just don’t have time, trap? (Me!) We all get busy, especially in New York City. And the truth is, for many of us, self-care and our practice can rapidly drop to the bottom of our daily to-do-list. When our phones hit 1% charged we don’t keep sending messages shrugging and saying, “I just don’t have time to pause and plug it in.” We don’t keep driving our car on empty saying, “Maybe tomorrow or next week things will calm down and I’ll go to the gas station.” And yet, we do this with ourselves all the time. I’m as guilty of this as the next person.

We have all had points in our lives when we realize it is time to reset and realign.

Sometimes we have the luxury of being able to go on a week-long retreat in a beautiful location. Sometimes we are able to carve out an hour for class during lunchtime, after work, or on the weekend. And sometimes we only have five minutes in our day to mediate, stretch, breathe, or go for a walk outside. I am always reminding both students and myself that something is better than nothing. One minute of meditation is better than no minutes. A few stretches and deep breaths are better than nothing at all.

When we carve out even five minutes a day to be still, breathe, and move our body we are more focused, more grounded, and more productive throughout the day.

Here are some ways we reset and realign on busy days.


  • Morning meditation (just five minutes while the coffee is brewing).

It makes a world of difference in how I move through my day. I feel more grounded and present, and experience less anxiety.

  • Writing a daily intention.

Often it is to have patience with myself and others. Lately, it has been to treat everyone I encounter throughout the day, including myself, with kindness. Writing it down is key, sometimes I will write it on a slip of paper that I tuck into my bag so it is with me all day. Anytime I feel myself getting overwhelmed or focusing on the inconsequential small stuff, I come back to my intention – I realign myself with that higher intention I set for my day.

  • Moving my body.

I physically and emotionally feel my best when I move a little. Walking outside and getting on my mat daily are key to keeping me aligned and, if needed, hitting reset. A walk around the block. Five minutes on my mat – a few cat-cows and child’s pose or gentle side stretches and twists.

  • Practicing Sama Vritti Pranayama(equal part breathing).

I slowly breath in through my nose for 4-counts and slowly exhale out the nose for 4-counts. I do this throughout the day when I need to reset and realign – on the subway, while walking down the street, when I’m having trouble falling asleep – this is my go to anytime I need to quiet my mind, drop into a calmer state, and realign.


As the mom of a young child, a woman with a corporate job, and a yoga teaching practice, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and under resourced. The first thought I must embrace is that, “I am and have enough, and I’m doing a good job.” Any mother knows that quiet time alone to think is a gift. I renew myself by waking up early in the morning, sometimes at 5:30 AM for an undisturbed meditation. Any amount of time will do. In fact, I just saw an interview with Dolly Parton who said that she loves to wake up bright and early, she said that she, “catches ideas that are floating in the air.” From there I often ride the Peleton or roll out my mat and practice yoga. When I’m done the house is still quiet and no one is awake. I brew the coffee, I take a shower, take my first sip and then begin to wake up my family. Going to bed at a decent hour is also important to waking up early. I have to admit I do not get this done five days a week but even if I do 2 or 3 days, it’s a good week. The best kind.

Heather and Djuna are leading a yoga retreat in July 2020 to the beautiful Amorgos, Greece. Let the summer of 2020 be the year you deepen you practice, unearth your magic, and let your light shine. Learn more here!