Burnout: exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.
Tired, drained, listless, exhausted, overloaded and weak. If you are experiencing all of this, you’ve probably got what is called ‘burnout’. Burnout was more commonly identified with people in ‘helping’ professions – i.e. doctors, nurses, teachers – but these days, it seems burnout can affect anyone, from celebrities to over-worked employees and home makers.
Burnout can be caused by:
- Work – Feeling like you’ve got little or no control over what you do; doing boring, monotonous, unchallenging work day after day; working in a high-pressure environment; or you’re not even doing what you want to do in the first place
- Your lifestyle – particularly if you’re a workaholic, insomniac, anti-social.
- Personality traits – Perfectionist tendencies, controlling, high-achieving
These things and a few more can all contribute to burnout. Some of you might be stressing your way towards being burnt out, or are already there (uh oh!!).
Here are 10 ways you can beat burnout, effectively:
- Start the day gently – Begin your day with a relaxing ritual: pray, meditate, exercise, have a scented bath, whatever floats your boat.
- Exercise, eat right, and SLEEP – Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live! Loosen your muscles with light exercise, go for a walk and stretch your limbs. Fuel your body correctly with more of fresh than processed foods. Get some rest. Studies have shown that adults need to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Naps don’t count. A lot of regeneration goes on internally while we sleep, don’t shortchange yourself on this.
- Learn to say ‘NO’ – Seriously, some things (and people) aren’t worth your precious, precious time. If this is too hard for you, remember: saying ‘no’ lets you say ‘yes’ to things you actually want and need to do.
- Take a tech break – Switch off your phone. Unplug the laptop. Turn off the TV. Don’t check your email or social media. Just, pause for at least an hour a day.
- Get creative – Try something new and different. Practice sketching, play an instrument, write a blog. Create!
- Breathe – Taking slow deep breaths from your diaphragm helps reduce stress levels in your system. So make a conscious effort to take deep breaths frequently whether you’re already feeling stressed or not.
- Work less, live more – Don’t make work all you live for. Get out, make friends, get with family, go to some exotic location if you can afford to. Have some fun people!
- Focus – Multi-tasking may seem time efficient, but sometimes you’re making things worse by working on many things, but not actually completing anything. Trust me, I know. Focusing on one thing at a time makes things clearer, and work is done faster and more efficiently.
- Speak up – If you feel like you’re being treated like a doormat, you may get burned out quickly. Learn how to speak up for yourself in a polite but firm manner. If you’re able to behave assertively, you’re less likely to feel like others take advantage of you.
- Reward yourself – There’s a saying, roughly translated as ‘if you don’t praise yourself, no one will praise you.’ People won’t always recognize your efforts, so pat yourself on the back with every goal achieved. Celebrate yourself the way that works for you. Self-motivation is important.
Take care of yourself, you only have one life to live…