Burnout is that place we can all get to when we've done too much for too long at our own expense. Even people who love what they do can burnout when they fail to prioritize their health and well-being. When you’ve worked outrageous hours by design or by default, when you haven’t taken a vacation in years, or when you’ve cancelled activities that support your well-being and cast time for relationships aside - you are a candidate for burnout.
Here are a few things you can do to get you moving in the right direction.
Tip 1: Start where you are. Acknowledge burnout. Are you fussy, short-tempered, irritated easily, feeling overwhelmed and negative? These are signs that something different is required. High achievers often don’t see it coming. When you notice this, step back and reflect. How are you spending your time? Are you caring for yourself? What restorative activities have you done lately? Treat this as a learning opportunity. Discover a better way of doing things that allows you to be more centered.
Tip 2: Listen to the quality of your self-talk. When a challenge comes your way (piled on top of other responsibilities) are you instantly coding it as negative? Whatever you make up about this dictates what comes after it. So stop, breathe and avoid assigning meaning to it. And remember - everything is not an emergency. Learn to assess situations using facts vs. emotions.
Tip 3: Value your time for self care. Keep boundaries around your self - care. Your acts of self-care support your health, sanity and well-being. The flow of good chemicals you get from 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise allows you to perform at a high level in other areas of your life. Once you start allowing other activities to take the place of your self-care you are on a slippery slope headed towards burnout.
Burnout is rampant. Noticing where you are and acknowledging that the change must come from you is your first step back to being centered. Listen to the quality of your thoughts and your words. Do they reflect your best? We all need more than stimulating and fulfilling work in our lives. Bring back a sense of balance by doing the things that rejevenate you. Seize the opportunity to do nothing if that is what you need right now. Self-care is not an indulgence, it is a necessary part of a healthy life.
I've coached numerous clients in progressing from burnout to balance, and I believe that the most effective solution for dealing with burnout is personalized coaching. Discover the positive impact coaching makes and do something different for a change!
Dawn Nelson, MSW, CHT, CPC
Professional Coaching Services