We hustle and bustle through our days, often forgetting that these passing hours, weeks, and months are what constitute our lives. — Teyhou Smyth Ph.D., LMFT
Burnout – yes, that feeling where you feel you’ve been burned up from the inside out. We all have this sense of something we just don’t have a name for, but I believe most, if not all, have experienced burnout one way or another.
Burnout: The Danger Signs
Lingering stress (yes, that kind of pressure that doesn’t seem to go away) is seen as the primary cause of burnout which leads to
- Physical, mental and emotional fatigue.
- Having a negative outlook on one’s current life in general, and
- Nursing feelings of unattachment and failure from career and home life.
Burnout doesn’t just descend on you like a sinister black cloak in an instant. It creeps insidiously, waiting by the sidelines for an opening and then, bam! It has gotten in without you knowing.
In our oh-so frenzied world where we have to juggle so many balls – family, work, kids, marriage, other activities – in our hands, feeling burned out is inevitable. The most effective way to deal with it is to avoid having it altogether. As what one saying goes,” prevention is better than cure.”
- Do Not Multitask
If you don’t want to feel burned out at work or home, don’t do multiple tasks all at the same time. When you do this, there’s a great chance you won’t be able to accomplish anything at the end of the day, just half-finished tasks you need to redo the following day!
If multitasking is unavoidable, pair the ones that need little to no mental power or concentration. Example, you wanted to catch up on your favorite TV series. Why not do it while exercising on your stationary bike or folding up the laundry?
- Follow A Healthy Lifestyle
Not getting enough sleep or eating food that makes us feel like crap or bloated could be contributory factors to burnout, so it’s best if you avoid them. Good food choices help us to feel good inside. Likewise, a restful nighttime sleep will also result in us waking up refreshed, calmer, and with a better outlook for the day. Better sleep quality and quantity also reduces the effects stress might have on us throughout the day.
Thoughts such as “I’m a loser,” or “Things will never get better,” get a firm foothold in one’s consciousness. Thoughts such as these have a tendency to become hard to shake and repeat over and over. — Teresa Trower, LMHC
- Don’t Always Say YES
– We might miss out something if we don’t,
– We’re afraid to say no to someone who’s important to us, or
– We feel that by saying no, we’re wasting somebody else’s time.
But saying ES!”’yes’ all the time is not healthy and can lead to the onset of burnout. You have to learn to recognize what meetings, events, appointments, and circumstances to prioritize. If someone asks you to do or attend something, don’t give an affirmative answer right away. Tell that person you’ll get back to him and take time to think before deciding.
- Include Breaks In Your Schedule. They’re That Important
All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy – how spot-on that saying is. Your life shouldn’t revolve around your work. Spend time with your family. Have fun with your friends. Simply put, take a breather.
- Plug Out And Reconnect With Your Loved Ones
Lastly, if you feel like you’re on the brink of burning out, plug out from what’s causing it – which is most likely work – and connect with your loved ones. Hopefully, you’ll be able to feel balanced again within their nurturing love and support. And if you think you’ve gone overboard, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help.
And unlike rocket science or physics or existential philosophy, self-love isn’t something you can figure out theoretically, do once and for all, and move on to the next thing from there. It’s a process that requires us to make key and uniquely personal choices, big and small, over and over again, daily, weekly, yearly, without giving up, without giving in, as we stumble, walk, limp, run, jog, skip, and drag ourselves through our own unpredictable, lifelong hero’s journey. — Alicia Muñoz, LPC
Don’t let burnout control and ruin your life. You’re more superior than it.