5 Hacks To Prevent Burnout
What is burnout? Well, we have all heard the word, but before jumping into how to prevent it from effecting your life lets discuss a common understanding of what it is. In my last blog, I discussed occupational hazards. Check it out here. Burnout is one of those hazards and it is described as the state of being exhausted emotionally, physically, mentally due to prolonged stress. This is not exclusive to therapists, any and everyone can experience burnout. That being said what can we do about it. Let’s get right into the hacks.
Self care can be defined as the intentional time taken by an individual to nurture him or herself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally on a daily basis. The key words in this definition are, intentional and daily. What can kind of habits can you begin building to create a process of intentional daily self care. Starting small is important to note. I know I have the habit of practicing all or nothing thinking. I have a morning and night time routine and if I can not do it all then in my mind it is pointless to do anything. When I challenge this notion I will do the smallest part of that and it still makes a difference and creates consistency over time which makes the most difference.
Take time off regularly
Now this sounds self explanatory, right? You are not scheduled 24 hours a day. If you have a 9-5 you are at work 8 hours a day. If you are an entrepreneur your schedule might look a little different. Either way, I have noticed that despite the time that we are “scheduled” to work, so many of us spend much more time thinking about work than being on the clock. How many people with a traditional 9-5 spend half the weekend mourning its end before it is even over. I’m raising my own hand cause I am guilty. When I say take regular time off, I mean actually take the time off, emotional, physically, and mentally. I feel like it has been much harder for me to practice that as I transitioned into in entrepreneur but with intention planning and action, I have created a daily self care routine that helps in building new habits.
Listen to your body
There is a saying that I don’t remember word for word but it goes something like “listen to your body when it whispers so you don't have to hear it scream” Your body will indicate certain things to you good or bad. Whether you are able to listen to, be aware of and see those things is a different story. Raising your level of self awareness will work in your favor regarding burn out because you will be able to see things happening as they occur and change course. It is a process. It is a simple concept and in theory makes a lot of sense but so much harder in practice. Can you confidently say you know yourself and your body well enough to pinpoint how it reacts to life stressors? I know for me when my room starts looking a hot mess and I feel more tired regardless of how much sleep I got, there is an issue. My ideal solution is to have systems in place to keep my life in order before it gets to that point, to choose work that inherently invigorates me. This leads me to the next hack.
Create structure and boundaries
Literally, everything we do is and know is built out of habits. When we are born, the only things we know how to do are breathe, cry, eat, sleep, poop. Outside of that everything else was learned for the most part. Therefore we can learn how to teach people to treat us with the boundaries we do and do not set up. We can create the lives of our dreams by constructing a foundation that fits our needs. What structure and boundaries do you live by right now? Do they need to be reevaluated to fit where you are now in your relationships and career? If so, take the time to raise your awareness and find clarity in how you those elements can serve you now.
Invest in a creative hobby
Creativity can do so much more than we give it credit for. It can make us more productive and efficient in our work overall. I think it is important for everyone to cultivate their creative side. Her is a super top secret, secret. You ready? We are all creative. There is this huge myth that creatives are these specific set of people. However, I would challenge that notion. Everyone has creativity in them. What does it look like for you? I was indulging in one of my hobbies which is working out. During my run, I was inspired by what felt like magic with 2 new blog topics. Doing something completely unrelated helped me to find clarity and be more helpful in my work by engaging in it. Do you like to paint, sing, dance, draw, exercise, build, do puzzles, play board game, decorate, design? There are endless creative skills. Math is creative, Science is creative. Tap into your inner child and get to it. You know what gets in the way of a lot of people cultivating creativity, the fear of or avoidance of boredom. That will be a whole other blog in itself. Let yourself get bored and see what you come up with.
I hope my blogs are a helpful source of information. That they might help you to find comfort and solace in knowing that you’re not alone. That you matter and someone’s thinking about you. Submit blog topics and questions you'd like me to address here and subscribe below to stay updated. Until next time my friend.