Burnout Relief Strategies
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Are you suffering from burnout? Whether it's caused by work issues, stress at home, relationship challenges, or a combination of all them, it can cause a frightening feeling of hopelessness!
Burnout often causes a feeling of numbness and not knowing how to get your life headed back in the right direction.
Take heart - hope is not lost! There are some strategies you can utilize to overcome burnout, once and for all.
Try these techniques to get relief from burnout:
“Make room for good things to begin.” -Anon
Don't blame yourself. Life is hectic and stressful, especially with all the intense demands we deal with in daily life. If you're feeling burnt out, rather than blaming yourself, be proactive in getting back in the saddle so you can feel like yourself again.
Remember, you're in control of your destiny. Focus on what you can do, not what you think you should do. Take time to assess whether or not your values are in alignment with the choices you are making in your daily life. If your priority is your children and you are working 80 hours a week you may have to stop and figure out your choices in this situation.
“Stress doesn’t really go with my outfit.” -Anon
Stop being so serious. With the stress and responsibilities you carry on a daily basis, you may be in need of some plain ol' silly time. Release your inhibitions and have some fun!
Whether it be dancing in your living room or swinging on the swings at a local park, take some time to find your inner child again. Try out a new restraurant. Go to a different park than usual. Do you eat the same things over and over? Try taking a cooking class if you find that fun or another class where you can express your creativity and use a different part of your brain. This will help you let go of your current stress level, even if it's just for a little while.
Making time to have fun will give you a chance to refocus and get your life and priorities back to where they need to be.
“Tomorrow starts today.” -Anon
Stay healthy. It's important to stay in peak physical condition when you're under constant stress. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, drinking large amounts of water, and exercising.
Fit exercise into your busy schedule by making an appointment with yourself to exercise, and then keep your appointment! Even better, enlist a friend or join a group so that, as mentioned earlier, you can not only get in a visit you are probably more likely to commit to exercising.
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” -Carol Burnett
Improve your time management skills. You may be burnt out because you're trying to fit a week's worth of stuff into a single day. Unfortunately, that's impossible! Learning how to budget the time in your day more effectively will relieve a lot of this time pressure and stress.
“Sleep is the best meditation.” -Dali Lama
Get enough sleep. This allows your body to rest, rejuvenate, and start the upcoming day with more energy. You can also deal with stressful situations better when you're alert and focused.
If you adhere to the 8 hours per night rule, you'll find yourself more focused, levelheaded, and patient. Consider setting a bedtime. Our bodies tend to do well when we follow a schedule for sleep, meals and snacks. Try it out and see what works well for you. You may find that certain days you may need more or less sleep. Listen to your body. Sometimes we overeat because we are tired but don’t think we can stop to rest. Invest in learning about yourself and your body’s signals.
Final Thoughts on Burnout
“You are always just one decision away from a totally different life.” -Anon
Modern life is fast paced. We rarely leave our work at work. We have constant distractions. It is up to us to manage our time and energy so that we can accomplish what is really important. What is really important? That is up to you. Take time to figure out your priorities and plan accordingly.