14 May 10 Tips to Dealing with Burnout
What is burnout?
Many of us experience a similar situation: “at first, I loved my job, was so excited about it, all was good, but then I worked too hard and had too much stress and got ‘burned out’. So, I stopped working, went to therapy to discover the causes of my burnout and recover my strengths.”
Also, a stressful life’s situation can cause a burn out even in non-working people. “After moving to Germany, I felt so lost and lonely that I reacted by shutting out all stimulations, distancing myself from the world, then it became even worst, leading to depression and severe anxieties, aggression and marital problems.”
Notice in both cases they put their lives on hold in a way. Is this passive approach the right one? Distancing yourself from your work, from society and from your professional satisfaction completely is a passive approach that I would like to challenge here.
The problem in most cases is not the work, not the number of working hours and not the stress itself. It’s also not the fact that you have moved to a new country or that you’re looking for a job. These are all indeed stressors in our lives but they don’t determine whether or not we will become burnt out.
If you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, finding a balance between the different aspects of your life – then you can deal with the most challenging situations. Also, the stress is not the issue in itself, stress is individual – what is experienced by one as a terribly stressful situation would be a fascinating challenge to another. The main difference is how you deal with stress. Some level of stress and excitement is healthy and beneficial: it could be very positive in exerting our best efforts from ourselves. But if each small disappointment and difficulty is experienced as another heavy stone in an already very heavy backpack – it will lead quickly to discouragement and exhaustion.
Here are 10 tips how to avoid these situations:
- Follow your heart and passion – then energy will flow from itself, effortlessly. Do what feels good, and stop activities and relationships that feel wrong.
- Recharging: Relaxing and recovering is not the same for everyone – find out what recharges your battery, what fills you with energy and motivation.
- Identify unhelpful patterns in your behavior- are you not delegating enough? Are you accommodating every client’s request and forgetting to set boundaries and take care of yourself as well? Work with yourself to readjust your time management and make sure you identify, distinguish and take care of the important and urgent tasks accordingly.
- Coaching and therapy can help you broaden your perspective of your life’s situation from an objective perspective and make a conscious decision to include more valuable activities in your life daily, learn how you can work hard without losing yourself. Coaching helps people identify their problematic situation and its implications, on themselves and their surroundings, set a goal for a desired future, and make decisions to act differently, and develop self-care strategies.
- Reconnect to your passions: Remember what inspired you in the past? What interests you? What lights that spark in your eyes?
- Conscious and respectful conduct with your body is as important as dealing with feelings, thoughts and desires. Our body and mind are connected and one influences the other at all times, through our nervous system, hormones and blood flow. Do not underestimate the power of healthy eating, daily exercise in the fresh air, good night’s sleep and plenty of water.
- Social support is crucial for human wellbeing, we are a tribe species and should find a way to respect that need also in modern society – find your supportive community and don’t settle for Facebook virtual friends, real physical human contact is crucial to our mental health.
- Coaching can help you identity your values and ensure you make decisions that respect them, envision a desired future picture, plan steps to accomplish your goals and reach the life you want to live and the person you want to be.
- Reconsider and adjust priorities – check your next week’s schedule and decide which meetings could be cancelled to allow more breathing space, or to allow you to incorporate recharging activities instead.
- Set a daily routine, plan your activities and don’t forget to include regular sleeping, eating, water and walks in the fresh air. Incorporate daily relaxation exercises like yoga/ meditation/ guided imagination/ muscle relaxation etc. Make sure you include daily fun and recharging activities in there. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just lived!
Contact me to arrange personal support. You don’t have to do this alone.
Photo credit: Ben White, Unsplash.
Sources: Karsten, C. (2008). Die anti Burnout Strategie.