Instead of welcoming the start of the day, do you feel like pulling the covers over your head and retreating into your own world? If so, you may be suffering from burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It is on the rise for women due to the mounting responsibilities in the workplace and on the home front.
Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly tired and drained most of the time which lowers your immunity to fight disease, reduces motivation, increases dissatisfaction, and leaves you feeling helpless, hopeless, and withdrawn. Eventually, you feel wrung out with nothing left to give anyone.
Don’t become a burnout statistic! Take steps to regain your zest for life. Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal you don’t get a second chance to live it.
Burnout Prevention Tips
1. Setting the Tone for Your Day
Instead of jumping out of bed like a jackrabbit, spend at least fifteen minutes meditating, reading inspirational messages, praying, journaling, exercising, or engaging in yoga, taichi, or qigong. These activities help you to remain present and grounded throughout the day.
2. Restricting Information Overload
Stop information overload by making a conscious decision to go cold turkey with any type of technology once a day for at least 1 hour. This means no phone calls, going on the computer, your laptop, I iPad, answering emails, texting, or watching TV. Once you get into the rhythm of this new habit, you’ll begin to feel much more relaxed and present. It takes at least 30 days to adopt a new habit so commit to this time frame.
3. Learn To Say NO
Although No is one of the simplest words to pronounce, it’s the hardest one for women to say. Learn how to say “no” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the things that you truly want to do.
One of the most effective ways to decrease stress is learning how to breathe. Most of us use shallow breaths when we are under stress. Instead, learn how to take deep breaths. Inhale slowly through the nose, breathing deeply, consciously. Take five seconds to fill the lower part of the lungs, by expanding the ribs and pushing the abdomen out. Concentrate on filling the top of the lungs for the next five seconds. Hold your breath for 1-5 seconds. Exhale slowly until you have emptied the lungs. Repeat 4-5 times more. This breathing exercise will send a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
5. Stress Resistant Behavior
When you eat right, engage in regular physical activity, and get plenty of rest, you have the energy and resilience to deal with life’s hassles and demands.
6. Reassess Your To-Do List
Most women have an endless to-do list and tend to delay getting involved in a pleasurable activity until everything is done. The reality is that this never happens and relaxation becomes almost non-existent. Decide to delegate, drop, or delay some of these things on your to do list. Recent studies indicate that when we have some downtime we end up being more productive.
7. Develop A Hobby
Life is a smorgasbord filled with so many things that can spark your interest. Begin to explore areas that you feel drawn to. You may have to go back in time to connect with what you enjoyed during early childhood and adolescence.
8. Schedule DownTime
Each day schedule a period of restorative downtime for at least 30 minutes. It can be as simple as taking a walk in nature, reading, meditating, or taking a bubble bath. Look for some fun things to do over the weekend. If you have the financial means, take a vacation at least once a year to get away from it all. No worries if you don’t, look for budgetary-friendly activities or free activities that prompt the feeling of relaxation.
You have the capacity to prevent burnout! Use these suggestions to get your life on track so that you don’t become the poster child for burnout. If you are still struggling, contact me to schedule an appointment. I’ve helped countless women go from feeling strung out to rejuvenated.