In my previous post I talked about The 14 Emotional, Behavioural and Physical Symptoms of Burnout. You can do a test here
Here are suggestions of things you can do to become burnout resistant/proof or recover if you have already gone over the edge.
- Stop and have ‘me’ time. This could be going out for a meal or stopping in. Visiting the gallery or park. Gym. Exercise. Massage. Sometimes I just hop on the ferry at Circular Quay and go over to Manly for a meal and few hours away.
- Set time boundaries. Allocate an amount of time to work on the project. Then stop.
- Develop good time management strategies. Educate yourself about various models of time management. One size doesn’t fit all. Find out which ones work for you and make them habitual.
- Create realistic deadlines. Deadlines are useful to deal with procrastination but make sure they are realistic and not adding additional stress.
- Have a Sabbath. Even God had a day off after 6 days of creation. Give yourself a break. Have a day when you do anything but work. A day of rest. A mental health day.
- Learn to say NO creatively. There are clever ways to say no. You can refuse a request without actually using the word NO. Sometimes saying YES has become habitual.
- Be assertive not passive or aggressive. Learn the difference and develop assertive responses where you honestly say what you think and feel whilst respecting the rights of others. Passive behaviour is giving away your rights. Saying YES but wishing you hadn’t. Aggressive behaviour occurs when you have reached melting point and the resentments and anger build up unchecked. Assertiveness is honouring your own rights whilst respecting the rights of others.
- Delegate or ask for help. Don’t be a martyr or lone ranger. Ask for help.
- Celebrate achievements. A meal, purchase or break away. Do it consciously as a reward. Stop and celebrate your successes before you launch into the next project.
- Be aware of vulnerable times. When are you most vulnerable. Often it is at the end of a project. This is the time to do No.9 and stop and celebrate. Don’t just dive into the next project.
- Let go of resentments. If you are burnt out then you most likely have resentments that are draining your energy. This can be about people, circumstances, events. Identify what you have become resentful about and turn them into a positive or let them go.
- Talk honestly with those close to you. Don’t say I’m fine when you are not. Make sure that is someone who can be completely objective and honest with you or you will find that person just agrees with you and won’t tell you what you need to hear.
- Look out for the ‘should’s’ and ‘have to’s’. Ask yourself if you really want to do these things. You don’t have to feel pressured, responsible or obligated all the time. Make sure your actions are personal choices. Change the “I have to” or “I must” to “I’d like to”.
- Learn what recharges your battery. For some people it is gardening. Others it’s doing something creative or getting close to nature. A Will & Grace or Star Trek weekend marathon. Do something touristy in the city. Take yourself out for a special meal. Meditation can be helpful. For some it is solitude and others it’s being social. Develop a self-awareness of what re-energises you.
- Accept the fact that not everything will be perfect and sometimes you will fail. These are all part of the human experience and need to be acknowledged as such.
Firstly, many of the things mentioned above are about switching your mind off the tasks and responsibilities. Getting your mind on something else and giving it a rest. If you are having “me” time or trying to recharge your batteries and still thinking all the other “stuff” there is no benefit. It is a waste of time. You have to shut off your mind….get it on to something else. Don’t make any of the things above another one of the things on your “to do” list.
Secondly, the Prayer of Serenity is a good creed to live by.
Give me grace to accept the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference.
Coaching helps you get clarity about what are the real priorities, what needs to change and strategies to make them. To explore this, check the relevant boxes and book your one hour free coaching session here .
Here is also a good article on recovery from burn out 4 Simple Remedies For Burnout Backed By Science