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November 23, 2020
Raise your hand if you have experienced/are experiencing any of the above symptoms lately:
If you raised your hand to any of those checkmarks, you my friend, may be experiencing burnout.
If you’re asking yourself what exactly IS burnout and how can you fight it, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered–read on to learn my top 3 tips for fighting, and saying goodbye to, burnout.
Before we can fight an enemy, we need to understand it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it,
Put in simple terms, burnout is the feeling you get after burning both ends for too many days and getting to the point where everyday feels like a battle you’ll never win.
I experienced burnout HARD when I was getting my masters degree. I had decided to get both a Masters in International Policy AND my MBA at the same time, while interning for a non-profit and making my university Fair Trade designated (more on that in a future post).
Everyday felt like I was swimming in the ocean and the water was just underneath my nose. I couldn’t breathe, didn’t feel like I was moving forward on any of my goals and I was STRESSED OUT all the time.
The worst thing about burnout for an overachiever like me is that is forced me to confront my inability to push forward at 90 miles an hour relentlessly until I wanted to say no. Burnout hits you like a brick wall and leaves you incapacitated, hopeless and feeling like you’re incapable.
Eventually, I hit my breaking point and had to completely rewire my lifestyle and approach to working in order to gain back my sanity. Here are 3 habits that I put into practice that helped my mental state, well-being and relationships tremendously.
Determine your schedule & STICK TO IT.
You’re not going to be helpful to anyone if you’re working past your optimal zone, so you need to prioritize your health by allotting a firm stopping point to your day. Remember the story about John Henry vs the steam drill?
It’s about a man who enters into a competition with a steam-powered drill to see who can build a railroad faster.
Please don’t be like John Henry–set a schedule for yourself that is appropriate for a human being and stick to it, even if you didn’t check off every item on your list. Tricks to help you accomplish your goals are:
I know if I go a day without working out to some extent, whether that’s a quick yoga session, an intense HIIT workout or just a walk around my neighborhood, I feel it in my body that evening.
Exercise is crucial for your health, but is also an amazing stress reliever that makes a huge difference in your mental state. Some people even get better ideas while they’re working out, because they’re able to step away from whatever problem they’re trying to solve and can approach it from a new perspective.
Switch it up so you don’t get bored and if you can, find an accountability partner to keep you on track. Another great trick is to reward yourself in the evening for working out. For some, that could be a glass of red wine. For others, a bit of dark chocolate.
Whatever you need to do to get your butt in gear, do it! Investing in your body is never a poor decision because you only get one.
You are a unique, complex individual and you need to acknowledge that both in and out of work. In your job or studies, identify which tasks bring you joy and which you disdain, and make sure to find time for both everyday.
Not a numbers person? Then set aside one hour a day to do more creative tasks, like writing, planning or spending time getting to know your colleagues.
Find solace in order? Then make sure to plan time to organize your workspace, create to do lists that will help you move the needle on big projects, or schedule time to journal and reflect on how you are feeling at the end of each workday.
Outside of your job, it’s also important to find hobbies. I love cooking, so I make sure that once a week, I get to take ownership of the kitchen and indulge my sweet tooth.
Other hobbies could be learning a new skill, studying a new language, reading a new book or taking an art class.
Follow these three tips so you can run your life instead life running you. I know we’re in crazy times and it can feel like work is your only escape, but I promise that if you take a step back and make your mental health your top priority, you’ll see a ripple effect that impacts your stress levels, your relationships, your health and your well-being.