We live in a world where always rushing, constantly being busy, stressed and overworked are the norm. People don’t even think twice about always being tired, it is seen as something you just have to put up with, a way of life. The major problem with this mentality and way of living is that not only does it negatively affect your health, both physically and emotionally, but if pushed to the extreme can lead to burnout. In a perfect world we would, of course, all see the warning signs and put changes in place before we reached burnout, but unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes we don’t notice those warning signs until it’s too late. It’s not until we reach the point of burnout that we finally realize that changes have to be made.
If you find yourself at the point of burn out here are 5 strategies you can implement to help get yourself out:
1. Admit what is going on.
The problem with burnout is that a lot of the people who experience it somehow seem to be people who are also very good at hiding what is really going on. Maybe it’s their Type A personality? Whatever the reason they seem to be very good at pretending to everyone (including themselves) that everything is okay, they are very good at just pushing through. They don’t like to admit that they are struggling, or worse, may actually need some help.
To get yourself out of burn out the first thing you need to do is actually admit what is going on, to yourself and other people, because until you admit how you are really feeling nothing will change. You have to admit to yourself more than anyone else that you can’t keep going like this, that this is no way to treat your body. For many people as soon as they admit what is going on, it feels like a huge weight as been lifted off their shoulders, they can finally stop pushing, they can finally stop pretending. It’s a huge relief to be able to admit how you are really feeling.
2. Don’t beat yourself up.
Following on from the point above, please don’t beat yourself up for what is happening. There is no need to get angry, wish you had done things differently, and blame yourself for everything. What’s done is done; it’s now time to look at how you can move forward. On the other hand, it is important to feel any emotions you are experiencing, but don’t stay there forever. The longer you feel angry and frustrated at yourself the harder it gets. So feel what you need to feel and then move forward, no pity party’s here!
3. Slow down and rest.
When you are in burn out your body is screaming for rest, all it wants is for you to slow down and take some time to just chill. Please, please, please give your body what it wants. Your body is under a huge amount of stress, and your adrenaline levels are no doubt through the roof. The only way to lower these levels and to get you out of that ‘fight or flight’ mode is to rest. It’s the only way your body can return to a healthy state, you need to stop running on adrenaline. Think of this as your free pass to relax on the couch watching Netflix all weekend. Please also note that it will take more than a weekend of resting to recover from burnout, but that is definitely a good start.
4. Ask for help.
It’s time to put your ego aside and take up the offers for help that I’m sure right now you’re saying no too. It does not make you a failure, it does not make you weak, it just shows that you are human. Please don’t be afraid to ask for some help, and also be specific in the help that you need. Maybe you need help getting the kids to school, maybe it’s taking the dog for a walk, or maybe some home cooked meals would be amazing. Whatever it is, ask for it, remember you are trying to take the pressure off yourself right now. There is no need to be superwomen and try and do it all.
5. Make changes.
Now comes the action part of recovering from burn out. You see if you go back to doing exactly what you were doing before all this happened, then I guarantee that sometime in the future you will find yourself in exactly the same situation. Now I’m sure that’s not what you want, so you have to make changes. You have to somehow lower the amount of stress in your life. Before you totally freak out and think I can’t make any changes, these changes don’t have to be massive, you don’t have to go and quit your job and move to the beach – although that does sound nice!! Think instead of small changes you can make, maybe you will make sure you eat your lunch away from your desk at least 3 days a week. Maybe instead of checking social media as soon as you wake up, you will instead take 10 slow deep breaths. Maybe you will get outside in nature and go for a walk at least twice a week. Think small changes that you do consistently. Remember it’s the small things you do every day that has the most effect on your overall health and well-being.
Now, these suggestions are not quick fixes because unfortunately, that doesn’t really work for burn out. It will take time; remember it took time for your body to reach that state of burn out. The same applies for getting out of that state; it takes time for your body to get back to normal, but it can happen.