Are you drowning in deadlines, fueled only by endless cups of coffee,protein bars, and feeling like you’re hanging on by a thread? You’re not alone—burnout is the silent epidemic sweeping the nation.
A whopping 77% of professionals have reported experiencing burnout at their current job. Yikes!
But what do you do when ‘getting away from it all’ isn’t an option? If you think you’re trapped in this exhausting cycle with no way out, believe me, there really is hope! Even if you can’t just quit your job and go backpacking through Europe to recharge… you can get your life back on track, one small step at a time.
Let’s take a look….
Set Clear Boundaries
No extended break? No problem. Instead, carve out mini sanctuary moments during your day – such as scheduling your workout or ‘me time’.
Most of all, TRY to stick to designated work hours and treat your off-hours with respect. I know first-hand how hard this is, but trust me, ignoring that after-hours email alert does wonders.
A former colleague of mine shared this wisdom that’s worth repeating:
“Work will invade the space you let it”
Embrace Micro Self-Care
Maybe you can’t jet off for a weekend spa adventure, but I bet you could steal 15 minutes for meditation or a brisk nature walk.
Find pockets of relaxation within your day…. And actually, take your lunch break! Working through lunch isn’t a badge of honor, it’s just sad.
I always worked through lunch while my team went out to eat because it seemed like the only time I could get to myself and catch up on emails. (Obviously, I don’t recommend this!)
Even stepping away for 15 minutes to eat real food or simple stretching does your mind and body WONDERS!
Now, even though I’m working with startups again, I step away and eat real, whole, nutritious lunches… even if that’s at 2pm! 😉
Streamline Your Workload
While juggling multiple tasks, I learned to prioritize. Not everything needs your 100% attention immediately. Somehow, we get busier yet, less productive when we’re on the burnout road.
Try breaking your tasks into smaller chunks so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, if you can delegate any of these tasks, DO IT.
It can be difficult to let go of the reins and trust someone else with a project, but it will help free up some of your time for the things only YOU can do.
It’s all about managing resources and energy smartly.
Celebrate Small Wins
Absolutely, don’t underestimate the power of celebrating small wins. When I was in the depths of my own burnout journey, clinging to these tiny victories gave me the lifeline I needed to keep pushing forward.
To reference one of my favorite books, Atomic Habits, by James Clear’s, where he emphasizes the importance of focusing on the process rather than the end goal. The concept is built on taking small actions—what he calls “atomic habits”—that accumulate over time to produce remarkable results.
So, don’t set out thinking about completing a grueling workout, just focus on putting on your gym shoes. Or, don’t overwhelm yourself with writing an entire novel; just write one sentence.
The idea is that by focusing on the immediate, simple action in front of you, you make the task at hand less intimidating, thereby increasing the likelihood that you’ll follow through with it. Once you’ve taken that initial step, it’s MUCH easier to keep going.
Limit Digital Intake
In a world where we’re digitally connected 24/7, it’s challenging to fully disconnect—even if you’re teetering on the edge of burnout like I was.
The expectation to be always “on” is a major stressor for many people. While it’s unrealistic to think we can completely unplug, we can absolutely set boundaries on our digital intake.
For me, designating specific ‘tech times’ now is a game-changer. I chose times to check my emails and scroll through social media, and you know what? The world didn’t end because I wasn’t constantly connected! (I know, I was shocked!)
Cal Newport, in his book “Digital Minimalism,” suggests that we should “be incredibly cautious about what we let into our lives.” By being intentional about our digital intake, we can create more room for meaningful engagement—both online and offline.
Diet and Hydration Matter
You wouldn’t try to run a car on empty, so why do we think we can push our bodies without giving them the right fuel? Trust me, I learned this the hard way. During my burnout phase, I was so engrossed in work that I neglected even the basics like staying hydrated and eating balanced meals. Big mistake. HUGE!
Living on TONS of coffee and protein bars only gets you so far… and then you crash.
Believe it or not, the type of food you consume can either drain you or sustain you. For me, starting an animal-based diet and incorporating more whole foods into my meals helped heal me from the inside out!
Imagine combating burnout with a brain that’s not even fully hydrated; it’s like climbing uphill with a backpack full of bricks. No thanks.
Stay Alert to Warning Signs
The key to combating burnout effectively is to first identify the warning signs unique to you, because we’ll all different….
For me, I eventually learned that I get more irritable and impatient, my motivation decreases, and my energy and enthusiasm start to tank.
That being said, burnout isn’t always obvious; sometimes, it manifests subtly, almost like a whisper you can barely hear.
For me, it was a SLOW BURN… Living in constant fight or flight became my normal. So to me, nothing seemed wrong?
But tune into yourself, listen to what your mind and body are telling you, and have your game plan ready.
Alright, loves, here’s the deal: Navigating burnout while still clocking in every day is tough, but it’s not impossible.
If I can bounce back, so can you. It’s all about small, sustainable changes, like setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and recognizing those pesky warning signs before they escalate.
And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Healing is a journey, not a destination, and it’s perfectly okay to have a few bumps along the way.
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