“Superwoman,” “rock star,” “high achiever” - how often have you heard these labels thrown around admiring those who seem to do it all without breaking a sweat?
Working long hours, taking on increasingly heavy workloads, saying yes to extra commitments, and putting pressure on yourself to excel at it all may lead to the slippery slope to burnout.
And maybe you’re already feeling it; that nagging thought in the back of your mind that says “I don’t think this pace is healthy or sustainable but I can’t seem to stop.”
The good news is burnout is far easier to catch and combat early, rather than try to recover from when you’re already completely depleted.
Hold On, What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion from excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout doesn't happen suddenly, its nature is much more insidious, creeping up on us over time. Luckily our bodies are clever and do give us warnings. Here are some of the tell-tale signs:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Emotionally and physically drained
- Cynicism and detachment
- Being run down
Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on your health, happiness, relationships and job performance.
How to Put the Brakes on Burnout
So let’s just say you know you’re in a situation where the demands placed on you exceed the resources available to deal with the stressors. What can you do to change course?
1. Take a Life Inventory
Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and start to reduce it - redefine your roles at work and home and redistribute the load you're carrying.
2. Sleep, Eat, Drink
Simple but true: make sure you get enough sleep, don't skip meals, eat healthy, wholefoods where you can, and drink a lot of water.
3. Unplug & Relax
Whether you take up meditation, listen to music, or read a book, designate time for unplugging. It’s why we created our Calm & Centered line to help you gently close all those open “tabs” in your mind and experience stress relief.
4. Create Firm Boundaries
On the flip side of every time you say, “Yeah sure I'll do that” is a no to something else. That might be a no to your health, to relaxation time, to sleeping, eating well, drink water, family time etc. Say no to the extra load, and no to burnout.
Burnout isn't like the flu; it doesn't go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes. Don’t let it rob you of your energy, enthusiasm, and passion, replacing it for exhaustion, frustration, and disillusionment. Let’s create a new, healthy approach to juggling all the commitments of life, and leave the fantasy of the superhero as just that, a fantasy.