Whether your day planner is packed with meetings or play dates — or a whole lot of both — life can get pretty hectic. And because this busyness is often comprised of things that we have to do, you might feel yourself getting a bit burnt out on it all.
According to Psychology Today, burnout is a state of chronic stress and frustration. Even worse, it’s a state that can have emotional and physical effects on your body. You might find yourself feeling like you never accomplish anything or you might tend to spend time alone rather than with others when you have the chance.
Those who suffer from burnout also suffer from symptoms such as loss of appetite, insomnia, depression, anger and an increased likelihood they’ll get sick. Clearly, this feeling is more than a feeling; it can make a huge difference in your life, and not a difference you want made.
Fortunately, there are ways to lessen or avoid burnout altogether. All it takes is a concentrated effort and the following five tips, which will guide you toward a life that’s as feel-good as it should be.
Find a Hobby All Your Own
If you’re pouring a lot of your heart and soul into your job or your family, take a few pieces back and put them into a hobby that makes you feel more like yourself. This could truly be anything: volunteering, playing community sports, working out, crafting, gardening. Perhaps you had a hobby before real life kicked in or you’ve always wanted to try something. Now’s the time to invest back in you.
Keep It At Work
Sixty percent of Americans say work makes them feel stress. People feel it encroaches on their after-work lives. Many employees check their work emails after work hours. This can add to the burnout you’re feeling, so make it stop.
Designate a time where you cut yourself off, or if that’s too hard, turn your work phone off each night when you get home without exceptions. Unless what you do is vital to the life and health of another human being, your work emails can probably stand to wait until the next morning.
Many times, personal or professional burnout is caused either by overloading yourself all the time or hoarding a bunch of tasks until the last minute. In order to avoid this, stay on top of your schedule and organize it realistically:
- Do you really want to take on another project when you already have two upcoming deadlines on your plate?
- Can you squeeze in a soccer-practice carpool in the 30 minutes before your favorite workout class at the gym?
Be truthful and be fair to yourself, and you will find you have much more room to breathe.
Know When It’s Coming
Whether you feel panic in your chest, an extreme level of tiredness or a headache pounding, you probably know when you’re starting to overdo it. From now on, take these signs seriously and give yourself a break. It’s normal to feel burned out every once in a while, but it’s certainly not a sentiment you should experience on a near-constant basis.
Therefore, be aware of how your body reacts to it, sense it and do your best to stave it off. You might have to take some personal time to do so, but, hey: when it comes to your mental and physical health, it might just be worth it to take a breather. In fact, it may make you more efficient: Productive people take breaks of 17 minutes after nearly an hour of work.
Give Yourself a Break
Finally, it’s important to remember no parent, spouse or employee is perfect, so don’t hold yourself to this standard. If it helps, try to envision someone you love is feeling the same way that you are. How would you console them? More importantly, would you be so hard on them for the way they’re feeling?
The answer to the last question is quite probably a “no,” which means we’re inherently way too hard on ourselves only. When you start being real with yourself and letting go of your missteps and mistakes, you will feel the huge weight of burnout being lifted from your shoulders.
Aaah. Feels good, doesn’t it?