As we return to ‘normal’ life, I know that many people are a) feeling burnout from the exhaustion of the monotony of the past year and b) feeling nervous about the potential for burnout as we return to regular socialising and the like. So, with that in mind, I thought it may be helpful to pop down some of the top mindset coaching tips I recommend to clients to help prevent and manage burnout… I hope they help!
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress… It generally occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet demands in your life.
How is it different from Stress?
Although burnout may be the result of constant stress, it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress generally involves too many pressures that demand too much of you mentally, emotionally and/or physically. Burnout, however, is about not enough. Being burned out means feeling empty, exhausted and demotivated.
How To Deal With Burnout…
I advocate something called the ‘3 R’s’ Approach:
R – Recognise. Be aware of the warning signs of burnout – how are you feeling mentally, physically and emotionally? Are you filling up your own reserves?
R – Reverse. Undo the damage caused by burnout by seeking help, talking to others, and managing your stress levels.
R – Resilience. Build your mental immunity & resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health.
Some Practical Tips to help you Reverse burnout and build Resilience:
Take a digital Sabbath
I’ve mentioned this here before, but it’s something I love and so will keep banging on about! Give yourself a screen/work break on emails, google and apps from Friday evening to Saturday night or Sunday morning morning. Try 24 hours over the weekend where you only use your phone to message and talk to your friends and family – resisting all urges to open an app, google something or engage with work.
Shift your mentality from input to output
Stop thinking in terms of how much time you spend working each day, and instead focus on producing and delivering excellent work. This will instantly free up time, make you feel less stressed and enable you to prioritise the things and people that bring you joy and energy. My goal setting workshop can really help here.
Stop reaffirming your stress to yourself
Constantly telling yourself you’re stressed makes you more stressed! It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Don’t ignore your difficulties, but also don’t let them become everything. Or you’ll only see the world through that filter at all times. Appreciate the times when you don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed – the more you look for them, the more apparent they’ll become.
Reconnect with the value of your work/life
Focus on aspects of your job and your life that you really enjoy. Changing your attitude towards your job or life can help you regain a sense of purpose and control. Don’t lose sight of why you do what you do and how important your contribution is to the world, especially to those who are closest to you.
Don’t overextend yourself in the first place. Learn how to say “no” to requests on your time (very important as the post-lockdown invites start to pour in!) If you find this tough, then keep reminding yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the commitments you really want to make/keep. Prioritise people and things that bring you joy!
A few other suggestions:
- Nourish your creative side. Creativity is a very powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new or resume a favourite childhood hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with whatever is causing your stress.
- Set aside relaxation time. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response to help prevent stress & burnout. My Mindful Moment membership is here to help you with that – start your free 7 Day trial today 🙂
- Sleep. Easier said than done! However we all know that feeling tired can exacerbate stress and burnout by causing you to think irrationally.
- Take time off. You don’t need to do everything all the time. Repeat that mantra to yourself as and when necessary.
Learn more about Lily's practices, writings and mindfulness teaching, check out her website or Instagram.