Sometimes, great change creates great shock to your body and mind. It can feel like the arrival of overwhelming pressure, making you feel physically and emotionally numb. It’s a dangerous rut that can happen if you don’t take care of yourself and deal with the issues at hand.
After some positive growth professionally, I recently experienced a difficult burnout. Although I was excited at the opportunity, I was ill-prepared for the increased workload and could barely meet deadlines. It took me a while to figure out how to deal with the challenges, but now I’ve found ways to manage change successfully.
3 Tips to Overcome Burnout
1. Stop & Reflect
Sometimes, we tell ourselves to brush it off when we feel overwhelmed. We believe that, with time, life will resolve itself. Sometimes, that does happen. But when it doesn’t, we can’t be in denial about reality. It’s clear that something needs to change, and it must start with us.
I recommend you take some time out of your day to reflect on what’s happening in your life. Think about your “typical day” and what factors shape it.
- Do certain activities drain you more than others?
- What makes you feel that way about them?
Ask yourself those questions and think hard about the potential answers. It’s important to understand in detail what’s at hand. Reflecting on my day-to-day routine has helped me identify my problems and enables me to think strategically about my next moves.
2. Make a Plan
Now that you’ve had time to think, it’s time to act. Realize that what you were accustomed to isn’t working anymore, and you must make tweaks to bring about peace of mind.
For me, one of the tweaks was making sure I get a full eight hours of sleep every night. Now, I feel refreshed during the day, and I don’t cram in work during the late evening hours nearly as much. I plan my days in advance so that I know what to expect. Even when my schedule is chaotic, I feel in control and have a sense of order in my life. My biggest goal was to cut down on procrastination, and the changes I’ve made have helped me achieve that.
3. Put in Some Me Time
Realize that even if you take every precaution possible to avoid burnout, sometimes you may need to give yourself a day or two of uninterrupted “me time” to unwind and focus on yourself. Use some PTO, put your phone down, tune out the world, and just enjoy yourself. This could mean spending time playing video games, going hiking, seeing friends, or doing something else that brings you happiness and fulfillment. Occasional me time can be the catalyst for boosting energy and kickstarting the positive changes you want to make.
You should never underestimate the power of taking care of yourself first and foremost.
Your turn! How do you avoid burnout and stay motivated?