This week, I'm talking about burnout. It's been a few months since we last talked about it, and as we all entered 2018, we had high hopes, renewed energy and goals we wanted to accomplish. Maybe it was weight loss, drinking more water, taking time to reflect and plan our weeks, visit family more often, etc...
Whatever it was, setting and achieving the goals is awesome; feeling like you're missing the mark is not. It doesn't feel good. It gives us a sense of not being good enough. A feeling of hopelessness, failure, maybe laziness, or a lack of willpower.
I'm here to tell you, you've got it all reversed. You most definitely are none of these things! You're indeed the exact opposite.
Let me explain what I mean...
We live in a culture that values being "busy" all the time, we pack too much into our days to begin with. We then compare ourselves to others and assume that because "Sally's" Instagram shows her smiling and laughing through a 60-hour workweek + date night + exercise + tropical vacations + juice bar with friends + cooking + who knows what else, we assume that we should be able to do all that too, and add our New Year's resolutions on top. Right??? And because we're not "Instagram's Sally Sunshine" we feel even worse about ourselves.
What Instagram doesn't showcase is Sally's nightly meltdown, spiraling thoughts, the insomnia she faces from exhaustion, overwhelm from not doing as much as "Instagram Jessica," and wondering when it will all FINALLLLLLLLLY slow down.
What I'm saying is, Sally's not actually that happy, and more importantly, you're not lazy, hopeless or lacking willpower. You're both fabulously motivated, gifted people, but you're burned the F out and feeling VERY dissatisfied living this rat-race lifestyle! There's no way you can intentionally add more when you're constantly running on empty.
It's time to put an end to it. By taking small steps. Nothing big. At your pace.
Sound like you? Whether you're the "Sally" or the one creeping on her Instagram profile, LOL, it's ok. We've all been on either side at some time in our lives, myself included. Now, we gotta move forward and prevent the burnout and chronic stress from happening. It's no way to live our lives!
Below are 5 steps you can take to zap the burnout and move towards more peace, restful sleep and a more satisfying life!
- Take a day off. I know, this is much easier said than done, but look at your calendar, when is the soonest you can take PTO? Put it on your calendar (NON NEGOTIABLE, NOT ALLOWED TO CANCEL) and schedule it with your boss. PRONTO! Make a plan for that day/week you take off, get excited about it, talk about it others, and stick to it.
- Begin to focus your attention on what actually brings you joy. What do you have fun doing? What are you good at? How can you get more of it in your life? Get curious. Take time for this, daily. It's remarkable how much can shift when you really start paying attention.
- Can you share your concern/overwhelm with someone you trust, ideally someone who is not burned out? Loneliness and lack of social support is a common cause of burnout. Opening up about what you're facing can be extremely therapeutic and will help reduce the stress, therefore creating room to start making change in your life.
- Do you feel stuck? I am here to tell you that you are NEVER stuck (in a role, industry, company, etc…) There are ALWAYS more opportunities. The hard part is that you can't see outside your burnout bubble until you de-stress a bit. (That's why it's so important to take that time off to recalibrate, rest and open yourself up to possibility!)
- Shut off the social media/phone/email at least 1 hour before bed. This takes practice, but letting your brain relax for at least an hour before bed, over time, will improve your sleep quality and increase your overall productivity (I know work less, get more done, sounds like a scam, but I promise, it works:)).
Question, comments, need help getting out of burnout and re-energized, please get in touch. I'm here to help.