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Burnout is a term that seems to be getting more and more common these days – and something increasingly likely to affect many of us.
There is so much pressure on all of us, all the time, to succeed. To be doing something new and exciting, to be making the most out of life. With social media at our fingertips, we can’t help but compare our lives to others and feel like if we just worked a little more we’d have the same life as that person online.
Even though we all know social media is a highlight reel of a person’s life, we still strive to achieve the unachievable.
Whether you’re working 50 hour weeks, spending as much time on your side hustle as you do in your full-time job, or are constantly trying to keep as many plates spinning as possible, we’re all in danger of life creeping up on us too quickly.
Now that I’m solely responsible for my income, I feel this a lot.
I don’t have a day where I don’t at least do some emails, log some tasks and make plans for the next few days. While I love being in charge of my own life – I would not swap this for anything – I have to constantly remind myself to take a full day to switch off.
If you’ve been feeling tired, overworked, and not yourself recently, chances are you’ve been letting work take over. Below are 5 lifestyle changes that can help you regain some life control and avoid burn out.
1) Schedule in a Break
One of the biggest things most of us neglect to do is schedule in some time dedicated to looking after ourselves.
After working, side hustling, cleaning, cooking, staying fit and healthy, updating our social media and keeping up with friends, and whatever else you’ve got on – if you’ve got a smidge of time left, then maybe we’ll fit a bit of self-care in.
This week I’m assigning myself one day ‘off’. No replying to clients or picking up extra work or spending hours working on my side hustles again. Just a day to have off. It’s not going to be easy (I’m already thinking to myself: but maybe I’ll still check my emails!), but having that time to do what you want to do – not what you need to do is essential.
2) Do Some Exercise
Have you ever started working out consistently, felt great, and then lapsed in your routine and suddenly working out feels like the hardest thing in the world to do again?
The truth is, exercise is not only great for your health, but it’s been proven to be a positive treatment of mental health disorders. It’s starting the habit that’s hard. Try to schedule in some exercises at least 3 times a week. Walking, running, lifting – whatever you enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive, either.
After a week back at it, I remember why I love to exercise in the first place and after lifting dumbbells above my head for an hour, the rest of my burdens suddenly feel a lot lighter.
3) Create a Plan
If you’re the type of person that constantly has multiple plates spinning, you’ll recognise the feeling of sheer panic when you realise you’ve neglected something or totally forgotten about another.
Create a life-plan. Schedule your days and try to fit as much of the essential stuff in as possible. One of two things may happen: you’ll either be far more organised and find all your tasks more manageable, or you’ll see that you’ve taken on far too much and be forced to delegate some duties!
4) Work with Purpose
Mind Tools suggest that one of the best ways to avoid burn out is to work with purpose. As soon as I read their article, that suggestion resonated with me to the core. I was at my least active, most miserable when I was working for the sake of working and hadn’t yet decided what my goal in life was. I can see no quicker way to burn out than simply plugging away without any meaning to it.
Speaking from experience, we are far more engaged and happy when working with tasks that hold importance and meaning to us. If you find yourself struggling to wake up before the week has even begun, perhaps asking yourself what you are working towards would be a good idea.
You may find that completely readjusting your priorities and your aims in life are what’s needed to keep you happy, energised and away from the brink of burn-out.
5) Control Your Stress
We all get stressed in life, and that’s not something I think any of us can realistically aim to eliminate.
Instead, why not try to manage that stress. Find something to control, analyse, and ultimately reduce the stress factors in your life. This could be through writing down your thoughts and feelings every day, beginning a daily yoga practice or meditation every day, or even just flinging a pillow against the wall if it helps!
Check out my post on 7 routines to help reduce your mental clutter for some more inspiration.
The important thing here is to recognise when life is catching up with you a little too quickly, and making changes to positively impact your health before things get too bad. Try to avoid getting in a position where you feel like you have no options – make a small change now to care for yourself, and hopefully, you’ll never come close to burning out.
How do you look after yourself? Let me know if you have any changes you’ve made that I haven’t listed above…