Can we collectively agree we’ve been through a lot over the past couple of years? From never-ending pandemics to possible recessions and coping with the emotional turmoil that comes with it, for some of us, burnout has been inevitable.
But it’s not just the external situations that are hurting us; we often do more harm to ourselves than anything else. It can feel like the default has been to strive for perfection and push ourselves too hard and too fast to keep up with the pace of a rapidly evolving algorithm in an artificially intelligent fuelled world, but inevitably, this leaves our spirits feeling high and dry. If this sounds like you, don’t beat yourself up; living in this social media age of constant ‘busyness’ can be incredibly taxing on your well-being. But take heart-as longtime social activist, poet, and queen Maya Angelou once said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.“
What causes burnout?
Burnout can be an incredibly trying experience for many individuals. While the causes of burnout vary from person to person, researchers have identified common underlying themes that can lead to it.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the most significant factors associated with burnout are a lack of autonomy, a lack of social support, poor working hours, not understanding expectations, and inadequate leadership. These can have adverse effects on our mental state, but with a little bit of awareness, we can catch ourselves before burnout takes control of our lives.
Here are 5 tips for preventing burnout:
- Share Responsibilities – It can be difficult to break out of our comfort zones and trust others with important tasks in life, but delegating whenever possible is a crucial step towards reducing burnout and achieving overall wellbeing. No one can do it all alone, and recognizing we don’t have to can make life a lot easier.
- Step Away From it All – Taking time away can be the quickest way to prevent burnout. Whether it’s a quick nap or a weekend getaway, make sure to give yourself moments of rest. Our bodies will tell us that we are burned out before our minds are willing to accept it. So learning to listen to your body’s cues is critical.
- Practice Mindfulness – Being mindful is an invaluable tool for avoiding burnout and staying in control of our lives. It helps us focus on what we can actually do, and to set meaningful goals that we can work towards with intention and dedication. Taking even a few moments each day for mindfulness will help us resist the temptation to get overwhelmed by stressors outside of our scope of influence.
- Try Journaling – Try journaling at the end of your day and observe what parts of the day brought you the most joy as well as any small successes that moved you closer to your goals. Keeping a journal can help you stay focused on the progress you have made and be inspired to keep moving forward without expecting perfection.
- Practice Self-Compassion – We will inevitably make mistakes and experience failure but instead of beating ourselves up, let’s be kind to ourselves and show ourselves the same grace that we would extend to others. By practicing self-compassion, we can take better care of our mental well-being and create a space for growth and transformation, instead of burning out.
You are enough
Now, I in no way expect you to be able to resolve your feelings of burnout from one blog post. This process is going to take a bit of work, but it is possible by simply showing up for yourself day by day. For example, by taking 10 minutes each morning to practice mindfulness and set intentions for the day, getting the courage to ask for help from a colleague, or thanking yourself for all your hard work at the end of a busy day, are ongoing processes that will allow you to regain control of your self-worth and re-energize your passion for work and, ultimately, life.
Remember, burnout is a very real occurrence that many people have experienced, and there is no shame in reaching out to friends, colleagues, or a therapist that will affirm you. It’s important to have meaningful conversations with yourself and others about burnout; this will ultimately give you the strength to overcome it.
By doing the above, you’re giving yourself little victories. The more permission you give yourself to enjoy these little victories, the less you feel the symptoms of burnout and connect with an overall sense of gratitude. Eventually, you will discover the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you are enough.
With these tips, I encourage you to give yourself permission to take breaks and make time for self-care. If you need additional support with this, feel free to reach out to schedule a consultation. Together, we can develop a strategy to help you refuel your passions and reconnect with yourself.