6 Steps To Take When Feeling Burnout

Burnout

Burnout is more common that you think. In my previous article, I wrote about burnout and how to be aware of the signs that come with burn out. Burnout is not something to take lightly. Just because you are not physically sick with the flu or bronchitis, does not mean that you can just keep going on and on. When we are sick with the flu, we are told to rest, sleep a lot and take medication to help us get better. Burnout is exactly the same! There are a few practical steps you can take to overcome and heal from burnout.

Prioritize taking care of yourself

Prioritize good sleep habits, nutrition, exercise, connection with people you enjoy, and practices that promote calmness and well-being, like meditation, journaling, coaching, or simply quiet time alone doing an activity you enjoy. Self-care is essential in order to be successful in all facets of life: personal and professional. Self-care is more than an occasional treat, but a way of living each day that incorporates practices and behaviours that help you feel refreshed, re-energized, and rested.

Analyze your current situation

Perhaps you already know what is causing your burnout? If not, try this technique: track how you spend your time for a week – you can either do this on paper or in a spreadsheet. For each block of time, record what you are doing, whom you are with, how you feel (e.g., on a scale of 1-10 where 0=angry or depressed and 10=joyful or energized). Please include how valuable the activity is to you.

The above gives you a basis for deciding where to make changes that will have the greatest impact. Imagine that you have a fuel gauge that you can check to see what level your personal resources (physical, mental, and emotional) are at any moment. The basic principle is to limit your exposure to the tasks, people, and situations that drain you and increase your exposure to those that replenish you.

Take time off

If burnout seems inevitable, try to take a complete break from work for at least two to three weeks. Go on vacation and remove yourself from the situation. Use the time away to recharge your batteries and pursue other recovery steps. Did you know that it takes a minimum of 6 months of taking time off to recover from burnout? Many of us do not have the time work-wise or financially to take 6 months off of work. That is why it is very important that if you have signs of pre-burnout, you need to take action today!

Re-evaluate your priorities

Burnout is an undeniable sign that something important in your life is not working or that you are prioritizing the wrong things. Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Are you neglecting something that is important to you? Are you focusing on activities that drain your energy? Take some time to rediscover what really makes you happy and to slow down and give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal.

Set boundaries

Do not over commit yourself or do things that you are not happy with doing. Learn to say “no” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the things that you truly want to do.

Get creative

Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Do something new, start a fun project, or engage in your favourite hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work or whatever is causing your stress. Choose something that will help rejuvenate your energy and fill your soul. Looking after yourself is a necessity and the first step in recovering and preventing burnout. By simply focusing on healthy sleep patterns, eating well, doing things that energize your soul, and getting a little exercise every day, it can help you avoid and prevent burnout in the future.

I leave you with this question: if I asked you to name all of the things you love, how long would it take you to name yourself?

Limitless living!

Are You On The Road To Burnout?

What is burnout and are you vulnerable to it? Burnout is a state of prolonged chronic stress that leads to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Overwhelming fatigue and loss of motivation, feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as feelings of ineffectiveness are also symptoms of burnout. When experiencing burnout, you are no longer able to function effectively on a personal or professional level. Remember that burnout doesn’t just happen one day out of the blue. It happens slowly and although one thinks one can handle everything in life, one gets to a point where we can no longer cope. Our bodies and minds do, however, give us warning signs, and if you know what to look out for, you can recognize it before it is too late.

Signs Of Burnout

  1. Chronic fatigue and exhaustion. In the early stages of burnout, you may have a lack of energy and feel tired most days. In the later stages, you feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and you may feel a sense of dread for what lies ahead on any given day. You will feel overwhelmed and as if you cannot pick your head up from your pillow.
  2. Increased illness and lowered immune system. As your body is depleted and exhausted, your immune system becomes weakened, making you more vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems. Start taking a good multivitamin that can help boost your immune system.
  3. Feeling anxious. In the pre-burnout phase, you may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry, and irritability. As you move closer to burnout, the anxiety may become quite serious that you begin to have panic attacks. This will interfere in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal and professional life.
  4. Feelings of depression. You may feel mildly sad, occasionally hopeless, and you may experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness as a result. You may not even know why you are feeling down. As the burnout grows, you may feel trapped, severely depressed, and think the world would be better off without you. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
  5. Loss of enjoyment in daily activities. At first, a loss of enjoyment may seem very mild, such as not wanting to go to work or being eager to leave, or feeling like driving to the shops is a burden. Without intervention, loss of enjoyment may extend to all areas of your life, including the time you spend with family and friends. At work, you may try to avoid projects and figure out ways to escape work all together.
  6. Isolation. Isolation may seem like mild resistance to socializing (i.e., not wanting to visit friends, finding reasons why you need to be alone). The need to isolate yourself becomes more and more evident as you experience burnout. You may become angry when someone speaks to you, or you may come into work early or leave late to avoid interactions.
  7. Lack of accomplishment and productivity. Chronic stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. At times, it seems that as hard as you try, you can’t seem to meet deadlines or effectively manage your work and time.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you need to be aware that you are on a dangerous path. Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and find ways to reduce it before it’s too late. Burnout is not like the flu; it doesn’t go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. My next article will be about practical steps you can take to overcome burnout.

Limitless living!

Nicola Kassier

Master Life Coach, Counsellor and NLP Practitioner at Continuous Growth Life Coaching

Why Coaches Need Coaches

Coaches need coaches; no matter how good you are at your job you always need help

Can we agree that all of us struggle with motivation, inspiration and finding new ideas? Sometimes we need someone to kick us under the bum and say “get up, you can do this!” I have found myself experiencing this for a few months now and I decided that I needed to make a change!

Most of the time we think to ourselves that as professionals we need to look like we have it all together. We need to be viewed as always successful and not struggling along, and that we are the ones that always practice what we preach. Do you think this is the case? Not at all! None of us are perfect and even coaches need coaches to support them on life’s journey.

Here are my four reasons why coaches need coaches:

A new perspective

We all have our own views and our ideas on how to run our business or what is needed to be done in order to succeed in our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a certain situation or we don’t know where or who to turn to for help. I have been stuck in a situation for a while now regarding my business goals and wondering how to implement them. I finally asked a fantastic friend, Business Coach and Training Specialist, Taryn-Lee Kearney for help, and her perspective today gave me the “aha” moments I have been needing. Getting a fresh perspective gives you a clearer understanding or a renewed sense that you are going in the right direction.

To stay motivated and accountable

So often I find myself saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” and when tomorrow comes I find another reason why I should postpone taking action towards achieving my goals. As I am the only person in my coaching business, it is easy to get lazy and complacent because I have no one to report to or to hold me accountable to my word.

Self-discipline

Self-discipline is a huge need when it comes to entrepreneurship. One can easily lose self-discipline if one gets too comfortable working from home. After seeing Taryn this morning, I have definitely realized that self-discipline is a must! I need to find ways to stay disciplined, motivated and inspired. Luckily I am now more motivated than ever and I have already ticked two “to do’s” off my list in a matter of one hour! For future reference, I need to get together with like minded people and brainstorm about my business and my possibilities. I know that these get-togethers energize me. Find ways or people that energize you and motive you.

All of us have unique set of talents and gifts

One of the main reasons why coaches need coaches, or counsellors need counsellors, is because we all have a unique set of skills and talents to offer. My strengths build up my colleagues and when I struggle with implementing a goal or strategy, Taryn for example, has her strengths in business coaching and builds up my ability and confidence. Everything in life works as a give and take and as a “what you sow is what you reap”. Are you reaping the rewards of your actions? Are you creating the results you desire?

So often we think that our colleagues or people within our career field are competitors and that we are running a race against one another. I like to look at it as “let’s help one another reach our full potential” by supporting each other with our unique set of skills by empowering one another to excel for excellence.

Do you have a coach or someone to motivate you and keep you accountable? If so, please share your personal stories of how they have helped you. If you don’t have a coach, pop me an email and we can chat!

Limitless living!