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

Who Are You?

Self-acceptance starts with you. What path will you take to ensure you love and accept yourself?

Who are you? Are you comfortable with who you are and what you have become? Often we think to ourselves “I most certainly have not finished my journey with myself, so surely I cannot be happy with who I am at the moment?” Is this statement true? Or, are you pretending to be someone who you are not or someone who you want to be like?

These are only some of the different questions that run through our minds daily. “Am I ok?” or “Is who I am ok or acceptable?” These are questions that I ask myself. Perhaps I am not thin enough, or not beautiful enough (in someone else’s eyes)? Perhaps I am unacceptable to society because I do not stick to societal “norms” like keeping up with current fashion, or keeping up with the current trends. For that reason, it is very easy to believe you are not acceptable. But then again I ask “who defines who you are?” Does God define who we are? Do we as individuals define who we are, or does a social norm define who we are?

I like to think that I define who I am and that the things people say are just opinions and not facts. Who are people to tell me who I am? First of all, I know who I am! I am the only one who knows what I like and what I do not like, who I love or dislike, what I want to achieve in life and what my motives are for doing the things I enjoy.

In conclusion, no one knows you like you know yourself. No one has the right to tell you who you are! So let’s get one thing clear: I am acceptable because I know I am worthy and I add value to this world. This world may not value me or accept me, but I know I am of value and I know that I am acceptable. Therefore, I can define who I am. Have you discovered and defined who you are?

Limitless Living!

What Can You Not Live Without?

Symbol of a personal support system which we acknowledge with conscious living

Does there ever come a time where you think to yourself: “if this thing disappears or if I lose that person, how will I ever continue to live happily?” When you ask yourself the above questions, what is it or who is it that you cannot live without? Perhaps it is a family member, a close friend, a pet or something materialistic that means a lot to you and brings you comfort and joy.

I thought of writing about this topic because I came to realise that I cannot live without a support system. We all have those days where it looks or feels like the end of the world. If it had not been for our support ssytem, our days would have been way worse without them! On days like these, it is my husband or the people I love that help me get through the day.

I am someone who loves people! As a result, people energize me! In contrast, there are those occasional days where I feel like I need to be alone. Consequently if I come into contact with anyone that day, heaven help them! Often we unintentionally take our friends and family for granted because subconsciously we think they will be around forever. Obviously this is not the case. The term I like to use here is conscious living. Conscious living is a very interesting term which has many aspects to it. I will discuss it more in depth next time. For now conscious living is about taking the time to live in the moment and become aware of every little thing around us. We need to live intentionally and love intentionally where by everything we do and love, we do it with purpose.

Do the people you love and those that mean the world to you, know how you feel? I read this specific quote a few times and it really resonated with me: Why is it that we give flowers, gifts, cards, compliments and kind words to our loved ones when they are dead? Why is it that we do not take the time to tell the people in our life, who matter most to us, that we cherish them and that we love them? Could it be that we fear intimacy or vulnerability of ourselves in such situations? Perhaps it is the busyness of life that keeps us from telling people and showing people our appreciation and love?

I urge you to phone that person that you have been thinking about the past week and let them know that they have been on your mind. Call up that family member that you have not spoken to for the past few months and tell them how much they mean to you. Make relations right with him/her. Whatever you need to do, whomever you need to call, I know that you know what needs to be done. Live life in abundance, fearlessly, consciously and intentionally. Also spread love and kindness wherever you go. Limitless living!

 

What Is My Trigger?

Image of head silhouette containing gears symbolizing an emotional trigger

“What is my trigger?” may seem like a random question and you could be wondering where I am going with this post. I assure you that this is one of the best questions you can ask yourself when you are going through a rough time or even when you are having a bad day. I like to call it the 3 steps to emotional awareness.

Every week I meet new people and I come across different people who very often ask the same question: “Why do I feel sad for no reason?” Or “I have been so angry lately and I have no idea why?” We all struggle with questions like these and I want to give you a practical tool in helping you with these types of questions.

Get to the Root

Firstly, we always want to get to the root cause of a problem to be able to understand what is going on, work through it and let it go. For that reason, we need to identify the root cause or trigger. Ask yourself what could have triggered these emotions? Was it something that someone said to me or about me that triggered these feelings? Have I been under a lot of stress lately that has contributed to these overwhelming feelings of sadness or anger? Or perhaps you experienced a traumatic event in the past, which you have not completely dealt with yet? Once the root cause has been identified, understanding why you are feeling a certain way will enable you to work through that moment and then easily let go of the emotion.

Be Practical

The second step is to work through it or to do practical things in overcoming this trigger. Sometimes we cannot work through it at the time, so acknowledging and embracing the emotion in that moment is the best way to get through it. Be mindful.

For example, let’s say you have been anxious for a few days and you realised that the anxiety was due to something someone said, 3 days ago, which triggered an anxious response within you. You can go back in your mind and think about what that person said and ask yourself why that specific topic made you anxious?  Maybe then you figure out that subconsciously you made a connection with the shared story, due to your own past experience which helps you make sense of the emotions you are feeling. Just by acknowledging the negative emotion, it does something in the mind, where one either feels much better or the emotion no longer brings a sense of anxiety.

Let it Go

Now that you have identified the trigger and you have worked through the emotion or have acknowledged and embraced the emotion, the third step is to let it pass or let it go.

Let’s say you acknowledged that your anxiety was caused by an event in the past that hurt you, and you want to let it go . Consequently, the only way you can fully deal with the hurt is to face the negative emotion. The technique used here would be Time Line Healing, a powerful and effective way to get rid of negative emotions. For more information on Time Line Healing, or if you would like Time Line Healing, please contact me and together we will work through your needs. Please note that a Time Line Healing Practitioner should conduct Time Line Healing as a guided process is much easier to follow. I know it would be a lot easier if you could do it all by yourself!

Sometimes step 3 is not necessary (Time Line Healing) and by embracing the feeling and the emotion, they will pass. Therefore, rather embrace and acknowledge the emotion, otherwise you will suppress the negative emotion. Suppressed negative emotions stay in your mind/body and cause diseases and internal conflict.

If for any reason you cannot figure out a root cause or trigger to how you are feeling, it could be a hormonal response or a lack of nutrition. If the root cause to your negative feelings is due to a past traumatic event and you do not know how to overcome it, please contact me.

Live Abundantly

This 3 step process is a wonderful tool and assists you in becoming more aware of your feelings and solutions to those emotions. You can use this tool in any situation and with any emotion. None of us have to be a victim of our circumstances or of our emotions. We were created to live life to the fullest and in abundance! Limitless living!