Making self care a part of your daily routine is easier said than done for those with busy schedules, but it's the key to avoiding burnout. Today I'll share some personal tips i've learned over the years from rigorous work environments and over-filled schedules that have served me at times where I've experienced burnout.
What is burnout?
Simply put, burnout is when you push your body to such a point of exhaustion that every tasks feel much more challenging. The official definition, coined by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970's, is a severe stress condition that leads to severe physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion.
It often affects your general outlook on life and doesn't go away on its own. It's something that needs to be acknowledged and treated, and it could lead to severe physical and psychological illnesses including depression, heart disease and diabetes.
Before we go about treating it, first we should go over the signs of burnout to help you recognize it in yourself or a loved one.
These signs include:
There are stages to burning out, and since it doesn't happen all at once, it's easy for it to creep up and start to take over your ambitions and ability to concentrate on your goals. The first step in healing burnout is acknowledging the source. This could be an increasingly demanding job, a tough academic schedule, or constantly caring for loved ones at your own expense.
Go over the commitments you have and consider canceling or rescheduling some to bring some immediate relief. Prioritize the most important tasks and put aside the rest for now. Confide in a loved one if you need help taking some of the load off and delegate some responsibilities.
Set limits and create boundaries when it comes to your energy. Burnout tends to happen more often to those with a Type-A personality or people pleasing tendencies. The need for perfection and/or difficulty saying no are both qualities that can easily and quickly lead to burnout.
Take some time to prioritize yourself and the things that make you happy, and brainstorm some possible solutions to avoid burnout in the future. In the meantime, prioritize sleep and proper nutrition. For some, this means taking an entire day to do nothing but lay in bed and watch movies/sleep all day. Take a day to catch up and do what you need to feel rested again.
Try to get some exercise in on a daily basis to prevent future burnout and help release endorphins. Some may also benefit from mindfulness practices, like yoga or meditation, to help relax the mind.
All in all, take time to remember your hobbies. Make time for the things that make you happy each week, even after you start feeling like yourself again.
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