6 Ways to Avoid Burnout.
When did “busy” become a badge of honor? In today’s society, we more often than not feel pressured to do the best work no matter how long it takes and at any cost. All nighters, dark under eye circles, and reaching for yet another cup of coffee just to get a little more done before we crash. Not fun, I know. Let’s just say that it leaves us feeling tired and burned out more often than not. It’s easy to feel physically and emotionally exhausted when we’re always running around and burning the candle at both ends. After long hours of work, we end up at a point where we have zero motivation to do anything. Enter an all-day marathon of The Walking Dead or Parks and Recreation or laying in your bed all day while avoiding the world and simultaneously scrolling through Instagram for hours on end. Sound familiar?
Here are 6 ways to avoid burnout.
Find a creative outlet or hobby. Drawing, painting, bullet journaling, knitting, listening to music, and the list goes on. Burnout keeps accuracy, flexibility and creativity away, so it’s good to have a creative outlet. This gives you time to unplug and take a break with something that you enjoy doing.
Exercise. It’s taken me a really long time to genuinely enjoy exercise, but it really does make a huge difference, especially since it’s known to relieve stress and increase productivity. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands. They just don't,” said Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty hard to mess with that logic on my end. Go ahead and get moving with a great dance class or a morning run and you’ll be more motivated and think more clearly in no time.
Self-care. There should be time in the day to work and there should definitely be time in the day to relax and have fun. Whenever I’m feeling really burned out, it’s almost always because I haven’t been taking care of myself. That’s where self-care comes in. Slap on your favorite face mask, read a book, go watch a movie, or take a much-needed bubble bath. One of the things that has stuck with me for years are the safety announcements when you’re getting ready to take off on a flight. One of the main points is that you should always put your own mask on before helping others. It seems so simple, but it really is difficult to practice at times. So, take care of yourself first. It’s only then that you can really help others and be the best version of yourself.
Establish work hours. It’s easy to stay later in the office to finish your work. Just an extra thirty minutes can easily turn into an hour or longer though! Who else has gotten sucked into a project for way longer than they originally intended and looked up at the clock only to find that you’ve been at your computer for way more time than you’d hoped? Since I work for myself, I’m especially guilty of this. I find though that not establishing strict work hours also means that I’m more lax with my time and often end up taking a" “quick” break to look at something on Pinterest and then spend a solid hour looking at instant pot recipes. Mind you, I don’t even own an instant pot. Establishing work hours will help you be more productive and avoid burnout.
Set achievable goals. That feeling of accomplishing your goal is something we strive for. However, if you set goals that are out of reach, you will burn yourself out trying to accomplish them. Set tangible goals and you’ll find yourself feeling more encouraged than disappointed.
Don’t be afraid to ask for time off. A lot of people who just enter the workforce or start a new job are eager to make the best impression. This often means working extra hours to make sure everything is perfect and taking on tasks that you might not have time for. All this can burn you out really quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask for a day off, to work from home, or to take a vacation day so you can focus on yourself.
What are your favorite tips for avoiding burnout? What has helped you most in the past?