Health

6 Steps To Recover From Burnout

You’ve heard people say you cannot pour from an empty cup, and it’s true. By looking after yourself, by putting yourself on your list of priorities, you are not being selfish, in fact, you are being selfless. Everything else and everyone else benefits when you look after yourself. So, not only should you start taking care of yourself like you would a friend, colleague or family member, but you NEED to.

If you want to start thriving in your career or business you must be well. If you want to be there for your family, you must be well. You are useless to your work and your loved ones if you are not well.

Remember this, every day.

Every day you are faced with decisions to make, big and small. Be aware of this, you always have a choice, you can choose to go one way or the other. What serves you?

Set boundaries, these will help when you feel overwhelmed. You are not a computer, you are not designed to work all the time, you are not designed to be there all the time for everyone else. Take time for yourself, nourish and nurture yourself.

I believe that you can still work hard, achieve your goals and be successful while enjoying your life.

If you’re like me, you like to work, you like to be successful (whatever success means to you), you like to have a sense of achievement, you like working towards something knowing that you’re constantly learning and improving. However, these desires that we have can often lead us down a bad path of over-working, grueling perfectioctionism, self-sabotaging, chronic fatigue and overbearing stress.

It is very easy to be led down this path, we think that once we get to the end of the road it will all be worth it, we will reach our destination and we will feel happy.

Except, that never happens does it?

I have spoken to so many people about this, and I have read books and listened to countless podcasts on this subject and not one single person has ever said that they get to that final destination. Because that is not what life is. And I don’t know where the concept came from in the first place. We are all striving to get to this place that doesn’t exist, it’s mad isn’t it?

You’ve heard this been said before, but I’m going to say it again to remind you;

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

There is literally no point in working your ass off, to the point where you are almost killing yourself, to get to your desired place because once you get there you’re going to feel so horrid that you’re not going to enjoy it.

So, how do you recover from burnout and start enjoying the journey instead?

You must incorporate things you enjoy into your life every single day. These can be both small and big things, depending on the day.

1. Schedule in time to spend with friends and family. Make a plan with them and stick to it. When I was running my first business I was also working a day job Monday – Friday, and so when it came to the weekends I used to think to myself “Yay, the whole weekend to work on my own business!” I genuinely got excited about this. But guess what? It meant that I made no time for rest and relaxation, I made no time for my friends and family, no time for my boyfriend. Looking back I can now see how ridiculous that was.

2. Prioritise your sleep. Your evening routine is influenced by your morning routine. Did you know that if you get outside in the morning for just 10 minutes, your eyes take in the sunlight which helps with your circadian rhythm i.e. your body knows its morning. But when we expose our eyes to artificial light in the evenings from things like the tv, laptop or phone, our eyes think it’s still morning time. Amazing right? I believe that winding down for the evening should start after dinner, what you do here determines how well you’re going to sleep. You should wake up feeling rested, and this will help you be focused and be able to concentrate and make better decisions throughout the day. I’d like to share a paragraph from the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker – “Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?

3. Look at what you are watching, reading and listening to throughout the day. Are you watching a war movie with lots of shooting, or a movie with fast cars that crash all the time just before bed? Are you listening to a murder mystery podcast or the depressing and stressful news? Are you reading a thriller in bed? These types of things can all stimulate the brain and excite it or make it nervous before going to bed which can end up in a restless night. Try watching something calmer in the evenings, try not to listen to the news all day, and try reading something light hearted and warm before you go to bed.

4. Take some time off. You might be thinking at the moment “There’s no way I can take time off right now”, you might not be able to imagine taking time off for ages but you don’t need to take a week off (that would be ideal though), perhaps maybe a long weekend instead or even a random Wednesday. Some people feel guilty about taking time off, I know I do, but you have to remember that not only do you deserve some time off, you NEED it. Nothing is more important than your health, if you do not have it you have nothing. Remember that.

5. Have a hobby that you actually enjoy. A few years ago when I ran my own business, worked a day job and freelanced I didn’t have a hobby and back then I would have laughed at the idea. But having something other than work to take your mind off things will only ever benefit you. A lot of people I talk to say they find it hard to relax, because they’re so used to working all the time, but by having a hobby you’re still keeping yourself preoccupied, just in a different way. If you used to like doing something that you haven’t done in ages, for example a sport like tennis or golf, or something creative like gardening, painting or baking, pick it up again. You don’t have to be perfect at it, but as long as you’re enjoying it, and you’re taking some time away from work, that’s all that matters.

6. Look at your environment. What does your desk look like? Is your chair comfortable? Is your home cluttered? When I started with one of my clients earlier this year she said she hated cooking. Turns out her kitchen was a total mess, full of clutter like empty tupperware and gadgets she never used like smoothie makers, waffle makers, etc, and odd food bits in the cupboards that she bought and didn’t know how to cook. Once she had decluttered and organised her kitchen she found that actually cooking wasn’t as stressful as she once thought and now she really enjoys it. What people are you surrounded by? Do they drain your energy or do they radiate it? Your environment really dictates how you feel, so take a look around, what can you change to make it better?

If you want to learn more about how you can recover from burnout you can book a free call with me where we can have a chat about what’s been going on for you, what you’re struggling with and how I can help. It’s a free 30 minute chat, you have nothing to lose, so book now.

Phoebe x