Are you constantly stressed and exhausted? Do you feel helpless, trapped, hopeless, cynical, resentful, worn out, overwhelmed and like you are unable to meet constant demands? Are you losing interest and/ or motivation in what you are doing? Do you feel empty and depressed, as if you are a failure or constantly doubting yourself? Are you physically feeling tired and drained most of the time, suffer from headaches, back pain or muscle pains? Are you sick more than usual, are you sleeping/ eating more or less than usual? Are you procrastinating more, isolating yourself from others and withdrawing from more responsibilities, constantly rushing or coming late to work and leaving early, taking out your frustration on others?
Could it be that you are working too much and are not giving yourself enough time to relax and socialize? Are you taking on too much, without getting help from others? Are you lacking sleep as well as lacking close and supportive relationships? Are you constantly striving for perfection, feeling like what you do is never good enough? Do you generally have a negative view of yourself and the world, need to be in control and always need to be a high-achiever?
What can you do? Recognize, Reverse, Resilience!
1. Set yourself a priority list. What are the things that matter most to YOU? Which things do you have to fit in and which things are least important? Is it your business, your health, your friends, your family, your team, reading? Anything else you really like and want to do that you want to make sure to prioritize? I wrote you in capitals because you need to figure out what is personally meaningful to you. Remember, you always come first! If you keep putting everyone else before you, what will be left of you? It is not beneficial to anyone if you cannot think straight or can barely function and are running on reserve energies all the time.
2. Daily Meditation. Great links or Apps that I use regularly: Omvana, Headspace, Smiling Mind, Take a Break, Relaxing Melodies, Calm. Notice when you realize your head feels full and you cannot concentrate anymore and take a short break where you have silence and listen to one of these audios, even if it is just for 5-10 Minutes, it can be very helpful to calm down and relax a bit. If you are having trouble sleeping because you keep thinking about all the things you have to do, go on youtube and type in Sleep Meditation or Sleep Hypnosis.
3. Know and set your personal limits. Everyone has their own personal limits so don’t compare yourself to others and stop being so hard on yourself. Even though it is important to stay open to change because unexpected things can always occur, it may be helpful to set yourself certain limits like „as of 6pm I will not make or pick up the phone. Before bed, I will meditate for 10 Minutes. In the mornings, I will make sure I have enough time so I do not have to rush.“
4. Adopt new Habits. Know yourself and your own nature when you are trying to do this. Give yourself a rule, these include habits, demands, expectations, requests. How could you motivate yourself better? How can you create better structures for yourself? Is it helpful for you to have a daily to do list and tick off what you have done? Then organize your next day, and see what you can get done then, taking things day by day. I find it helpful doing that as you can put your thoughts on a so to speak „external hard-drive“ which allows you to not have to remember to juggle everything in your mind.
5. Learn to manage Stress. Do regular exercise, take walks instead of public transport, use stairs instead of elevators, signup at the gym, find a friend who you can carry out sport hobbies with. Yoga, walking running, swimming, dancing, cycling, aerobic classes are all good for stress relief. Engage socially, by talking to friends, colleagues, meet new people. Learn to say no, stay away from people that stress you out and surround yourself with a healthy environment. Learn how to verbalize your feelings, don’t let them bottle up inside. Learn to manage your time. Learn to adapt to stressors by looking at the bigger picture in situations, adjusting your standards and reframing your problems. Learn to forgive, focus on what you are grateful for instead of only focusing on the negative and learn to accept the things that you cannot change. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, avoid cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Make sure to relax.
So, make sure to take time off for yourself and set yourself non-negotiable tasks that you do for you! That’s how you have to be when you are addicted to work. Change your choices! How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Take a look at all the little moments where you may be on autopilot and realize there are endless opportunities.
For more thorough information on how to prevent burnout look at this sight which has different articles on Burnout and stress management: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm