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Burn Out: DO’s and D

Updated: May 9, 2023

Burn out

How often do you feel emotionally or physically exhausted as though you have nothing else to give to those around you? Burnout is a real thing and something every individual needs to maintain awareness of. Think about it… you need to understand what your risk is for entering a phase of burn out if you truly want to redirect it. For example, ask yourself the questions below: 1). Do you say “yes” to things that you really don’t have time for because you are afraid to say “no” due to being judged or hurting someone’s feelings? 2). Do you put self-care on the back burner and put everyone else in your life first? 3). Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself? 4). Do you feel physically tired all of the time even after you sleep for several hours? 5). Do you work in a negative work environment where you feel undervalued, underappreciated, or its drama central? 6). Do you find yourself feeling very irritable or angry even when logically you struggle to identify a trigger? 7). Do you have crying spells and struggle with wanting to isolate? 8). Do you constantly feel overwhelmed at the beginning of a task or dread starting them? 9). Do you have high patterns of avoidance? 10). Do you feel distracted and struggle to focus throughout your day? If you are like most people, at some point in your life the answers to these questions would be “yes”. Maybe you struggled to set boundaries or use the word “no” and it led you to poor time management, overcommitment, or even compromising your own self-care just to meet the demands of the day. But don’t lose hope, this can be redirected! Do’s #1: Set Boundaries Remember, you don’t have to be the perfect parents, perfect teacher, perfect employee… you just need to be what you can be each day. Oftentimes, the work environment can feel overwhelming because we internalize the daily demands as a reflection of our own personal failure of success. Sometimes things are stressful, and life puts more demands on us that are actually attainable or feasible. “You can only do what you can do”. Communicating personal limitations and emotional needs rather than allowing a fear of being judged prevents you from saying “no” or “later” when needed. Do’s #2: Slow down Your body is like a car that runs on gas. What happens to a car if you keep driving without ever putting gas in the car or doing maintenance? How long will the car actually run before it shuts down or even “blows up”? Remember you are no different than a car that requires daily attention. You have to make sure you have gas in the take and give yourself time to fuel up. For those bigger stressors, you need maintenance just like when our car’s ge the oil changed to keep the engine running. Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes a day to do something where you can attune emotionally and physically. Meditation is a great way to unplug, taking a walk, working out, sitting outside, star gazing, listening to music, going for a drive by taking the long way home, and utilizing your family, friends, or a babysitter for “mini breaks” from the kids. D0’s #3: Take a hot bath Taking a hot bath is one proven way to help reduce cortisol levels which is the stress hormone. When this hormone is amped up it can cause you to not only feel exhausted but gain weight, lose focus, and maybe even feel physically sick. If you are someone with anxiety, this is often a contributing accomplice to feeling on edge as though you are in a fight or flight response. Using essential oils in your bath can also be a great way to unwind. However, make sure that the essential oil you use can be used on the human skin because some of those are for diffusing only. Personally, I have very sensitive skin and have to be careful with what I do or don’t put inside my bath. DōTERRA is a great brand of essential oils that can be used for internal consumption. Do #4: Get enough sleep No one can express it enough, but you have to get enough sleep if you are going to stay in a healthy place emotionally or physically. A lack of sleep can contribute to not only depression and anxiety but a lack of focus, a lack of motivation, and personal ethics. If you are too tired, the “I don’t give a crap” mentality starts to set in. One way to really help improve your sleep is to reduce “blue light” one hour to thirty minutes before going to sleep. Blue light comes in from our phones and tv’s which often send alternative signals to our brain keeping us awake. You can solve this just by adding a screen filter which eliminates this on your phone or laptop. Using delta waves from videos like on YouTube can also help promote the brain to enter a sleep mode. Do #5: Practice positive self-talk One of the main ways to combat a negative work environment is to practice positive self-talk. You have to find something to appreciate, something that is important to you, and something that no matter how bad the day’s events are… it keeps you grounded. Think of it as though you want your mind to become a protective raincoat, where all of that negatively just “slides” right off. Nothing can truly get to you, because you have your force field up and focus on your task one at a time. Spirituality is a great way to re-center throughout the day as well as remember your purpose. Remember: “Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to our true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

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