Effective Tips For Overcoming Burnout

Effective tips for overcoming burnout.

A few months into the new year, I was overly exhausted

I struggled to get a full night of sleep (five hours if I was lucky), my emotions felt all over the place, and I found myself with little to no motivation. After it all kept piling up, I started to notice how everyday stress and constantly pushing myself to do too much was quickly leading to burnout. 

Burnout happens when we become overstimulated, drained, and overall emotionally exhausted. While stress can be a result of burnout, burnout is when we feel like we’ve completely pushed ourselves to our limits. 

Burnout can take a toll on our emotional and physical health, causing us to feel unproductive or like we have nothing left to give. It can happen as a result of stress at our jobs, toxic relationships or friendships, and even the high pressure and expectations we put on ourselves to continuously improve and become the best version of ourselves. 

If you’re experiencing the heavy feelings of burnout, know that there are tips and steps that you can take to overcome it:

Self-Reflect On Where You Currently Are

While I’ve experienced an immense amount of stress during multiple hardships in my life, there were very few times that I reached the point of complete burnout.

Burnout hit me a few months into the new year because I kept piling too much on my plate at one time. I wasn’t giving my body a chance to rest, and I felt like I had to be “on” all the time, or I wouldn’t be living up to my best potential.

Once I realized that my symptoms were only getting worse (losing sleep, decreased motivation), I knew that it was important to reflect on where I currently was vs. where I wanted to be. I had to identify what the difference was in the middle to make that shift, and how those changes could help direct me to where I wanted to be. 

Our minds and bodies always know when something is off, even if there are times that we don’t necessarily want to admit or deal with it. It’ll show through our physical and emotional symptoms, becoming obvious when we’re increasingly agitated or when we feel like we aren’t ourselves. To help with self-reflection when it comes to burnout, ask yourself important questions such as: 

  • How do I currently feel emotionally and physically?
  • Are there any specific areas of my life that are causing me the most stress?
  • What small changes can I make to reduce any stress or feelings of inadequacy?
  • Are there any patterns or triggers I notice that might be leading to repeated feelings of burnout?

Reflecting on some or all of these questions can help you gain a clear understanding and perspective on why you’re feeling burnout, and what you can do to change it. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how we’re feeling until we take the time to self-reflect and write it out. 

Questions to ask when it comes to burnout.

Give Yourself Empathy 

It can be easy to give others empathy when they’re under a high amount of stress or pressure, but we need to give ourselves the same empathy in return. 

Once you take the steps to acknowledge how you’re feeling, rather than getting down on yourself for not being where you think you should be or want to be, accept that where you are is enough. 

Our best days might not always feel like 100 percent, but as long as we’re doing the best we know to do, then it’ll always be enough. It’s something I’ve had to remind myself even lately because in terms of my schedule, I felt like I was falling behind. Yet, when I looked at the reality of my situation and how my day-to-day changed, I realized that I was still giving my best each day I could.

It never helps when there’s a situation that we already feel down about, and we continue to put ourselves down even more. We’re not being fair to ourselves when we continue putting pressure on every area of our lives. Consider what you have done and what you are doing, and give yourself empathy through it all. You won’t always feel burnt out, but one of the most important steps in reversing it is being patient throughout the process and knowing that you’re doing the best you can with what you have. 

Take Time To Rest And Recharge 

I noticed quickly that one of the main factors that led to my burnout was that I was always trying to do everything to get ahead, which essentially put me way behind. 

I wasn’t allowing my body and mind the break and rest it needed to recharge, which kept putting my mind on overdrive. Burnout happens when we’re always trying to exceed our capacity, causing us to neglect taking care of ourselves and what we need. 

Making the promise to myself to do something for me, made all the difference when reversing the symptoms of burnout. Instead of pushing myself and working as many hours as I could, I set limits on when I would shut down my computer for the night. I carved out time for self-care, whether that was running for 40 minutes on the treadmill, or relaxing with a book at the end of the night in bed. 

Taking the time to rest and recharge involves deciding what’s most important to you, and what you need to help you be at your best. It also was helpful when I broke my day into chunks, instead of fitting in as much work as I possibly could. The reality is that there will always be something to do, but your physical and mental health will suffer if you refuse to take the necessary time to rest and recharge. 

Effective tips for overcoming burnout.

Establish and Enforce Boundaries 

I’ve mentioned before how boundaries were always something that I struggled with. Recently I’ve felt a little short of sticking by some of my boundaries, but it’s something that’s always a work in progress. And something that is always important when it comes to reversing the effects of burnout.

Whether you’re experiencing burnout because of work, relationships, or friendships, one of the best things you can do is start to establish and enforce what healthy boundaries look like to you. I know when I start feeling overstimulated, it’s because I overcommitted to something that I more than likely should’ve said no to in the first place. Nobody should expect you to always do everything, because there are times when it’s simply not possible. 

Pay attention if you’re getting as much as you’re giving. Are the things you’re committing your time to in your life fulfilling or draining you? What boundaries should you be establishing to help protect your mental and emotional well-being, and how can these be enforced?

Boundaries aren’t always easy to identify and establish, but once you’re able to notice certain triggers or areas that you might be able to improve on, it’ll be easier to maintain them. I always notice that when I stick by my boundaries, it becomes a lot easier to enjoy what’s in front of me, rather than feeling stressed out with a long list of obligations. While it’s important to be there for others, it’s equally important to take care of yourself and your mental health. 

Burnout typically comes from long-term stress and emotional or physical exhaustion overall. We can’t be at our best if we’re always putting pressure on ourselves to live up to an unrealistic expectation, or if we’re putting too much on our plate at one time. 

Effective tips for overcoming burnout.

Never wait to take care of yourself, especially if you start experiencing the effects from burnout. We can’t always prevent stressful situations from happening in our lives, but we can learn how to manage the feelings associated with it. Even if it starts with unraveling one area at a time.

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