Cut off your addiction to "busy" and learn to slow down.
Our society is addicted to staying busy. Chronic stress plagues many of us and leads to an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. When we don't see a way out of the madness, we will edge closer and closer to burn out. Not having the energy to lift ourselves out of bed in the morning, we will feel the need to completely step back from certain job, family, and/or home responsibilities.
If you are living in this constant overwhelm and you feel like you can't free yourself from outside stressors, it's time to accept that you just can't do it all.
Even if you are "doing it all" and checking all of those boxes, how do you actually feel right now?
- Exhausted? Yes.
- Unable to slow down and enjoy the little things? What little things?
- Feel like you want to run away? No, of course not! I mean... well, yeah.
- Unsure of how to get off the carousel? How did I even get on this thing?
- Feel like you have no time for self-care? I haven't washed my hair in a week.. is that what you mean?
Here are a few tips on how to identify the things that lead to burnout and cut them out before you get there.
You can't do it all. I know you want to and you would if you just had more time. But, you don't. Everybody's limit is different, so you can't judge what you are doing next to another. Your view of too much is yours and the first thing you have to do in order to prevent burning out is accept that. You are a human being. Not a machine and not a superhero. Set a more realistic standard for yourself. Anything beyond that has to be a "no" from you right now.
Are there places within your day that you can step back and process how you are doing? Can you schedule a few minutes in between meetings? Or sit down for a second while the kids are at school instead of whirlwinding around the house, trying to make as much progress as you can on laundry, dishes, and groceries? Even better, find time for a relaxing activity or hobby that you can enjoy doing without rushing. Take a long shower. Journal. Practice yoga for relaxing purposes and not for a workout. Make some space for you. If you continually run the race without letting up, you will find yourself face down on the floor, unable to get up.
Movement is good on the body, mind, and spirit. It can feel like a wash—clearing away the crazy and leaving a fresh dew of new hope and energy to keep you going. However, depending on how close you are to burnout, you may not feel that after a workout. That's when you should think about re-constructing your workout based on your present needs.
Yep. You knew this one was coming. Are you allowing yourself time to sleep? Are you winding down before bed so you don't lie there wide awake, still wired from everything you still need to do? Prioritize your sleep. It's the only way you can finally feel refreshed and ready to take on the craziness ahead. Don't reach for another cup of coffee. Get the real rest you need.
Nobody wants to feel like a burden. And sometimes, asking for help feels like just that. But, friends and/or family members want to help you! Think of one small way and one big way someone can help you out. Maybe that's asking your spouse to unload the dishwasher. And maybe it's asking the neighbor to carpool your kids to school this week. Consider reaching out instead of drowning in your list of to-dos.