“To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” ~ Mother Teresa
You’re spent. You have nothing left. You’ve been working feverishly at your side business, new job or project. Sleepless doesn’t begin to describe you and frankly you’ve had enough. You’re in the troughs of burnout and if you don’t do something fast, it’s not going to be pretty.
Burnout is a real and serious condition. You’re exhausted and the thing you once had such gusto for, is a distant thought. Early last year, I was on the receiving end of a serious case of burnout. I was working full-time, doing WordPress design and setup on the side and my roster was filling up, quick! I probably did something like 15 websites in the span of 6 months. Ker-azy!
I’d stopped working out, was lucky if I got 4 hours of sleep each night and was a general ball of emotions. I managed to finish what I promised people but after it was all said and done, I didn’t want to look at another piece of html code or set up another website.
I restructured my time and cut a lot off of my plate. I worked regular exercise back into my daily activity and started eating healthier again. I’m much more careful about what I commit to and saying no has come much easier. If you’re dealing with burnout or tethering on the edge here are a few tips to help you come off the ledge and restore your health and sanity.
1. Tie Up Loose Ends
If you’re working on a project and going full throttle, it’s not easy to just give up. If you have commitments, try your best to honor them and get things finished and off your plate. The sooner you complete things, the sooner you can worry about yourself.
2. Take a Week (or Two) Off
Do absolutely nothing. I mean go to work and stuff. But if you’re burnt out on writing, then don’t write. If you can’t look at another oil painting, then stop. Do sleep, get lots of sleep! Veg out, relax and don’t feel guilty. It’s your sanity or work. Always choose yourself.
3. If you can, Get Away
Preferably somewhere with a beach and serene water. You want to get away from obligations and responsibility. This is your time to restore yourself and I can’t think of a better way than with sand between my toes and the hum of the ocean in my ear.
4. Get Back to Health (& your other interests)
When I was overworking myself I let my love of fitness fall by the waist-side. I stopped working out and eating right. Once I took time, I made a commitment to get back in the gym and eat better. I vowed that I would never neglect these areas again. Whatever brought you joy and keeps you balanced, get back to it.
5. Learn to Say No
Burnout typically comes from over promising and over committing ourselves. Learn your limits. Burnout has a funny way of showing you your limits. Reevaluate your priorities and your goals and make sure what you’re doing is aligned with them. Say No, a lot!
6. Make a Vow to Yourself
Learn from your exhaustion. Take heed when you feel yourself floundering or being overwhelmed. Make a promise to take better care of yourself and treat yourself with care. Your light is too bright to burn out.
Have you ever experienced burnout? How did you restore yourself back to greatness?