1: Take stock.
Look at or list all of the situations that make you feel helpless, anxious stressed, worried, frustrated. This should be a continual process – not a destination. Don’t just do it once and forget it, make it part of your routine. Where you identify particular stressors, make a plan to reduce or minimise them. Don’t expect instant results – and don’t give up.
2: Take Care of Yourself.
When you are burning out there is always more to do because ‘No one else can do it” or “I just have to…” or “I MUST….” You get the picture. No matter how hard or how long you work there is always more that ‘has to be done’. Really! This approach will almost guarantee Burnout and is unsustainable in the long term.
3: Take Breaks to Allow Your Mind and Body to Recover.
The more burned out you are the fewer breaks you need! It sounds ridiculous but unfortunately often true. If you feel guilty when not working or taking time off. STOP and give yourself a reality check.
4: Examine and Evaluate Your Options:
You may need to make changes at work, and in some instances change jobs to prevent burnout. Ideally you should talk with your manager or supervisor about making some changes.
5: Get Regular Exercise.
Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress. It can also help you get your mind off work and focus on something else.
6: Get Some Regular Sleep.
How’s that for a novel idea! Sleeps restores well-being and helps protect your health. Aim for at least 7-8 hours each night. Sleep deprivation is recognised by the UN as a form of torture if you do it to someone else, (but not when you do it to yourself). Think about it.
7: Set (and Maintain) Boundaries.
Failure to establish or maintain professional boundaries is a significant contributor to burnout. If your boundaries have become blurred or lost, or were never established, focus on re-establishing them.
8: Practice Mindfulness.
If you’re burning out you’re probably way too busy to be Mindful! However, there are a growing number of studies showing that practicing Mindfulness at work reduces emotional exhaustion, increases, levels of satisfaction, and regulate emotions.
9: Control Your Technology.
Most of us are available via social media from the time we wake up until we go to sleep. Constant availability has become the norm, but not always a good norm. Have separate work and personal phones if possible. Leave the work laptop AT WORK. Switch everything off in the evenings or at weekends (Yes! they do have an off button!) so that you can switch off as well. What starts as simply responding to a few emails on the way home can open the door to continuous access to our work related stressors, and to late night emails, texts, calls and burnout.
10: Reinforce Effort - Not Outcomes.
There will always be good days as well as bad. Sometimes we can work hard to achieve a particular outcome which doesn’t eventuate. It is easy at these times to be down on ourselves. Reinforce your efforts. Say ‘Well done Me!” if you have worked hard or extended yourself, even where the outcome is not what you had hoped.
Make a habit of reminding yourself of three things you did well during the day as you go to bed at night. No matter how insignificant they may seem to be at times (or how hard you have to think on bad days), they are all helping to reinforce your wellbeing.
This post is an extract from the RespectED Online Course and downloadable book: IMPROVING SELF AWARENESS: available at www.respected.training