My previous blog about how to manage burnout looked at how important it is for we humans to connect with other people, whether it’s with co-workers, friends and family or with the wider community. Connection is a proven way of managing and recovering from burnout. This may feel like the last thing we want to do but hiding away and isolating ourselves will make things worse.
If we’re lucky we spot the warning signs of impending burnout well before we are completely consumed by it and take necessary action. However, it’s probably more like that we steam on past our own individual breaking point, trying to push through the exhaustion. We tend to learn the hard way that this will only cause further emotional and physical damage.
So – spot it early and take some time to pause and change direction by learning how you can help yourself overcome burnout and feel healthy and positive again. And…
1. “Reframe” The Way You Look At Work
Whether you have a job that leaves you rushed off your feet or one that is monotonous and unfulfilling, the most effective way to combat job burnout is to find a job you love instead. But we live in the real world and very often this is simply not possible, at least in the short term.
Even if you don’t have the option of moving on, there are still many things you can do to improve your state of mind.
2. Try to find some value in what you do
Even in some mundane jobs, you can often focus on how what you do helps others, for example, or provides a much-needed product or service. Focus on aspects of the job that you do enjoy—even if it’s just chatting with your colleagues during breaks. Changing your attitude towards your job can help you regain a sense of purpose and control.
3. Find balance in your life
If you dislike your job, look for meaning and satisfaction elsewhere in your life: in your family, friends, hobbies, or in your community. Focus on the parts of your life that bring you joy whether its training for a 5k run or attending a painting class.
4. Take time off
If your health is really at risk, take a complete break from work for as long as is practical in your situation. Go and speak to your doctor and take as much time as you need – your health is the priority here. If you are able to take paid time off and go on holiday, now is the time to do it. Even a long weekend away can make a difference. And talking of priorities….
5. Re-evaluate your priorities
Burnout is an undeniable sign that something important in your life is not working. Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Are you neglecting something that is truly important to you? This can be an opportunity to rediscover what really makes you happy and to slow down and give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal.
6. Set boundaries
Don’t overextend yourself. Learn how to say “NO” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the things that you truly want to do.
Need some advice and support?
If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in this article, or indeed any other emotional issues or life challenges and would like to talk things over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541
Book a counselling session today!
See also: What is burnout? What does burnout feel like? How can I manage burnout Part 1