Burnout is a buzzword in the wellness community these days, but what actually is it? According to Mayo Clinic, it’s a “special type of work-related stress– a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
So many of us, whether we love our jobs or are looking for something else, go above and beyond to deliver in our work lives. It’s especially sneaky when we start to overwork ourselves because we genuinely love what we do! Burnout can happen to anyone, so it’s important to find the routines and rituals that help you stay balanced. If you’re looking for longevity and sustained effort in your work life, avoiding burnout should be at the top of your priority list.
Here are a few tips we find helpful for staying balanced. These may work for you, or they may spark new ideas that fit perfectly with your lifestyle and daily routine!
In as little as 10 minutes a day, consistent meditation can create a sense of inner calm and connection. Waking up 10 minutes early to start your day with a moment of quiet reflection will empower you to advocate for yourself, make mindful choices, and stay centered as you get through your to do list. Check out our seasonal meditation series to get started!
Focus on Sleep
Oftentimes when we are overwhelmed or excited about work, the last thing we want to do is drift off early for a full 8 hours of sleep– the temptation to stay up working, or worrying about working, can be strong. However, remind yourself in these moments that you will be much more effective and efficient tomorrow if you are properly rested. Support yourself by practicing good sleep hygiene. Power down your electronics an hour before bedtime, avoid doing work or having tense conversations in your bedroom, and keep your sleep environment clean and refreshing.
While you’re working, take care to drop moments of relaxation throughout your day. We are not machines, which means taking a few minutes to stretch, do a breathing exercise, have a one-song dance party, or take a walk around the block can dramatically boost your energy and relieve stress. Don’t expect yourself to sit still for eight hours straight, or see one task all the way through, without taking mini moments to improve your wellbeing.
Practice Healthy Boundaries
For many of us, boundaries around work can be the biggest obstacle to achieving balance. We may want to please our bosses, we may be entrepreneurs with big goals to reach, or we may work unconventional jobs that mesh with our personal lives. A huge component of avoiding burnout is having real time off. This means that you disconnect from your work emails or calls, put your job on the back burner, and immerse yourself in something else that you enjoy. Other healthy boundaries include not working after hours or when you’re not on the clock, taking full lunch breaks, and leaving work at the office (or studio, or school) when you leave for the day.
Schedule Your Fun
Lastly, our favorite tip for avoiding burnout is to schedule fun the same way you schedule your work responsibilities. If we don’t set aside time to have fun and relax it is much more likely to get overlooked. Sit down with your calendar every Sunday night and schedule something you absolutely love to do- whether that’s having a solo dinner at your favorite restaurant, going to a concert with a friend, or having a playdate with your kids in the park. Write it in ink and treat it the same way you would a work commitment.
These tools are just the start for creating a lifestyle that supports your well-being and prevents burnout. Let us know your own favorite tips in the comments below!