Back to school begins soon and with that comes the many extra- curricular activities that parents will be involved in with their children. In addition to that, we are heading into the holiday season which brings its own stress and pressures. We are already consumed by our jobs, social commitments and family obligations. So, it is no wonder that many of us are feeling either physical, emotional or mental exhaustion and heading towards burnout.
What exactly is burnout? It comes in many forms of exhaustion but is accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others. We begin to depreciate our own worth and concentrate on what we have done wrong instead of the successes we have had. We are our own worst critic and compare ourselves to others which is an immediate sabotage. We may have extreme fatigue and not enjoy what we used to, feeling the need for some kind of change. We feel apathetic or dissatisfied with our work or our life.
There are positive things we can do to either prevent burnout or heal from it. First and most important is to attend to our health and well-being. Step away from the source of stress and check-in with ourselves to see how we are doing emotionally and physically. Physical exercise is an extremely great way to deal with burnout and can be as little as taking a daily walk to clear the mind. When working at a desk or computer, practice deep breathing as it forces us to concentrate on one inhale and one exhale, focusing on the very moment.
Establish a healthy daily routine that includes sleep, diet and non-work, taking time to attend social aspects that are fun and relaxing. Learn when it is critical to say “NO” and maintain necessary boundaries, especially away from technology and that smart phone!
Although it can feel overwhelming in the moment, you can recover from burnout. Once you recognize the symptoms, you can take a break and recalibrate your actions to get your life back in sync. It is important to keep the lines of communication open with your support systems so you don’t internalize those emotions that lead to burnout.
It all comes down to balance. Self-care is not selfish! If you want to be the best friend, spouse, parent or child, you have to attend to it. If your tank is empty, you can’t be your best self or the positive person you want to be for others.
You can avoid heading towards burnout! Take time for YOU.