A feeling of burnout is common following a hectic season of life. If you are like me, I go through a time of being a recluse following the summer and September season. The darker mornings make me want to snuggle into my bed later. I find myself in bed earlier at night with my book. Generally reserving my energy for recovery. Let’s take a dive into what burnout is, how to identify it in yourself, what the source is and how to move forward.
[BURNOUT – exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration]
Identifying burnout can be easier with guidance. This year was my third year hitting burnout. It usually sneaks up on me so I find asking myself these questions helpful. Some signs to look for are:
- being cranky or everything bothers you
- holding tension in your shoulders, brows or throat
- small things trigger you, or overwhelm you
- feeling as though your joy has been sucked out of the usual activities you like
- you find yourself wanting to disengage with others
- a sense of resentment for those in your day to day life
If you can relate to three or more of these signs it may be time to access your schedule and find the source of your exhaustion. A few questions I like to ask are:
- What are some things I have taken part in the past three months that I would like to leave behind?
- What are my top three scheduled priorities?
- Where or what do I wish I spent more time doing?
- Who can I resource support for or delegate tasks to that will reduce my responsibilities?
- Is there a task or responsibility that I can automate or create a system that makes the time I spend on it more efficient?
- What gives me more energy? What greatly reduces my energy?
Identifying the source of burnout will make it more clear to make a change towards the schedule you need to thrive. Another key point to consider is how much of YOU and your TIME are you giving to others vs how much time you are investing in yourself? There should be a fairly balanced ebb and flow to self care and productivity. And last but not least make sure to find time for rest and play. Here are three things to consider when creating your path forward.
- Get clear on your values, what part of your schedule leans into them and what parts can be dropped or passed along. Use this TOOL
- Map out your time in percentages and do up a weekly schedule. Rest and self care should be 20-30% of your time (my own personal recommendation). If your life is very demanding then this should be emphasized. Clear is the best way through.
- Invest in coping skills. A coach, mentor, therapist, book, class and community resources can be a great start. Stress can be debilitating and is known to directly impact health.
Whichever strides you take on your new path remember, prevention is the best strategy. Saying no, staying home, and choosing your health and wellness is important.
-As always I wish you to be well, happy and full of delight,