Am I Burning Out?

      Last week I decided to take on an extra project that I’m passionate about right now. I’m rolling out a new program on creating a plan for your career. I’m really excited about it and yet it’s taken a full plate to overflowing. Last month I challenged myself to create 20 YT videos in 20 days starting when I got back from vacation. All of this aligned to the same week. {Sigh}

    One of the risk factors of burn out is a heavy workload or working long hours. Wow that sounds a lot like what my world looks like right now. I do run the risk of burning out right now, however I do have control over my work so that mitigates the risk.

    Early in my career I had no control over my work and the workload was insane. We were working 7 days a week because we need testing time on weekends. The days were long, and it was going on and on. I felt unappreciated and was treated like a drone who was there only to serve. As I entered week 6 of this schedule I was done. I was sliding into chronic fatigue again; I was miserable and ready to quit.

     I had hit a wall and was in full burn out. There was no short-term fix for my schedule or workload, so it was overwhelming. I was really struggling and debating quitting. At the time I didn’t know I was burned out, I was simply exhausted, run down and hating my life.

    Something had to change. Since I couldn’t change my workload or my schedule and I needed the job at that moment I started to work on what I could control. I focused on paying attention to the good things, not the ugly work stuff.

    Here are my favorite tips to help pull you back from burning out:

  1. Find joy. I’ve found that being intentional about looking for good in my life helps me avoid burning out. When I’m enjoying the moment, it relieves stress and nourishes my spirit. It disengages me from all the negativity of excessive workload and work stress.
  2. Get outside. Spending time outside has been proven to have amazing health benefits. Take some time to get outdoors. I’m not saying you have to go on a 5-mile hike, unless you want to, I’m saying step out of your house/ office for 10 – 15 minutes each day. Take a walk around the block at lunch time, when you go to the mailbox stop and admire the sky, the flowers, the birds or what ever is around you. Sit in your backyard listening to the sounds of your area (hopefully not kids screaming at each other).
  3. Quiet your mind. This is one of the hardest things for me to do. When I’m overloaded my brain wants to find all the answers, solve all the problems, and create an orderly plan of attack. That doesn’t help me relax. I’ve learned I have to shutdown the noise in my own head. Being outside soaking in nature helps if I focus on what’s right in front of me. Meditation is also a great tool for quieting your mind, there are great apps to help. I find reading fiction helpful as it allows me to escape into another world, so I read every night before I go to sleep.

     We can’t eliminate all the stupid schedules, or ignore the workload we have; however, we can manage our responses to them. By taking charge of my routines and my mindset I can manage the risk factors for burning out. I’ve hit that wall and it was brutal to recover from each time. I damaged relationships with my husband and kids, so I’ve learned to see the warning signs and now I take action before it gets too bad.

    We can’t fix everything; we can only work to make ourselves better in difficult situations. If you feel like you are heading towards burn out, find 10 – 15 minutes a day to focus on you, to start taking control of what you can and start the healing process.


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