Is burnout even a real thing? Or is it something we have made up as we have so much time to play with as we are not busy chasing or growing our food in order to survive? Instead we are busy eating takeaways in front of the TV every night, worrying about what tomorrow will bring, constantly plugged into our laptops or phones. You're busy I get it, but what are you busy doing?
I believe burnout exists, but I would....I have felt EVERY single part of burnout:
Lack of motivation
Lack of energy
No joy in life
No spring in my step
Can't get out of bed
I'm not on my own, 51% of full time workers have reported feeling burnout. It’s something I don’t wish on anyone and if you have felt the symptoms then you’ll know exactly what I mean.
I worked in a corporate job, 70 hours a week, travelling at least 2 hours a day, carrying a laptop, phone and a mulberry handbag. A high flyer, ambitious or career girl some might have called me, some people even called me ‘lucky’! If only they knew!
I’ve made so many sacrifices it scares me. I’ve missed out on the 2.4 children, the husband, the annual family holidays abroad, the antenatal classes, the annual school nativity plays, the wedding, even the sometimes dreaded in-laws have eluded me!
Some things people take for granted
When I got the news at 38 that even with IVF would have little chance of a successful pregnancy the news hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I made the decision to leave the rat race immediately.
You know sometimes it takes bad or unexpected news to shake you to your core, to shake your belief system so much and question your very being. This was it for me. No more working like a dog, no more travelling with work, no more putting life on hold, I had to get the balance back in my life. This is where my 'second' life as I like to call it started. I now do a job I love, I have an amazing partner, I live a life not chained to a desk, I do yoga, meditation and I have fulfilled a lifelong dream of setting up my own business.
So what does this mean for you?
I can help you not make the same mistakes I made, I can help you to get your balance right, to feel fulfilled at home AND work, be the best version of yourself, live with joy and passion and to most importantly put your own oxygen mask before you get anywhere near burnout.
Side step burnout with 5 steps and complete the simple challenges and you will never have to be scared of burnout again.
5 Steps to Side-Step Burnout
Your past does not equal your future
One of the biggest reasons we find it difficult to move forwards is because we are obsessed with what has happened previously. Some things that hurt or anger you you may be holding onto or previous failures may be holding you back. Releasing these could be the final step you need to let go of your past and embrace your shiny bright future.
Challenge: Take some time to identify the areas which may be holding you back in life and make a list of them. This may be unresolved issues with family or loved ones, conversations you have put off, projects around the house that you have delayed. Schedule these in to complete and leave them behind in your past. You will be amazed with the clarity and motivation you will feel.
2. Remove your limiting beliefs
You think you can’t set up your own business because you’re too young? You think you can’t climb the corporate ladder as you’ll hit the glass ceiling? You think you can’t be a great parent and have a successful career? These are limiting beliefs, somewhere along the way you’ve heard these or similar and begun to believe them even subconsciously. These ARE holding you back and it’s time to stop.
Challenge: Identify your limiting beliefs and write them down. Things such as “I haven’t got time to….” Or “I don’t know enough to”….are examples of limiting beliefs that you can change. Then create a new belief that states the new reality you want to create. The new belief should be positive, in the present tense, powerful and exciting. Examples such as “I can handle anything that comes my way” or “People are lucky to have me working for them”! Keep repeating these new beliefs until it becomes the truth and your limiting belief was a lie.
3. Set and track your Top 10 goals
What are your priorities for the next year? If you’re not sure then no wonder you feel burnout! Get clarity on the things you want to do and more importantly what you DON’T need to do.
Challenge: Write no more than 10 goals that will make this next year your best year yet. Include both personal and professional goals. Make them achievable but that push you and make them so you can keep an eye on them easily. Break them down into manageable monthly chunks and check and update them at least once a month. This will give you focus, keep momentum and if you feel overwhelmed at times revisit them to keep you on the right track.
4. Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on first
I say this so much to clients that are feeling overwhelmed. Most people automatically reach to help others first but what about them? How good are you going to be if you are burnt out, feeling helpless, with a loss of motivation and detached from your emotions or relationships? The very first thing you need to do is look after yourself.
Challenge: Review your diet, you know the usual advice of minimizing sugar, reducing caffeine and drinking alcohol in moderation, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and make exercise a priority. Even if it is a 10 minute walk twice a day this needs to be one of your new daily rituals and a MUST. Set some new boundaries such as no work after 6pm, no technology in your bedroom, eating dinner around the table as a family and going to bed by a certain time. Sometimes the simplest things are the most beneficial.
5. Transform your negative inner voice into your coach!
People talk to themselves around 50,000 times a day and 80% of this is negative! You know the one “I’ll never be good enough”, “You can’t do that”, “They don’t like me”. The problem with this negative inner voice is that we believe it! Thoughts affect our attitude, our behaviour, our motivation, our physiology and even our biochemistry. How do you stop listening to it? You have to realise you are in charge of your own mind and you can CHOOSE whether to listen to the inner voice or not.
Challenge: If you catch yourself having a negative thought, make the effort to consciously replace it with a more positive one. Every morning have a daily ritual to think of 3 things you are grateful for and you are automatically starting your day in a conscious positive frame of mind. Once you start consciously replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones you will start to think more positively and listen to your inner voice less!
Now that you know these simple 5 steps, you'll find it so much easier to prevent burnout.
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