I’ve definitely felt on the cusp of burnout at many points during my life, more specifically during my university years. I used to spend my days in the library downing several large travel mugs full of extra strong black coffee and burying myself in textbooks until finals drew near. Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise became the core of my everyday routine. Once my finals finished, I felt the full wrath of my burnout with both my mind and body feeling absolutely exhausted.
Since, then I’ve tried to figure out ways to combat burnout before it creeps in. One of my biggest challenges back then was weaning myself off my coffee addiction. I’m sure all the coffee lovers out there can sympathize with the pain I felt in parting from it. Although I now live a happy, coffee free lifestyle, quite honestly the smell of coffee grains still feels like a warming hug to my brain.
Apart from being both mentally and physically drained, burnout causes us to lose sense of who we are too. Wound in the snares of worry and stress, burnout can leave you feeling trapped. So how can we prevent and recover from a burnout? Here’s my 3 tried and tested methods which have helped me to prevent and overcome burnout in life:
How we view the situations we’re in can often be the cause of our stress, leading to burnout. It took me time to truly understand and implement the concept of having perspective in my life when viewing the situations I’m in. I’d always see the worst case scenario in my mind which lead to me feeling increasingly stressed. More often than not, it was about situations that had outcomes which weren’t in my hands. The idea of not having control in life is quite daunting, but accepting this is the first step to gaining perspective. Acknowledging that no matter what we do, the outcomes of every situation is not 100% in our hands is actually quite a freeing thought. It releases the stress and pressure you put on yourself. Since we can’t control the ultimate results of situations in our lives, all we can do is put in our best effort and sit tight for the outcome. After all, everything does always seem to happen for a very good reason.
Talk it out
Life is not to be lived alone, chat with friends and family about anything you’re going through especially when it’s a difficult season in your life and you’re feeling burnt out. We’re social beings and are constantly learning from one another. The beauty of life is that we don’t have to live it alone, we can grow and learn from others. Take time to connect with your friends and family over a call. It can help your mind to feel relaxed amongst the chaos especially if you feel the burnout beckoning. Often there will always be someone in your life who’s going through the same thing that feels alone or somebody who can provide comfort and advice.
Although working out can feel like a chore, it can help your mind and body to unwind from any pressures when you’re feeling the burnout beckoning. The key is to make your workouts as fun as possible. Pop on your favorite tunes or a YouTube workout that you enjoy to keep it fun and exciting, so that it’s something you look forward to in your day. Personally, I love to dance and I’ve really been into doing Zumba dance workouts lately. One YouTube workout that I’ve been enjoying is by YouTuber ‘dancewithelly’. If you’re into dancing, definitely give this incredibly fun 10 minute workout a try!:
Although burnout has become a common word particularly during lockdown, the big transition we’ve all gone through in life naturally causes more stress to build up in our minds. Our external situations may be out of our control, but we can always control the way we deal with them. Despite uncertain and chaotic circumstances, always remember to slot in time to care for yourself.