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Wellness Monday: Burnout!!


exhausted woman

This week holds a special place in my heart. We're diving deep into the topic of burnout!


It's something we've all experienced at one time or another, and it can seriously impact our well-being. But don't worry because we're about to tackle it head-on with Slower Strides For Less Stress. Let's say goodbye to burnout and hello to a healthier, happier lifestyle!


what is burnout

Let's start with defining burnout!

There are a lot of different ways to describe burnout since it’s not officially a medical condition. The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines it as: “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others.


Burnout goes beyond just feeling stressed. It takes you from feeling tired to feeling too exhausted to even function. Typically, burnout is caused by a specific situation, activity or environment. It happens when you experience too much emotional, mental and physical fatigue for a long time.


Another way to think of it is that it’s NOT just too much stress. We can handle a lot of stress. Burnout happens when you tip the scales to having too little in your tank to deal with the stress.  Once you no longer have the mental focus, emotional capacity or motivation – you just don’t care anymore. Stress creates a feeling of overwhelm, whereas burnout creates a feeling of depletion and defeat. When you are stressed, you still care enough to get things done. When you’re burned out, you just don’t care.  It ends up affecting all aspects of your life and keeps you from being productive.


Why does burnout matter

  • More vulnerability to illness

  • Lower quality or quantity of sleep

  • Lack of enthusiasm or enjoyment

  • Lower productivity and performance

  • Apathy towards your responsibilities

  • Alienation and social withdrawal

  • Exhaustion/total lack of energy

  • Oversleeping and staying in bed

  • Self-doubt, helplessness or defeat

  • Increased cynicism and resentfulness

  • Body aches and headaches

  • A significant change in appetite

  • Forgetting important things

  • More conflict in relationships

  • Gastrointestinal issues

  • Higher blood pressure

  • Increased anxiety

  • Changes in weight


Burnout doesn't happen overnight. It's a slow, steady buildup over time. Initially, the signs might be subtle, but they intensify with time. Ignoring them can lead to a full-blown breakdown.


Here are risk factors to watch out for or change:


risk factors for burnout

Just like burnout doesn’t happen overnight, you aren’t going to make it go away overnight either. You will have to make small changes over time, cutting back on things as you need to until you find yourself feeling more at peace again.


My number one tip for healing from and reversing burnout is to slow down.  Part of the reason we reach burnout is because we’re always moving too fast to even notice how tired we are getting. It is time to slow down, rest more often and just take on less overall.


✨ Make time for self-care

✨ Get enough sleep

✨ Leave space in your schedule

✨ Take regular breaks

✨ Plan time for rest and fun

✨ Do more relaxation like yoga or stretching

✨ Spend more time in prayer/meditation

✨ Practice more mindfulness

✨ Spend a few minutes in total silence

✨ Take up a hobby or creative activity

✨ Spend time journaling or reading

✨ Schedule time off

✨Take a break from electronic devices


A lot of these things seem pretty simple, but I know it’s always easier said than done. I'm here to help hold you accountable, though! If you want things to change for the better, you need to step out of your comfort zone and start changing things for yourself too.


Let's finish this week's s discussion on burnout by talking about healthy boundaries.


Healthy boundaries are a form of self-care. They protect your mental and emotional health, help prevent burnout, and promote healing from burnout. Boundaries are simple limits that we set for others and for ourselves. "Boundaries help us recognize where we end and others begin, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom". Dr.'s Cloud and Towsend. You can have boundaries at work, at home, with friends and extended family, church – anywhere and with anyone that you interact with regularly. They keep us from getting taken advantage of and being mistreated, disrespected and overworked.

Tips:

  • Learn to say "no" without fear or guilt

  • Set clear work hours

  • Give yourself "down time" even if you have to put it on the calendar

  • Clearly communicate your needs and expectations

  • Set aside time for self-care

  • Understand that if you are new to setting boundaries others may push back. Stand firm, politely

  • Permit yourself to let go of harmful relationships

  • Take responsibility for yourself

  • Be consistent

  • Learn to avoid apologizing for everything unless an apology is actually due

  • Be respectful when holding your boundaries or communicating your needs

  • Don't give options for things you aren't willing to do


Your homework this week is to sit down and do a little self-assessment.

How are you doing

What gives you pleasure?

What makes you exhausted?

What things do you have the power to change? What steps could you take to make the change?


I hope this week helps you identify areas of burnout and i'm rooting for you to make a change. As one who has been burned out before I want to remind you that it takes timeand to be patient with yourself and keep those boundaries!


Next Monday we will talk about Fit Feet! See you then.


Adapted with permission from Coach Content Collaboration (affiliate link)

 

I am challenging you to 9,000 steps per day! You can totally do that. The weather is getting sunnier and warmer and it’s a great way to get out and spend that extra time in nature! ☀️

take 9000 steps a day

Need some more tips to help you get those steps? One of my best tricks is to take an activity that you would otherwise do while sitting down, and do it while walking! It could be on a treadmill, around your house or yard, or outside on a trail. Think of things you sit down to do, that you could really do while walking. You don’t even have to walk fast, slow steps are better than no steps! Some ideas are talking on phone calls, scrolling through your phone, checking emails, doing grocery pick-up orders, waiting around during a kids’ event or activity, reading, and even working. With a proper setup and practice, you can type and work while walking very slowly. At least give it a try!


Also, remember to maintain proper posture as we talked about last week. This will help avoid any aches and pains from the extra walking.


 

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