You read the title and most likely thought “yeah, right!” Burnout is something that affects all of us, and can seemingly take over our lives in the snap of your fingers. Suddenly you’re feeling tired, unmotivated, and in constant high stress. What causes this to boil up inside us? Besides being a superwoman that exceeds everything we touch. The most important question we can ask ourselves is, how can we avoid burnout?
Once I was out in the world on my own, going to college full time, working full time, and doing a part-time remote internship. I heard a lot of people tell me, “Wow, that’s so impressive. I could never do that.” I’d always smile and feel good about myself – for just one second though.
I was completely unhappy and while trying to prove myself to the world, I lost myself. Constantly, I was focused on work, school, and my internship. I never did anything for myself and felt as if I was running on fumes and couldn’t possibly go any further each day.
I officially felt burnt out.
Everyone experiences this at some point in their life. How do we help ourselves feel better?
Listen carefully. I’ve got two words for you… Self. Care.
Self-care? What is that?
Great question everybody. You may be thinking to yourself that self-care just isn’t in the stars for you. Well, think again. It’s important and vital to our wellbeing. Whether this is yelling out your frustrations on your car ride home (as I did myself), taking a bubble bath and sipping wine, or painting to your heart’s content, self-care is essential.
The capability to take care of our minds, while the world is beating us up, is within all of us and we have the power to do it.
I know what most of you are thinking… “I don’t have time for self-care!” Wrong again, we all do. I constantly used this excuse to not take care of myself. We commute to work every day or have 10 minutes before our head hits the pillow. This is the time to recenter yourself before you begin a new day.
Feeling like you just can’t quite focus at work because you have a million and one things to get done once you get home? Other minute tasks that you need to accomplish before the end of the workday but can’t ever seem to get done?
You’re not alone. Many women in any workplace feel the pressures of not being able to “do it all.” It sounds nice, but in reality, it’s not something that anybody can accomplish and we need to remind ourselves of this.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and let the little things go. This can put your mind at ease by the end of the day, and you can feel refreshed going on the next workday. Constantly telling yourself these negative connotations can lead to us not only having a negative image of ourselves but negative thoughts in general — which can lead to demotivation and you guessed it, burnout.
I’ve been there. If I wasn’t constantly accomplishing something or going to work, I felt as if I was failing. It took a long time for me to look at myself and say “take a break.” Yes, a break.
My day usually consisted of waking up early and doing homework, going to work at a drug treatment center, attending a night class or two, and then staying up till 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning finishing the rest of my school work and internship. I had to force myself to take a break even if it was just 10 minutes for my mind to get clear and refocused.
As CEOs, executives, administrators, entrepreneurs, and women in general, we push ourselves too hard. Allow yourself to accept that you need a break and that it is okay. You’re not “less than” because you’re human. Give yourself the credit–and most importantly, the break you deserve.
I know I stated burn out is avoidable but I slightly lied… it eventually happens to everyone. Although this is true, do not be afraid. Allow yourself to come up for air when you feel like you’re drowning, rather than tying the anchors of work, family, and finances tighter to your ankles.