In a world where we’re often expected to go above and beyond at work, it’s easier than ever to become overwhelmed. Add to that the necessity of maintaining our homes and looking after our families, and it’s clear why burnout occurs. It’s important to know that it’s much simpler to prevent burnout than to recover from it. Try these tips to get started with self-care and protecting yourself against burnout.
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Take time to relax
All work and no play… leads to burnout. Make time for relaxation. Take up some hobbies, like reading, swimming, or gardening. Allow yourself an hour or two per day if you can, or start slow if you have limited time. Giving yourself something to focus on outside of work and other commitments will keep you concentrated and calm.
Find a creative outlet
There are virtually unlimited options when it comes to choosing a creative process to focus on. Try photography, journaling, colouring, or writing to start. Even if you’re just a beginner, allowing yourself to explore your creativity can be immensely beneficial.
Creativity also often leads to a state of flow. Flow occurs when a person is fully immersed in an activity, feeling energised and not thinking about the outside world. It’s an incredible state to reach and will help you to forget about work for a while.
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24/7 access to news outlets and social media isn’t doing any of us any good. Take the time to disconnect once in a while. To start, you could make time to go for a walk outside without your phone. Install social media blocking tools on your browser if you need to use your computer for work. Meet up with friends and agree not to use your phones while you spend time together. You’ll feel much more connected to the present.
While it might feel comforting to eat a burger and a large portion of fries at the end of a long day, you aren’t doing yourself any favours. Eating healthy isn’t only good for your body, it’s great for your mind. If you’re finding it difficult to stick to a balanced diet, you might like to try meal preparation. Planning and preparing your meals for the week ahead will give you more time during the day. It’ll also mean that you won’t be as tempted to rush out to your nearest fast food joint at lunchtime.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. To achieve quality sleep, don’t use any of your electronic devices for at least an hour before you go to bed. The amount of sleep everyone needs differs, so make sure you’re getting the right hours of sleep for you. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, you may need to limit your caffeine intake during the day. Make sure you have the right conditions for sleep, too. Consider investing in a quality set of blinds and a white noise machine, particularly if you live in a loud area.
If you have the time and money to travel, do so. Seeing a different part of the world – even if it’s only a drive away from where you live – can help to put things into perspective. You’ll be able to explore new cities and get out of your comfort zone by trying new experiences. It’ll also give you great memories to look back on, and allow you to meet new people.
Seeing your friends and family can feel like the least important thing on your to-do list if you’ve got a lot of projects or imminent deadlines. However, socialising can be a great way to de-stress, and discussing your problems with friends often helps to reduce them, too.