burnout syndrome

How to Avoid Burnout Syndrome

Long work hours, daily life stress and less and less time to do the things we enjoy are all recipes for burnout syndrome.

I personally know how it feels to keep going full speed ahead until your body forces you to crash.  My burnout happened in 2012. I was working at my full-time job and dealing with a lot of stress and on top of that I would spend the remaining waking hours I had at home trying to build a website, run a household, and raise children.  I would not take time to just relax and enjoy a few days off.

My mind was in constant work mode. I thought if I took time off to just rest I was neglecting my obligations and I would get behind. When I finally hit complete overload I could no longer fight what my mind and body had been telling me for months and the life altering burnout hit hard.  I had to take time off from work and ended up shutting down my website. It affected my health both physically and mentally.

After a period of time I slowly got back on track but now I refuse to run my body like it is a finely tuned machine because it is not. I am human and I need to operate at “human pace”.  When we ignore the warning signs such as stress, agitation, anxiety and body aches, we are setting ourselves up for a meltdown.

Burnout Syndrome

To help you avoid a possible burnout I have put together some of the best ways that I have discovered to achieve the proper life balance.

Exercise your creativity. All of us have a unique talent and something that we are good at and enjoy doing. Whether this involves activities you can perform at your workplace or things you can do at home, you need an outlet in which to express yourself. Do you have a hobby you love? What about something that really interests you? Some people enjoy crafts, art painting, woodworking, gardening, scrap booking and sewing.  You could even turn this hobby into a way to earn extra income.

Find a way to dedicate some time away from the regular routine of life and spend it working on your hobby. I think three days a week for an hour or so on each of those days will be a good starting point to take a nice break and do something you enjoy. Every person is different so choose a schedule that works for you but start now because you need it.

Take vacation time. Most employers give their employees vacation time yet we find ourselves making excuses to not take the much needed time away. I either have made or heard the following excuses: I have too much to do at work and cannot take time off, I do not have the money to go anywhere nice anyway, I do not have anything special planned and my work will pile up. These excuses can lead you straight into burnout syndrome.

Remember, work will still be there when you get back and it is okay if you take a break. You deserve to enjoy some time off. If you want to go somewhere nice, try to save for it little by little ahead of time. A fun vacation does not always mean spending a lot of money. Try going to the park with the family, take a day trip to a free attraction, go camping, do some fun activities at home or take a hiking venture. There are several budget friendly ways to have a good vacation.

Take breaks often. Regardless of the type of work you do, you need to take a break at least once in the morning, at lunch and once during the evening depending on how long your work hours are.  Breaks are important to give your body a short reprieve of rest and to stretch your legs if you are stuck at a computer desk all day. It is easy to slouch over your desk and cause tension and strain on your upper back, neck and shoulder muscles which will cause a lot of pain and then the pain will lead to a host of other problems.  If you are experiencing chronic pain every day from not taking adequate breaks, this can lead to aggravation and job burnout.

Meditate, practice yoga and aroma therapy.  Mediation is a great way to relax and find a calm medium in your daily life.   It is also a great way to reduce stress. You can use meditation and relaxation tapes to help you discover your inner peace.  Yoga is another great way to relieve symptoms of tension and burnout syndrome and get your body and mind in a good rhythm.  Stretching your muscles during yoga is great exercise and it will help keep you in shape and feeling your best.  I love scent therapy. There are some amazing candles and other forms of aroma therapy such as bath oils that soothe and relax the soul. A tranquil environment is so calming.

To keep your sanity and your work life balance, you need to take time out for you. Do you have other great ways that help you avoid a burnout? If so, I would love to hear from you!

Simple Living

Yearning for Simple Living

Have you ever noticed a shortened work week (returning from a holiday, vacation etc.) seems to feel more hectic and insane than the regular 5 day week? There is always too much to do and not enough time to do it. It has me thinking about simple living. I have been pondering ways to make my life slow down a bit from the furious pace that so many of us know all too well.

Simple Living

In my quest to simplify my life I have stumbled upon some good tips to reduce the hustle and bustle and hopefully get my life on a good balance. I hope these great ideas will inspire you to pursue a simple life as well.

Tips on how to live a simple life

Declutter your life….

Get rid of the things you do not need. It is easy to hang onto things simply because we think “I might need that later.” Most of the time, the things we hang onto are something we will never use. A cluttered home or workspace creates visual distractions and can actually make you feel like you do not have enough space to just breathe. Have a yard sale and make some pocket-money off of all of that stuff you have that is just lying around.

Put things in order around your home. If you keep things in order and tidy throughout the week you will be able to enjoy the weekend without having to waste time working around the house. A workspace that is in proper order will help you find things easier which is a good time saving technique and stress-busting measure.

Retail Therapy is more like retail addiction…..

I am sure you have probably heard girls (or guys) talk about needing some retail therapy. It is human nature to want stuff and many of us love to shop but is it really therapy? The answer to that question is no. Yes, we get this natural high off of zipping through the stores and exposing ourselves to all of the temptations that line the isles. It feels good (temporarily) to get some cool gadgets and nice new clothes. Before you even realize it, you are headed to your car with bags upon bags of goodies and a hefty charge on your credit card or a much leaner bank account.

Some of us do not even make it home before the guilt of overspending takes its hold and starts making us feel worse than how we felt in the first place so shopping is not therapy. When you actually need things you should shop and be picky with your spending but do not ever emotional shop. Going further in debt is not the way to simple living.

Give yourself plenty of time in the mornings…..

None of us like to rush around. Rushing creates stress which causes a chain reaction of bad things even before your day can get started. Wake up early enough in the mornings so that you have plenty of time to get ready for your day with peace of mind. Eat a healthy breakfast and get in a good routine. Enjoy some relaxing music while you get ready to tackle the day, or spend a little time practicing meditation to invoke calm feelings to get you going.

Go to bed at a descent hour so that you are able to get up earlier. It is always a good idea to remove yourself from busy distractions like TVs and electronics at least an hour before bedtime so that your mind can unwind and relax. Reading a good book before bed will help you relax so that you can get ample sleep.

Make time to spend with family and friends….

Many of us spend more time working and fulfilling commitments such as ball games, events we have signed up for and other duties in life than we dedicate ourselves to what matters the most and that is time spent with family and friends. If you need to slim down your schedule and turn down commitments in order to make the time for your personal life, then do it.

Time spent with those you love will simplify your life and bring things into perspective because it will force you to slow down and notice the most important aspects and help you understand what you are really working for.

Keep your schedule in check and do not over-commit…

Again, taking on too much responsibility and too many projects is a recipe for a hectic and stressful life. Talking about complications! Before you say yes to the next project take a look at your schedule and see if it will fit. If it does not fit, it is ok to say no. Remember a good healthy balance of work, fun, family and downtime is what will create a simple life.

Set time limits on how much time you spend on any certain commitment….

I am guilty of not doing this. I get in the middle of a project and keep working and before I know it I have spent the whole day on that one thing. Then I find myself overwhelmed with every other chore that is still demanding my attention. It may be a good idea to write out a schedule detailing what the daily schedule will be and how much time will be dedicated to each task.

Another trick that will help is to set an audible timer. Once that timer sounds, stop the task and reschedule it for another date if it is not finished. This may sound complicated but if you are guilty of mishandling your time, it will help get you in order.

You cannot multitask so stop trying….

Oftentimes we think of ourselves as super heroes and we can handle dozens of things at once. The truth is, our minds are only built to give our undivided attention to one thing at a time. If you think you are multitasking, what you are really doing is scattering your attention and thoughts from one thing to the next and so forth and are doing nothing more than losing any train of thought you had when you originally started.

Instead of getting several things accomplished as planned, you are getting nowhere and find yourself feeling overwhelmed. The best way to solve this problem is to take note of what you have to do for the day and set priority levels to each task. Do the higher priority tasks first and one by one work your way through the list. You will find you work more efficient this way, things actually get done faster and you do not experience the stress.

Make a budget and stick with it….

Everyone needs a budget and a plan on how to properly spend their money. I think money itself complicates life. We all know it takes money to survive and buy the things we need but the things we want is one of the ways a budget is blown and money gets out of hand (literally!) If you create a budget and follow it precisely, you will find yourself saving more money and simplifying your life.

It is important to save money for an emergency fund, set aside discretionary spending money and limit the amounts you spend. The less you swipe your debit or credit card the better off you are. It is easier to track your money if you pay for miscellaneous items with a cash allotment rather than with plastic.

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Halloween Decorating

Halloween Decorating

Are you thinking about Halloween Decorating? Many people just put a Jack-o-Lantern on their porch and are done with their decorating for the spooky holiday. There are actually many more ways to decorate than just one lone Jack-o-Lantern.

Now if you are looking for something that will scare the pants off of people or ideas that are just plain gross, sorry, you will not find them here. The decor ideas that caught my eye are more along the lines of cute, classy, charming, creative and maybe dusted with a tad bit of spooky.

Let’s explore some cool Halloween home decor.

Halloween Decor Carve several pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns and add a twist by just carving in some shapes. Get creative and showcase them on your front porch. Halloween Decorating Dress up your fireplace mantel with some cute Halloween decorations. I love the idea of hosting Halloween candy in a vase, using spooky vine, charming yet enchanting garland introducing All Hallows Eve and a sweet craft idea as a backdrop. Halloween Decorating Courtesy of WDWMAGIC

I fell in love with this one at first sight. If you have larger sized porch posts or a balcony this is an eye-catching way to make it magical for the season. Halloween Decorating Draw attention to your home with this idea. I bet some passersby may even drive back by for a second look. Talking about charm overload. An old wagon can be the perfect prop for loading up with bales of straw, Jack-O-Lanterns, pumpkins, mums and happy scarecrows. Halloween Decorating Make a circle of ghosts in your front yard. It is fairly simple and inexpensive to do yet it will surely invoke a spooky feel to your home.

 Halloweendivider

  Halloween Decorating A creepy idea for your fireplace mantel. Gravestone decor, simple leaf garland and pumpkins work easily to add some Halloween dress up in this home.   Halloween decorating Paper bats hung upon your front porch are sure to create a creepy effect. Halloweendivider Halloween Decorating Add loads of sweet to your Halloween decorating. This idea is really cute. The simple little tree (a small branch painted black) filled with orange balls decorated with Halloween style is eye-catching. Add some more interesting items into the mix a pretty little wreath and you have created something that will entice your guests to attempt to mimic your talented creativity. Halloween Decorating I really like this one! Makeshift witch brooms, pointy shoes, and a cute plaque work great for the front porch. This scene makes it feel like a real life witch lives there. Maybe one does……. ohhhhhhhhhh. Halloween Decorating Drum up a feast for gules with this Halloween table decorating idea. An orange table runner, black candelabra, small pumpkins, a lantern and some very realistic black birds make this dining room unforgettable.

Do you have a child or maybe it is you that needs a great costume for Halloween?  Possibly you are anticipating an upcoming Halloween costume party. Those are always fun.  If so, I recommend you check out the awesome Halloween costumes featured below.

fall decorating ideas

Decorating Ideas for Fall

So I am at it again. Looking for the best decorating ideas for fall to inspire me and to inspire you.

It may be hot now but I know it will not be much longer until the autumn breeze starts blowing and I trade in my short sleeve shirts for some warm and snug sweaters. Can’t you tell I am ready?

I have found a wealth of amazing autumn decorating ideas and it was really hard to pick out my favorites because they are all so great.  However, I have narrowed it down to what I think are some of the most awesome ways to give your home and your front porch a breath of fresh air for the season of fall.

fall decorating ideas with wreaths

Courtesy of Puddy’s House
I absolutely love this wreath! It really speaks autumn with a mix of rustic love. The variety of colorful flowers are amazing.  A nice fall wreath will dress up your door for the season and make your front porch look appealing.

Decorating Ideas for FallCourtesy of Decorating Ideas Made Easy
Another charming wreath for fall. Sweet little pumpkins, pine cones and burlap mix well together don’t they?

Fall Decorating Ideas for those of us who like to sew….

Fall Decorating ideas with pillows

 

I started sewing this past year, never thought I would but I love it! You can make so many lovely things cheaply not to mention exercise your creative spirit. A simple way to decorate your home for fall is to make some lovely autumn inspired pillows. You will be amazed at how quickly pillows can change the look of an entire room.

DIY Burlap Pumpkins

Another sewing project you will enjoy is the simplicity of this fall decorating idea! I am completely in love with burlap pumpkins and this DIY project is so easy. You can decorate any room in your home with these charming little guys. Thanks for sharing with us adiamondinthestuff, I cannot wait to make several for some of my family and friends.

fall decorating ideas

Courtesy of Deniseinbloom.
If you have a fireplace mantel. Make it pop with some vibrant fall colors. Be creative. Things that you can find in your own yard can really make your fireplace stand out and demand attention. Look for pine cones, acorns, colorful leaves and anything else that you can find which will enhance the look of fall.

Decorating Ideas for FallPhoto Courtesy of Eatwell101.com
Remember that your decorating ideas for fall should include a seasonal look for your dining room table. There are many budget friendly ways to create a warm and inviting autumn scene in your dining room. I thought this sweet arrangement with the white pumpkins is classy. The pops of orange stands out and compliments the entire table setting.  The sweet votive candles create a nice atmosphere for having a meal.

Decorating Ideas for FallFairy tale pumpkins are some of the most charming and ornamental ways to decorate your home for fall. Stack them in pots and planters. Add some of your own ideas to the mix.  Stenciling works great on pumpkins and really adds some creativity to your design.  Metallic paint will turn an ordinary pumpkin into an eye-catching piece of decor for your home.

Decorating Ideas for FallUse metallic gold spray paint to gild your pumpkins in gold by simply spraying the pumpkin and wiping it off quickly before it dries. This gives it this lovely look. Top them with a pretty little bow and perch them in flower pots. A simple fall decorating idea that creates a lasting impression.

Decorating Ideas for FallAn old withered chair, leaf garland, Indian corn and pumpkins will bring a porch corner to life.Decorating Ideas for FallTurn junk into treasure. An old homemade table and bird house gives this porch some country charm for fall. If you have old vases or pitchers sitting around your home. Fill them with twigs that boast colorful fall leaves.

Decorating Ideas for FallA simple design yet oh so pretty. Make your pumpkins cute with lovely ribbons. Use baskets, crates and anything else you have lying around the house and load them with gourds, pumpkins of different sizes, straw, moss and other items that represent the natural look of fall.

Decorating Ideas for FallKeep it budget friendly by decorating your table with some cute little fall decor that you can pick up at your local hobby store, Target or Wal-Mart. A lovely tablecloth can make an instant change in your dining room.

love yourself

5 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Others Think of You

If I were in a room with a large group of people and I asked how many of you are concerned about what other people think of you I bet the majority of the group would raise their hands with an astounding yes.  Why do we make it our mission to try to please others. How can we work on building self-confidence when we are so worried about what everyone thinks?

Could it be that we are raised in a society that teaches us the importance of how people view us? At an early age we are taught how to look a certain way for different types of functions and events that we attend and if you take time to sit back and notice, it is a fairly standard “dress and behavior code” across the board.

Building Self Confidence

We learn what is We learn considered politically correct, what appropriate mannerisms we should have, how to speak our opinions and beliefs with tact and what restrictions are placed upon us concerning our behaviors out in public. No wonder by the time we reach adulthood it is pretty commonplace to be a bit overly obsessed with what others think about us!

The problem is when we seek constant approval from others and are so preoccupied with how they view us; we lose focus on being ourselves and living as we are meant to live with our own passions, ideas and desires. How can we really live and achieve true happiness if we are only reacting in a robotic fashion to what society expects of us?

Here are a few ways to help you get back to living for you and stop worrying and obsessing over what others think which will help you with building self-confidence.

1. Ask yourself, in the general scheme of things does it really matter what they think of me?

I learned a long time ago regardless of how many times I bent over backwards, crawled in the mud and did everything I thought was necessary to portray a perfect image according to the standards of society and those around me I would still never be able to please everyone. Everyone is different and everyone has different viewpoints and interprets things in a different way.

Even if you feel you have chosen your words very carefully, the odds are that you will run up on someone who may find what you said offensive. Does it really matter when it comes down to your life in general? No. You should focus on how you see yourself and not what others think. Confidence and a good self-esteem are built on your own feelings of self-worth. Never be ashamed of doing the right thing and following what you feel is the right path rather than what is considered the trend or popular opinion.

2. Realize that being different and unique is an asset rather than a problem.

Think of it this way, who gets noticed in a sea of faces and how can you pick out one particular apple among a hundred?
Having a unique character is what makes us who we are. Oftentimes it is easy to try to mirror other people that we admire. We fall into the trap of envying another person’s lifestyle and what we think they are is who we want to be. If we think they live a picture perfect life (or what we consider to be perfect) it makes us desire to be like them even more.

Regardless of another person’s aspirations, successes and accomplishments, you need to just be you. We all have our own place in this world and our own goals to achieve. How would the world be interesting if we were all the same? Being unique and letting your true personality shine is one of the best ways to build self-confidence.

3. Live by your own truths and wisdom picked up along the way.

Even if you are scared to death, stay true to yourself. Speak what you know is true and do not offer falsehoods because you think it will satisfy others. There is no such thing as a white lie. In order to control your own destiny and not let others control you, sometimes you must speak your mind absent of fear and worry. Let whatever happens just happen.

Majority of the time you will see that it will open up doors of opportunity rather than shut you out. People admire others who stand up for themselves and voice words of honesty more than they look up to people who are considered fake because they live in fear and just follow the crowd.

4. Haven’t you heard opinions are like butt holes, being everyone has one?

Everyone has an opinion and some voice it much more than others but either way the opinion is still there at least in the form of a thought present in their minds. Whether their opinion of you is a pleasant one or one of loathing, remember it is their opinions and their problems not yours. The only opinion that should matter to you is how you think of yourself.

We are all guilty of judging another by how they look, speak or act not because those things are necessarily bad, but rather because it is different from us. Work on building a habit of being less judgmental and forming opinions of others and make it your goal not to worry about what others think of you.

5. Come to an understanding that people are more caught up in themselves than thinking about and over analyzing you anyway.

The truth is if anyone is forming an opinion as to what they think about you or are judging you, how long do you really think they are dedicating their time to this? Most likely not very long. Why veer off course of your goals on building self-confidence because you are too busy fretting over the judgment of others? People are more into themselves than worrying about keening a constant watchful eye on the lives of others.

Our fears of others constantly watching us and critiquing every step we take are simply nothing but fears. Our own insecurities and lack of confidence is what places us in this worrisome state. Focus more on building your self-confidence, staying on top of your goals regardless of what others think or say and working towards your own ideas and you will feel what it is like to be free.

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