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.
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!