"I can’t take it anymore!"
Those thoughts have gone through my mind before and most people will experience this thought at some point. It can be a hard place to turn around from, but the good news is, there’s so much we can do to prevent getting to burnout and that feeling of being unable to continue.
The WHO gives these main characteristics of burnout:
- Depleted energy and exhaustion
- Negative feelings, cynicism, and a desire to distance oneself from work
- Feeling unable to continue to be professional and effective
Before we get anywhere near this, there's plenty of things we can do to help ourselves keep holistically healthy and feeling our best. Here are 6 top things we can all action right now:
- Get me out of here
If you struggle being at a desk or in one spot for a prolonged period of time, make sure you get outside when you can. There’s something refreshing about taking a walk outside, even if it is just a quick walk down the road on your lunch break.
I know it’s nigh on impossible to get a whole night of sleep if you're a parent of young children and I’m convinced baby brain is something that doesn’t go away, but sleep has a direct link to your brain functions and your emotions. If you can get to bed early, do it! It can feel like a sacrifice when you just want to wind down in front of the TV for a little longer, but If you turn off the TV, set your phone aside and make sleep your priority, you’ll be reaping the rewards in bucketloads.
- Have a word with yourself
What are you telling yourself in your thoughts? Do you say you can’t do things or that you’re no good? Do you build yourself up and believe you can? What does God say about who you are? A good starting point would be to make a list of the things that God says you are and start speaking those into your thought life. I am loved. I am chosen. I am more than a conqueror. I am very good. If you catch yourself talking down about yourself in your thoughts, have a come back like this - “I just don’t think I can do this”… “but I’m doing my best and I will make progress a step at a time. I’m not alone.”
- Write it down
There’s something therapeutic about getting your thoughts on paper. When overwhelmed or your thoughts feel muddled and too many, give it a go. Write down how you’re feeling, what’s happening, what things you have to do, what’s going on and see it in black and white. If there are things you can change, do it. If you can’t, cross them off your list and throw the paper away or rip it up. So satisfying!
- Rhythm of rest
In music, rhythm a strong regular, repeated pattern, and we need to make rest strong, regular and repeated in our lives. We are not made to work non stop. Find ways to build in rest each day, week and annually. Spend time with loved ones, relax and make boundaries for work time and rest time. Resist the temptation to believe that busyness equates to success. Rest will make you more productive in the long run.
- Are you having a laugh?
Make time for the family or friends who will share your burdens, listen to you, give you encouragement and also give you loving warnings if they see things in you that indicate you might be burning out. Having people watching out for you and you being able to listen is so important. Having fun and laughing on the regular is underestimated. If you can create a work and home environment that’s fun to be in, it will help you stay with it for the long haul and you’ll enjoy it more, even when there are things that are more difficult to do. We could all do with laughing a little more each day.
What things would you add to the list?