Burnout can be described as the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that can be caused by an extended period of stress. While excessive stress itself may feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities, burnout may leave you feeling completely dried up. You may feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and simply unable to meet the demands consistently placed on you.
Burnout can cause you to lose interest and motivation, reducing your productivity and energy levels. Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, cynicism, and resentment may follow. Burnout can impact more than just your work, it can spill into your home life, social life, and physical health as well. Those who experience burnout may not see any hope of positive change. In an effort to minimize its effects, it is important to learn the skills necessary to manage burnout as soon as possible.
Recognizing the complexities of each life and your own unique personality, history, and characteristics, there is no universal guide that will meet your specific needs; individual coaching is key. I have found that some clients may only need a session or two to move consistently in a positive direction, while others may prefer weekly sessions over an extended period of time. Typically, I recommend a 3-12 month coaching timeline and together we will determine the program best suited for your needs. You know how to heal yourself and I am simply here to guide you along your journey.
With that in mind, let's discuss how you can get started managing burnout right now.
Toward + Away
Experiencing burnout requires changes to see results. It does not matter where you start as long as you decide to behave in a different way and take action.
You can always move in two directions: toward a healthy, positive, new behavior and away from an unhealthy, negative, patterned behavior. What is most important, is that you make a change and act.
Your changes may include:
moving toward a healthy new behavior such as increased hydration
moving away from a negative behavior such as donuts from pharmaceutical reps
moving toward a healthy option like taking a walk outside on your lunch break
moving away from a negative behavior like sitting in the doctors lounge and gossiping or comparing stories
What positive behavior can you move toward and what negative behavior can you move away from today?
Intention + Action
The best way to reprogram your life is to take an action frequently and consistently. You can take the first step by setting an intention to change and then move on that intention with a frequent, identifiable, and specific action.
Learning to be intentional and take action is very important for efficient energy use, especially when you are experiencing burnout and can barely find any energy whatsoever, let alone energy for yourself. However, even small repeated actions soon become behaviors stored in the subconscious mind - the autopilot region of the brain, where 95-98% of our thoughts take place. For obvious reasons, we want our autopilot to serve us positively.
Each time you make a decision, you are firing a neural pathway and with frequent firing, you can lower the threshold for triggering that same action potential. With repetition, this process will happen with more ease.
It may benefit you more to walk outside on your lunch break for 10 minutes every day then it will to do a 1 hour weekly yoga class.
A 1 hour weekly yoga class is unlikely to be as transformative as 10 minutes of yoga 6 days a week.
What intention can you set today and what specific action will you take?