6 ways to avoid burnout

Overworking yourself at the expense of a healthy lifestyle is never a good idea and believe it or not, it is possible to be an overachiever and take good care of yourself. Try these simple solutions to avoid stress, exhaustion and poor mental health…

Stop comparing yourself.

Remember taking exams at school and wondering what grades your friends achieved? Those kinds of thoughts and feelings tend to follow us through life and while making healthy comparisons can stir your competitive side, it can also lead you into the dangerous territory of devaluing yourself and your achievements, causing you to agonise over your self-worth and abilities.

Know it is okay to say no.

When working yourself to the max and piling more onto an already intimidating workload, you leave yourself no alternative but to start over-promising, cutting corners and under-delivering. There’s nothing wrong with having realistic goals and occasionally putting your foot down with a diplomatic, “no”. Some things are just not possible and you may well go mad trying to disprove the facts.

Learn to manage stress.

Stress is an unavoidable, it accompanies any job, but learning how to navigate your way through it effectively is paramount. Try practising relaxation methods like deep breathing to help keep your cool, or writing in a diary to offload worries and thoughts. Practise positive thinking, too. This is easier said than done but by monitoring your thoughts you’ll find you slowly gain more control over stressful situations and begin to feel more in control. Don’t let stress own you.

Make your holiday count.

Burnout is linked to growing feelings of contempt and negativity about work, so leave the worry and strain where it is and banish thoughts of your job at the weekends and during time away. Use your holiday as free time to recover from the things that cause you stress, not to intensify them.

Manage your expectations.

Women often grapple with society’s expectation they should have it all; the partner and family, the house, the soaring career, to name a few. Maintaining a genuine and professional attitude at all times and toward all tasks, no matter how menial, will successfully advance your career. Never feel like anything is beneath you and try not to feel that you should be doing better than you are. Should is a dirty word and everyone has to start somewhere. Having high expectations of yourself is a good thing, just make sure you make them realistic and embrace your current situation and self.

Get the best out of exercise.

Getting your adrenaline pumping is one of the best cures for stress and sleepless nights. A hit of endorphins will reduce the likelihood of burnout and help you sleep like a baby after a stressful day. Just be sure to enjoy it in moderation and mix up your sessions and classes to ensure your body has time to rest and recuperate. It might even be worth taking a power nap after your class to balance things out. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

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