3 Ways to Reduce Burnout (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 62)
“Think I’ll go eat me a doughnut and take me a nap.”
— Ray Bradbury
Burnout is an emotional, physical, and mental state of exhaustion resulting from stress. As stress builds, we begin to lose interest and doing things that we once enjoyed doing. We feel ineffective in our day-to-day tasks and begin to doubt our competence to reach goals and objectives at home, work, and school. The more overwhelmed we feel, the less we are able to meet demands on our time, energy, and resources.
It can be hard to keep a clear head and open heart when circumstances have taken up residence, and we are consumed by the everyday tasks of life. Dysfunction and a lack of productivity often are the outcome when we carry loads of stuff that we were never meant to carry in the first place. Since we were never meant to live this way, we can be free and whole on the inside and out.
We have the power to choice to experience wholeness and balance in life. Here are three ways we can do that:
1. Take the time to rest. Rest is not the same thing as sleep. Many people sleep without resting, but few people rest without sleeping. Take a break from the daily grind to walk on the beach, go to the spa, watch a movie, or simply sit outside and watch the sunset. Rest may feel like you’re doing nothing at all, but doing nothing is sometimes the most active thing you can do to rejuvenate your mind and body. Rest helps keep life balanced.
2. Learn to say “No”. If you feel like you always have to say “yes” to everyone and every project that comes your way, you will rarely get anything worthwhile done. “No” is one of the most important words in the dictionary and one of the many crucial lessons you will learn. You can’t do everything; if you try, you’ll end up doing nothing. You must learn to reject thousands of things in order to focus on that one thing that is essential. Sometimes, it isn’t about what we do, but about what we don’t do that makes the difference. So, learn to say “no” and mean it.
3. Declutter your space. If we’re honest, much of our personal space — our office, our house, our dorm room, or wherever we spend the most time — is pretty cluttered. A cluttered space is often reflective of a cluttered mind. It is hard to get anything done with massive amounts of papers, books, boxes, documents, and files surrounding us. The task of cleaning up may seem overwhelming. But you will enjoy a breath of fresh air mentally if you remove the clutter from your space.
The human mind and body has incredible capacity to heal, rewire, and rejuvenate itself. We simply have to let it. Intentionally train your life to be calm, resilient, and mindful of the present moment. Choosing to rest, to laugh, to reflect, and to clear away the unnecessary things from our lives does not undermine the important work we have to do. It enables us to do it better, stronger, and smarter.
“When you’re a passenger on an airplane, you are told that in the event of a change in cabin pressure, you should put your mask on first and then assist your children. You can’t help them if you are unconscious. A similar principle applies with your day to day health.”
— Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett