I have heard this so many times. Strong, high-performing individuals are in denial about the extent of their exhaustion. "If only I could have a vacation" is a common sentiment many feel. Having the girl's night out or that dream vacation will somehow cure your fatigue and frustration.
The problem is, you can't outrun your problems. You can't simply take a break from your life; everything will be better when you return. That's not how it works. If you're feeling burnt out, you're running on empty. You're not taking care of yourself. You're not doing the things that bring you joy. You're not taking time for yourself. It's time to reevaluate your priorities. It's time to put yourself first. It's time to make some changes in your life. Otherwise, you'll never feel rested, no matter how many vacations you take.
I was once burnt out, and I was empty. I think there was also a "hole" in my tank. I spent over a decade running on full steam. I was loyal to my work and what I felt was a calling. I was motivated to help my patients improve their health. However, I needed more boundaries when taking on more work than I should have. Boundaries, where I let people take advantage of me, not putting my foot down, and saying, “enough is enough." I push my physical stamina boundaries, going for days, weeks, and sometimes months, working every day. I wasn't exercising regularly. I wasn't taking to appreciate the moment each day and savor different experiences. I was burnt out but didn't realize it, even when other people cautioned me that it might happen.
In a survey performed with Deloitte, they reported that 77% of the respondents said burnout in their current job. Burnout is at an all-time high in multiple specific industries, healthcare, education, and many blue color jobs. Burnout is a result of a combination of our actions, the actions of our work, and the more extensive system in which we live; we have repeatedly had "withdrawals" in our life instead of more "deposits." In physics, we would equate burnout as a problem with energy balance. Burnout is an energy bankruptcy.
How did we get here? We can look at several reasons, but I think it comes down to this: we have forgotten how to rest.
Our "always on" culture is constantly bombarded with messages telling us that we should be doing more, achieving more, and hustling harder. We are told that we're not valuable if we're not working. This message is everywhere - from the ads we see on TV to the posts we scroll through on social media. And it's having a significant impact on our mental and physical health.
We live in a world where sleep is a luxury, and taking a break is often viewed as lazy or unproductive. I have had to change my opinions on sleep and having that balance without feeling guilty.
Let us look at burnout for what it is and work on the root challenges. A superficial fix, such as a vacation, would not solve burnout. After all, how many people go on vacation and remark, shortly after returning home, "I need a vacation from the vacation." The burnout crisis will get more complicated if we continue using Band-Aids to address burnout.
We often think we can work harder and longer to compensate for the lost energy, but that is a very myopic way of looking at things. A better way of looking at it is our overall energy balance. We must understand where our energy comes from and what depletes it to do this.
There are four primary energy sources: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. When one or more of these energy sources are depleted, it can lead to burnout. To avoid burnout, we must find ways to replenish our energy to maintain a healthy balance.
Look for healthy ways to relax, recharge yourself, and make time to do them. If you set your priorities wrongly, you will be under stress. For instance, people think they will feel better if they do things perfectly or if they are responsible for many things. They forget that the sole reason why they do many things or try to do things perfectly is that they want to feel happy.
Those who end up feeling better about themselves cut the number of things they do and their stress.
Make happiness the highest priority of your life. There is a variation of the things each specific person finds fun and relaxing.
Below are some healthy ideas you can use to relax and recharge yourself:
Take a warm bath
Place a call to a caring friend
Spend time outside
Write your thoughts in a journal
Get a massage
Play a game
Read an interesting book
Eating some comfort foods
Sit and watch a fantastic view
Listen to soothing music
Connect with friends and families
Watch a funny movie
Spend time with a pet
Protect yourself from the negative effects of stress by building a strong support network of friends and family members. Enhance your life by spending time with people with a positive view of life.
Do things you enjoy because this is a great way to reduce stress. This can play a big role in recharging your engine every day.
You must not do these things alone, you can spend time connecting with people by doing things you find fun and enjoyable.
Many of us believe that to get something good in life, you need to work hard to get it. This can lead to having a wrong approach toward life. You need to take things easy and have an easier perspective on life to ease off stress. Going about life in a stressful way keeps you from reaching your expected results.
Make feeling good a priority and take brave steps to reduce stress by having a joyful life. You can live life in a better way by cutting stress.
You can have a good life full of health, joy, and freedom if you live a stress-free life.
If stress, and burnout, are impacting your life, please feel free to book a free initial consultation to see how I might be able to help you get the energy and passion back.