Burnout

Afraid of getting burnout? With these 7 tips, you won’t get overworked

Jolanda Meijer
by Jolanda Meijer
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One in seven people report suffering from burnout symptoms. You may also feel that something is not right, but you don’t allow yourself time to think about it. Moreover, it’s chaos in your head because you have too many balls to keep in the air at work and at home. So you don’t get your thoughts organized and just moving on seems the best thing to do. Being overworked is not an option for you.

This usually works out for a long time but after a while your body gives you signals of excessive stress such as sleeping badly, worrying a lot, having a short temper, insecurity or anxiety and low energy levels. You feel you have no more leeway. You are almost on a overload

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Prevent worse and take a timely step toward change. With these tips, you can get started on restoring your energy balance yourself.

1. Guard your boundaries

Long-term overstepping your limits is a major cause of overwork and burnout, but saying no to others, many of us find difficult because we fear what others think of us. We are social creatures and want people to respond positively to us. By saying no, we fear disappointing the other person, coming across as selfish or not being liked. However, just like saying yes, saying no is also just an answer.

You have the right to take good care of yourself and therefore say no if something doesn’t suit you. Should you suffer from such nagging guilt, ask yourself if you actually did something wrong or broke a rule. If not, there is no reason to feel guilty.

Practice setting boundaries and train yourself in saying no. Think of a few phrases that allow you to say no (and feeling good about it) to something you don’t want or can’t do. Notice what effect that has on yourself and the other person. It takes some getting used to, but you’ll find that most people actually respond positively and understandingly.” In the end, it will give you more peace of mind.

2. Avoid unnecessary stress

Many of our feelings of stress do not come from real stressful or dangerous situations but are self-inflicted by all our anxious thoughts, opinions or standards we impose on ourselves. Your body responds to danger with a stress response such as fight, flight or freeze.

Now these days we don’t encounter many ‘real bears’ on the road these days, but the thought of what could happen has the same effect on our bodies. So stay in the here and now and focus on the facts and the situation as it really is.

Try not to attach all kinds of things to it that actually are not there (if it’s a mosquito, don’t make an elephant out of it). Distinguish between your behavior, feelings and thoughts. Learn how to regulate emotions and express them better before the bombshell bursts. Clear communication helps you do this. Examine your fears and learn how to better deal with them.

If you already suffer from a lot of stress, coaching can help you reduce it.

3. Preventing burnout is about making conscious choices

Did you know that 95 percent of our behavior is unconscious? So most of the choices you make every day happen on autopilot! You do things the way you’ve always done them, often prompted by your environment and the idea that it’s the way it should be!

If your behavior is mostly aligned with what you think you should do instead of what you want to do, you get further and further entangled in these patterns that eventually get in the way of you moving forward. This, too, slurps up all your energy.

So decide what you want to achieve in your life, choose your priorities and don’t let others distract you. Accept what you cannot change and change what you cannot accept.

4. Let go of old patterns to avoid becoming overworked

Also, most thinking patterns run unconsciously and originate in your childhood. Because you yourself change in the various stages of life you go through, it is good to also consciously adjust the ideas and beliefs that form these thought patterns.

The standards that may have helped you as a child may be more likely to get you into trouble in your present life. For example: always be polite to others, don’t get angry and control yourself, always help the other person et cetera.

Yet it is often necessary to do stand up for yourself and make clear what you want. You can learn how to properly communicate irritation or disappointment to the other person by practicing giving feedback.

Of course it’s nice when you can help another person but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of peace in your own head. Feel free to let go of those old patterns because when you, as an adult try to put on your old childhood clothes, you find that they no longer fit you and pinch you.

5. Take time to deal with life events

Family expansion, divorce, loss of a loved one, layoffs and health problems are examples of life events that cause you to be temporarily out of balance. Everyone has their own way and pace of dealing with loss, others can only assist you and be there for you when you need support.

Take time to regain your balance and to live through loss (saying goodbye to something you were attached to).

Find support from others who don’t advise you what to do or want to pull you out of the pit, but who just listen to you without judgment, let you cry out and be there for you. There is also professional help that can guide you through loss.

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Run into a lack of assertiveness or self-confidence?

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Exercise and good nutrition will help you keep your energy levels up!

6. Fit in your head, good in your skin

Long-term energy imbalance can lead to burnout.

Do you know what gives you energy and what actually drains energy? Make a list with two columns: in one column put your energy givers and in the other column your energy drainers.

Keeping your energy levels up will help you handle stress and difficult situations much better. Make sure you don’t run on empty and that you have more energy givers than -drainers in a day.

Consciously schedule adequate rest and relaxation after exercise and get enough sleep. So do take a lunch break, eat something healthy and then, if possible, take a walk afterwards. Exercise and good nutrition will help you keep your energy levels up!

7. Prevent burnout with a stimulant diet

We all know. We receive more stimuli daily than is good for us. Just think of all the sounds and signals from your phone or email. They distract and create a full head. But it is difficult to resist everything that comes our way.

We are curious and any apps or other forms of attention are addictive because it activates the reward system in our brain. But it also creates unnecessary stress, we are constantly on alert and may be startled by certain messages, and it is distracting, making you less able to work efficiently.

Therefore, it is better to make a conscious decision to regularly put your smartphone out of reach and (temporarily) shut down social media, including on your tablet or laptop.

Finally, accepting and letting go

Accepting and letting go of what you cannot change is, of course, a rational tip. But it’s true. You have little or no control over many things in your life. This accepting and letting go can also play out for you when it comes to becoming overworked. You can create an illusion of control in your mind with little effort. In the short term, that will give you some relaxation. In the long run, it causes tension in you because, of course, it’s fake. As you head toward burnout you start trying harder and harder to keep up the appearance of control. As a result? Even more excitement. And that’s just what you didn’t want.

Accepting and letting go means taking reality as it presents itself. That you are aware that in essence you have little control. That you move with the wave instead of swimming against the current.

Free introductory call,

Run into a lack of assertiveness or self-confidence?

Want to get rid of that, once and for all? Then my 1-on-1 coach approach is really something for you. Lets get acquainted first, no strings attached. See if we have a 'click' and if I can help you.

> Schedule your free call now

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