5 Tips for Burnout which ACTUALLY work

Self care. I know, I know. You’re sick to the back teeth of being told to relax or take some time for yourself. It all sounds a bit rich, doesn’t it? As if you hadn’t thought of that. You’re already working silly hours, holding the house together, keeping on top of the laundry, trying to eat 5 vegetables a day, keeping the kids alive – oh, and time for your partner as well. Good luck trying to find time for a mindful bath!

This said, you know it’s right. We do need these things to feel human again. How can we ever feel recharged if we don’t ever plug ourselves back in? Here’s some tips I’ve found really help to cut through the noise and can fit neatly beside your already busy schedule.


1.)    Boundaries.

Again, I know this is easier said than done. But ask yourself – did you really need to sign up to that new project at work? Have you been taking on too much in your personal life? Can that 3rd load of laundry this week really not wait? If we really put our minds to it, we’ll see – there is still room for ourselves. I know it doesn’t feel like it – as if we owe our time to everyone else first, but this is not the truth. In fact, we owe it to ourselves to say ‘no’ more. Being assertive is not the same as being aggressive and a simple: “I just don’t have space to fit that in right now (whilst secretly knowing the only thing your schedule says is: “Netflix Binge”)”is actually completely fair enough. Heed my words: If you don’t make time for your mental health now, your mental health will make time for you later

2.)    Switch that big ol’ brain of yours off.

Here’s a fun (depressing) game for you. Think about the things you’ve been worrying about today. Here’s a confession – today I worried about Christmas. It is August. A clear indication that my brain is working overtime right now. I need to ask myself – this thing that I’m worrying about and using up my precious mental capacity on – do I actually have any control over this right now? Could I change any aspect f it at all even if I wanted to? No? Thought not. The truth is you will never feel recharged if you spend your life engaged in future-fantasies or ruminations from the past. This isn’t about being 100% mindful and Zen, just merely encouragement to check in with how you are spending your mental energy, and whether or not this is truly serving you. And if you’ve invested as much time today thinking about Christmas stockings as I have, it probably isn’t.

3.)    Excuses, excuses.

The biggest factor that prevents people taking care of themselves? Excuses. We spend our whole lives telling ourselves that “I can only relax after all the jobs are done”, or “I need to make sure everyone I know is perfect before I can focus on myself”. But seriously, how does that even make sense? It does not appear to be reciprocated so let us assume that belief is not universal. Whether we learned it from our parents, society or Walt-bloody-Disney: It is a fallacy that your mental health is worth less than another person’s. So, relax that brow, unclench those shoulders, take a deep breath and ask yourself: “What do I need from myself right now?”. You deserve nothing less.

4.)    Do one thing everyday that nourishes you.

I love that word – nourishes. It reminds me of a baby. Perhaps this was the last time we ever were nourished, when someone else was doing it for us? Today, I want you to think about nourishing yourself as you would a child. We care so much if they’re too hot/ too cold/ too hungry/ too gassy/ too sleepy. When was the last time you showed yourself this level of care? When did you stop thinking you deserved it? Do you think this is fair enough? Didn’t think so. Nourish yourself with your favourite book, some alone time, a mid-week treat. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you remember to give yourself what you need. At the end of the day, you’d never wish the way you treat yourself on a baby, so why do it to yourself?

5.)     Let one thing go.

Just one. Just a small thing. Could you be less sociable? Do you have to make that dinner with friends? Does it really matter if you don’t hit the gym this week? You’re exhausted. The fact that you’ve read this far tells me so. You need some time away, some time to heal and recharge. You owe it to yourself to just be kind just this once. Don’t worry about letting other people down, they should probably do the same thing you are! You can’t be everything to everyone all the time. You need to be enough for yourself as well. There are no prizes for business, after all.

Ready to start beating burnout?

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