I’ve noticed over the last week or so that we are all feeling really burned out. I’m not sure if it’s the time of year that means it now gets dark at about 4:30 pm, or the fact that we have all been working so hard to meet our goals by the end of the year, or the overwhelm we all start to feel as the holidays loom and expectations and obligations become too much to bear.
REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE, WE HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION IN MY ACCELERATOR MEETING LAST WEEK AND BRAINSTORMED STRATEGIES FOR FIGHTING BURNOUT.
None of these are all that original, but I find that when start to feel like I’m out of emotional gas, I can’t even think straight enough to remember these.
1. Make time for self-care. This can mean exercising, spending time with friends, or heading outdoors, even if for just a few minutes. Making time to take care of our whole selves is critical!! Even if it’s five minutes in the garden, that can make a huge difference.
2. Get enough sleep. At our meeting last week we determined that half the group is not sleeping enough.
3. Exercise gratitude. Many women talked about how helpful keeping a gratitude journal can be.
Every morning or every night, write down three things you are grateful for. It brings clarity and purpose to your day and reminds you of the good things in your life.
4. Engage in continuous learning. I know a number of people who stop what they are doing at some point in the day and try to learn something new. That can mean reading an article about a topic you are unfamiliar with or even looking at a piece of art. Getting those mental juices flowing in a new way can be very motivating.
5. Give yourself some time off. I had one client who had worked every weekend for the last six weeks in order to keep up. No wonder she felt burned out!! I suggested she mark off two weekends a month on her calendar when she wasn’t going to do any work. She needed the time and mental space to re-charge. Sometimes, the only way you are going to get it is if you block it off on your calendar.
6. Track effort, not outcome. Some goals are big and are going to take you a while to achieve. Track the effort you are putting into that long-term goal instead of just measuring if you’ve gotten there or not. There is a motivational benefit to seeing your progress along the way.