Cars need to be taken care of. Cars need oil changes, gas refills, body touchups, and mindful drivers. Without being taken care of, cars break down.
We, as people, are the same way. People need environmental changes, soul refills, body workouts, and mindful thoughts. Without taking care of ourselves, we will break down.
The breaking down of people is better known as burnout. Burnout is the downside for those of us who are high-achievers and hard-workers. As one myself, I know exactly what it is. I am sure many of you guys can relate.
Being passionate about our occupation, we will work so hard and so fast that we put 100% into our professional goal and 0% into our personal life. This eventually ends up being fatigued, stressed, unable to sleep, anxious, angry, and depressed. Thus, we will not be able to function properly and become burnt out.
There are four stages associated with burnout. In my social work studies, I have learned that burnout comes in four stages. I find them so familiar and applicable in many phases of my life and I’m sure they will be to you!
Let’s use a job as an example. The first stage is enthusiasm for getting the job and starting anew. The second stage is stagnation when we do not get a promotion as quickly as we want or the work becomes very repetitive.
The third stage is frustration in acting out on the job, like falling asleep, texting/calling people, and not doing quality work. The fourth and final stage is apathy, which is just not giving a crap anymore and being cynical about work. That’s when the side-effects above start happening.
A few of the following tips can be helpful in avoiding that last burnout stage. Staying enthusiastic about any venture, not only a job, is not easy to do. But there are some ways we can do so.
We can take time off. Either on a vacation or staycation, we can allow ourselves to escape for a day, a week, or even a month, if we can do it!
We can have friends who understand. Having friends who are in the same field, school, or grind as us can be so helpful. They will be there to vent and celebrate, as well as support.
We can go to therapy. Therapy is still stigmatized, but still so important. I have a therapist who helps me in times I feel burnt out. Talking to someone who is not super attached to our life and our vision is nice at times when we just want an extra ear or outside advice.
We can practice mindfulness. You guys had to know I would talk about this one. We can take time to tune in with ourselves and our bodies in many ways, including guided or moving meditation (yay yoga!).
We can seek a mentor. Mentors are the bomb. They are connected to you and voluntarily make themselves available. Seek someone who you look up to in your field, ask them to mentor you. I bet they will have wisdom and guidance since they have been through it before.
We can learn new skills. Last week, we talked about continuing our education and this ties in well with burnout! Learning a new skill that can benefit us in our journeys can keep us feeling fresh and not stagnant.
Let’s start taking care of ourselves like we take care of our cars. Burnouts are going to happen when we do not refuel ourselves. There are many stages that lead to us breaking down, but let’s recognize it before we get there.
When we start feeling bored or tired of where we are, let’s really evaluate what we can do. Maybe we can spice it up with a class, maybe we can talk to our mentors, or maybe we can vent to a friend.
No matter what, we can avoid feeling burnt out. We can make it through without being tired, fussy, angry, and hopeless about our journeys. There’s ways we can avoid burnout and there’s ways we can continue staying lit!
I hope this message helps you along your week. Are you feeling the burnout coming on? Feel free to reach out and comment below. We are all in this together.