Have you ever felt like no matter how bad you want to you just can’t get started because you’re stuck in what feels like several feet of mud? You may be suffering from burnout, particularly if you have been super-busy for a long-stretch. Burnout sucks! (And that’s to put it mildly). If you’ve ever suffered from it, you know how hard it is to get started again, and you know how badly you wish you could have avoided it.
Taking breaks is just as important as being productive. I know a lot of people throw the phrase “life balance” around, and it can seem like balance is just not possible, particularly in 2017. Here’s why you want to strive for it anyway: Your body and brain have a way of making you stop when you’re doing too much. Not only can you suffer from mental burnout and adrenal fatigue, but pushing too hard for too long can do long can lead to long-term physical effects including weight gain, heart problems, and depression.
What Do You Like to Do for Fun?
It’s amazing how many people cannot answer this question, but it’s so important to have things you enjoy – whether it’s getting out and taking a stroll in a park or it’s knitting. Don’t say you like to work for fun – that’s just going to lead to more burnout – and if you do things you love for work (write, craft, etc.) make sure you have other things that you do to decompress.
Schedule Down Time Each Week
Put your down time on your calendar each week. If you schedule time for it, you’re more likely to do it. Consider making plans with a friend or family member to engage in the fun activity – that will help to keep you accountable.
If Your Schedule is Full, Say “No”
“No” is not a bad word. Look over your obligations. What do you already have on your plate? If you are already close to being booked or overbooked, there’s no shame in telling someone you don’t have the bandwidth right now. Even if you do decide to say “yes” now, make sure you don’t make a habit of overbooking yourself, and schedule some extra time off after the busy period is over.