Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Your to do list grows by the day and you rarely seem to be able to check everything off to give you a clean slate? You are being pulled in 10 different directions at the same time and you feel exhausted by the evening, or before the evening even hits?
Life can get hectic at times and it’s all too easy to get swept up with the pace of things and completely forget to take care of your personal needs.
But when things start getting too much and overwhelm sets in, when you can’t remember the last time you had a natter with your best friend, it can be really beneficial to take a step back, take a deep breath and try and put things into perspective.
If you’re on the road to burnout, the sooner you become aware of it, the better. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the fight or flight state. Too much time in this state leads to stress, anxiety and a number of hormonal reactions which if not dealt with, can lead to a host of unpleasant physical symptoms too. Plus, when you are burnt out, you are your least productive self.
Sometimes getting perspective can be achieved by asking yourself a simple, sharp question, such as if I continue the way I am, what am I going to regret in 5 or even 10 years? Would it be not spending enough time with loved ones? Not taking better care of your health? Not having more fun, or any fun at all!? Take a moment and answer this question.
Right, now we have a little more perspective about “life”, we can now start to change things and focus on our personal needs more. Here are some steps to consider to get you started.
Turn off your phone notifications
These annoying distractions are mostly unnecessary and will take your attention away from what you are focussing on. A simple, innocent Instagram notification could well lead you down a rabbit hole of watching reels that will benefit you in no way whatsoever. Also, you don’t need to respond to every email as soon as you receive it. Block out half an hour and drill through them all in one go for the day. By focussing on one task at a time, will really help you to feel in control and on top of your workload. You also don’t want these pesky notifications going off when you have finished working and are trying to wind down. Honour “you time” and do something that will recharge your batteries and make you feel good.
Listen to your body
It will always tell you what it needs. Like when you’re hungry and need food, or tired and need sleep. When your body and mind need rest, it will communicate it to you in some way. When you listen to it and actually slow down, you will have more energy, more focus and your productivity will increase. Ignoring it, will lead to burnout and even more struggle.
Once you’ve acknowledged the need to slow down, choose your favourite way of relaxing. Whether that’s to meditate, take a nap, go for a walk, take a long bath or anything else that takes your mind off work and life and onto the present moment. Never feel guilty about self-care, in fact, you should feel guilty if you don’t practice it enough!
If you find your racing mind difficult to tame and switch off from, then try journaling. I find this most beneficial to do first thing in the morning or last thing at night, but anytime works!
Write down anything and everything, it’s better out on paper than whirring around your mind. Once it’s on paper, it will feel less overwhelming, and it will help you to prioritise tasks. Write down how things are making you feel and if anything is blocking you from moving forward with it. I find that journaling allows more creative solutions to come to me as the problem is no longer stuck in my mind and I am able to get some perspective on it. This exercise will help you to feel more in control and clear on taking the next steps that are in your best interest.
Life is all about balance and ultimately about love and joy. If those are not your prominent feelings, then it’s time to re-assess your situation and make changes. The more you spend your time overworking, and reacting to what is happening around you, the more likely it is that you will feel stressed and unfulfilled in life. Work and play should be balanced in order to live your life joyously.
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