We live in a world that glorifies being busy. Busyness nowadays became a status symbol. When a person is busy there is the assumption that they are important and successful. Our society glorifies physical and emotional self-neglect because it is heroic to sacrifice yourself for others.
Self-neglect usually means that we are working hard for success. A famous quote by the Dalai Lama says that humans are funny little beings. We sacrifice health to make money and then use that money to recuperate from illness. We, humans, also tend to be always anxious about the future instead of enjoying the present.
A lot of people are in denial or maybe they are unaware that they are suffering from burnout. How do you know that you are suffering from burnout? Here’s a check list:
- lack of sleep
- not eating well
- no downtime
- no time for loved ones
- no exercise
- no personal development
- negative work culture
Now here are the signs and symptoms:
- fixation on problems
- loss of self-confidence
- lack of energy
- unable to feel happy
- loss of interest
- weight loss/gain
- excessive guilt
- decrease ability to concentrate
- suicidal thoughts
Do you know what condition these are similar to?
Burnout is the more prestigious cousin of depression. (Let that sink in for a moment and reflect on it)
Here are the ways to prevent burnout:
It is simply time management. Think of your 3 priorities in life. Now schedule around those priorities. I hope that you put YOURSELF as number one. Stop feeling guilty about putting yourself first. You cannot take care of other people if you do not take care of yourself first.
Here’s an example:
My 3 priorities
- Me =)
- Mi familia (this includes my daughter, my significant other and my loving parents)
- My business (Working on Resilient Mind Works and DivaGirl Philly is my passion and working on them makes me happy and fulfilled)
Then everything else gets scheduled around these three important things. If you are the type of person who loves the “To-Do List”, do not fear. I am the same way. All day ideas, requests and things come up and my To-Do List keeps growing. It’s okay because by Friday, Saturday or at the latest, Sunday, I plug in each item on my To-Do List to my calendar. Of course I had my 3 priorities already scheduled for the week — for the whole month, and I just plug in everything else on all the other days in my calendar. Makes sense?
For example, yoga is what I do for myself, without it, I can be a truly pain in the butt person. Even I don’t like myself when I haven’t done yoga in a few days. I schedule my yoga classes first thing in the morning. It’s an hour of “me time”. I also love reading therefore that also gets scheduled in the morning everyday. Tuesday is my All About Quincey Tuesday, where my daughter and I spend quality time together like going to a museum, play dates, going to the zoo, visiting library or Barnes & Noble, driving to the beach etc. Thursday is my date night. Got it? Now try it!
2. Be In The Here & Now
It can be hard sometimes to be in the moment. It is challenging sometimes to stay focus, but we need to keep reminding ourselves that it is our duty to give something or someone our undivided attention. Deadlines are met because of focus. Connections are made because we focus on that person. Happiness is reached when we stop and “smell the roses” to enjoy what life has to offer.
How do we do this? As simple as this might sound, it can still be hard to turn off distractions by just simply focusing on the task. We live in a very distracting world where everything is on our phones. Therefore, turn it off. Remind yourself that it is your duty to give someone (or something) your undivided attention.
3. Surround Yourself With The Right People
Surrounding yourself with the right people gets you inspired, motivated and excited. Sometimes this means that you have to let go of some people (family or friends) who bring you down. Unfortunately people like our families and close friends cannot understand our desires to be a better version of ourselves that it is hard for them to support our dreams and wants. They usually mean well but they are afraid that your endeavors will take you away from them or is too risky for you to even try to achieve them. Therefore its okay to find a community or other people who will inspire you, understand you, support you and lift you up.
For example, being with the DivaGirl community and being surrounded by like-minded women who are positive, supportive and encouraging inspires me to empower other women. Being around ambitious, goal oriented and community driven women makes me want to be just like them! Another example is being at WeWork, which is a community full of amazing entrepreneurs who always have great ideas and who are always open to helping others achieve their business goals and dreams. Being in this environment fuels my creativity side and it is inspiring to see other people who came from humble beginnings and see them so successful and happy! So change your environment if the one you have right now is not helping you grow.
4. Self Care
Take care of yourself. You only have one body and one mind therefore invest in it. Invest the time and the money in taking care of yourself first. How can you be of service to others if you do not take care of yourself? If your job is taking care of people (doctors, nurses, teachers, life coaches, etc.), then it is hypocritical to tell others to take care of themselves if you do not take care of yourself first.
Go ahead, go to that yoga class, get a massage, relax, exercise, read a book, eat right, go to seminars, go to therapy, hang out with friends who believe in you, go for a walk… Do something that will make YOU happy. Do something that will let the endorphins flow in your brain and make you happy!
5. Get Professional Accountability
You cannot do everything on your own. You need someone who will hold you accountable for your actions. If you want to be happy, successful and be able to meet your goals, you need to find someone who can help you achieve them.
Who are these people? These are the mentors, trainers, coaches, therapists, pastors, etc. in peoples’ lives. I’m sorry to tell you that your family and friends may not be the best people to go to for this because — you know, they can take it easy on you or you won’t take their challenges (or them) seriously or honestly they too need professional help themselves.
Here is my example of my professional accountability team (These people are professionals therefore they do get paid for their time and expertise. Not all of them are expensive, so the excuse “it’s too expensive to go to a therapist or get a mentor” is not acceptable.):
My Business Mentor — DivaGirl CEO
My Counseling Supervisor/Mentor — PhD.
My Therapist — LCSW
My Financial Advisor — Practical Wealth Advisor (NOT a financial investor)
My Fitness Coach — Still looking for someone who is the best fit for me
See? Even I have my own therapist! To be honest with you, you can’t just go out for drinks and tell your friends or the bartender about your issues. Why? Because first, you just gave the bartender more reasons to give you more drinks so you can give them more money. Second, you just gave your friends something to gossip about and make them feel better about themselves.
Ask yourself, “Do my family and friends really listen to my problems or needs?” Ask yourself, “Do they really give me good advice that truly benefits me and not them?” This is what professional accountability comes in. Find someone who will listen to you with empathy and without judgment.
There you have it, the 5 Ways to Prevent Burnout! Remember these five things: 1. PRIORITIZE — better time management, 2. BE IN THE HERE & NOW — stay focused/give undivided attention, 3.SURROUND YOURSELF W/THE RIGHT PEOPLE — right environment, 4. SELF CARE — take care of yourself and 5. PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY — get a mentor, a therapist, coach or advisor.
Take care and ciao for now!