How many times in your life have you been so bogged down with all the "life stuff" that you feel completely burned out? Your mental faculties are lower than normal, your emotions are completely overwhelmed, your ability to handle normal everyday life and tasks is shot. You’re not sleeping, you may not even be eating or drinking enough. Too many plates in the air means eventually something is going to crash.
My first suggestion and recommendation for breaking out of burnout is to STOP. Stop everything. Hands off. If it breaks, it breaks. Let everything go except for your 4-walls. Food, clothing, housing, transportation. If it’s not any of those 4, let. It. Go. It’s going to all fall apart, and sometimes that just has to be ok. The reason you're burnt out is because you've got your fingers in too many pies. You're doing too much, something has to go. It's going to feel so weird. It's almost going to feel wrong. But it's not. Sometimes we have to let it all break.
Suggestion #2 is to dump everything out of your head. Grab a notebook or journal and write down all the things on your “to-do” list and everything that you are doing. All of it. By dumping it all out of your head and onto the pages you’re dumping all of the muddy water out of your brain. Don’t take too long with this. Write everything down. EVERYTHING. Do it quickly and when you find yourself sitting for about a minute with nothing else to write, stop.
Third, I highly recommend feeling the feels. You’ve just gone through a brain dump exercise and I’m sure that brought up some feels. Now is the time to feel them. Give yourself a predetermined amount of time and feel whatever it is that has come up. I suggest no more than an hour because we’re not trying to wallow in our own negative emotions. This isn’t emotion soup.
Maybe you're feeling angry because you think you’ve let your family down. Then feel mad. Or maybe you feel like you’ve made things harder on your partner and you feel guilty. Give yourself that time and space and feel all of the feels and identify them.
Suggestion #4 is to forgive yourself for anything you need to. Forgive other people too. Use whatever method of forgiveness works for you and if you don’t have a preferred method, I have a self healing guide on my website. Click here for the free healing guide!
My 5th recommendation is to go back to your brain dump and prioritize. Look up Steven Covey’s 4 Quadrants. This is an awesome tool for prioritizing! The basic concept is you want to spend the vast majority of your time in quadrant 2, where things are important and not urgent. Quadrant 1, important and urgent, would be a looming deadline or a house fire. Quadrant 2 is something important but not urgent, meaning you have time to complete it and can schedule it out. Quadrant 3 are things that are not important but urgent like your doorbell or phone ringing. Emails also fall into this category if you don’t schedule in time to check and respond to emails. Scheduling email time helps illuminate the “FIRE” feeling, which adds so much more stress. Lastly is quadrant 4, which are your not urgent and not important tasks. DELEGATE THESE OR SIMPLY DELETE THEM.
Bonus suggestion: MEDITATE. 15-20 minutes every morning. Your life will totally change. I harp on this all the time because it is that important!
Bonus recommendation: Now that you’ve deleted some things off of your to-do list, schedule in some self-care. Some people think of self care, and they automatically think about sitting in their bathtub for two hours with candles lit and soft music playing and essential oils. Which can absolutely be self care. But not always. Sometimes self care is taking a nap because you're tired. Sometimes self care is taking a walk, because you sit behind a desk all day. Sometimes self care if going to the gym. Sometimes self care is skipping that bowl of ice cream and drinking some fresh, juiced vegetables instead. Self care can be a lot of things. It doesn't always have to be the things that we automatically roll our eyes at when we think of them. Self care can be stopping for a minute and asking yourself, “Have I drank enough water today? No, I haven't. I'm gonna go drink a glass of water right now.” That's self care.
Burnout is something that takes time to work your way into, and it will take time to work your way back out! Be easy with yourself and give yourself the time and the space you need to recover. Burnout can affect you physically in powerful ways so use these tips to slowly, one step at a time