Using the 3 R’s of ‘recognise, reverse and resilience’, here are my top 10 tips for noticing and dealing with burnout.
- Stop, look, and listen – your body will tell you exactly how you feel as long as you stop long enough to tap into actually how it is feeling. Ask yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 ‘how satisfied / happy / in control / busy you feel?’. Pick your word to measure and then ask, what score you would like it to be. You’ve taken a quick bodycheck that you can now decide to work on.
- Accept or convert – we may not be in control of what is happening around us or even to us, at times. Whilst we have no real sense of choice, we can choose how we deal with the situation. We can accept it with peace or convert the situation into an opportunity where we can find a positive emotion to see the situation from a different perspective.
- Be goodish not good – we all have an impossible image of ourselves as being super kind and considerate, operating without bias, free of mistakes and always working at our best. In other words, being super-human. Well we are not, in fact research suggests that only 40% of our thoughts are conscious, so 60% of our time we are operating on autopilot. So rather than jumping to a long list of behavioural changes needed for you to suddenly become amazing – remove the inner conflict and accept that you are goodish.
- Do one small thing – we are typically awake 1000 minutes a day, so what if the first 2 minutes were a happy one, where we could set the day up as positive. What one thing would you like to achieve today? Write it down, put it in your pocket or on your desk and just aim for that one small thing and then cross it off once it’s done.
- Find those mindful moments – if you had a choice of having a hot bubble bath or a cold acid bath, which would you choose? Of course, the bubbles win every time but when we are feeling anxious, numb, stressed, over worked we can forget to bathe ourselves in the wonderful feel-good natural chemicals of endorphins and serotonin. Just taking 2 minutes to look at something we love, listen to something that we can get absorbed in, or feel something - even it it’s just washing our hands; will lead us to mindful moments that release those natural highs.
- Invest in you – we can feel stretched between work, home, family, or friend’s commitments that we can forget about us in the chaos of the day. Instead of rushing your morning or afternoon cuppa by multitasking, instead take your cuppa and sit back, move to a different space or even go outside and just take that time just for you.
- Make someone else feel good – we know that by doing something kind for someone else not only makes them feel good, but ourselves too. We know that when someone else smiles, it is infectious, so take a moment to send a text, call someone, or do an act of kindness for someone in your family.
- Create tiny habits – we often think that when we need to change something in our lives, it has to be big, really significant and life changing. We may have decided to be more than just goodish, but according to BJ Fogg, to create lasting habits we need to first find something really small to do differently, like 2 push ups or one less cup of coffee, and then tag the desired new habit onto something you are already doing.
- Begin with the end in mind – for many of us, working from home has left us feeling as if we never escape from work. What we are in control of is how we start and end our working day. Some people walk around the block, get into ‘work clothes’, turn on their phone or PC when it’s work time and equally switch them off when it’s home time. Create a routine that helps you both start and end your day.
- Positive fuel and forgiveness – we all know we should drink more water and less caffeine, eat more fruit and veg than carbs and chocolate, cut back on alcohol and cigarettes…. I’ll not go on, as we all know it’s true. Instead of trying to stop doing the things that are felt as ‘treats’ why not take them along with the ‘good stuff’ – like a coffee and a glass of water or a chocolate bar and a banana. Treat yourself with healthy options and forgive yourself for wanting the treats.
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