After I published my last newsletter, I had many reactions from people thanking me for my tips and my insights. I talked about burnout. This word is scary, vague, and almost a taboo subject. Our society created burnout. I saw too many friends and family literally break down because of the stress, anxiety, pressure. And it is not only because of the workload, but it can also be linked to personal issues.
I share with you today my last newsletter and feel free to reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to have your insights, experience or need help with your current stressful situation.
Going back to work is never easy, whether it is after the weekend, the holidays, a sabbatical or a parental leave. You feel rusted, tired, and it takes time to find your routine and feel comfortable again.
After a few weeks, you have your habits, your colleagues, your team. You feel right, motivated and excited by your new challenges.
Sometimes you feel something is missing, you’re not passionate and fulfilled by what you’re doing. You keep doing because you have too, and that’s ok.
In some situations, you will never feel comfortable and relaxed at work. It is too much for you and you are burned out. When you’re at this point or close to it, it’s time to stop.
Don’t wait until it is too late because it will cause you serious wounds and it will take time to heal and recover. And you will never be the same.
What are the signs that show you that you are close to this dead-end?
- It’s the beginning of the week, and you are already longing for the weekend.
- Every day is a bad day.
- You are always tired.
- You feel disengaged and unmotivated on most days.
- You are constantly checking how long it is until you can go home.
- You wake up with a tight feeling in the stomach.
- You feel there is never enough time to get everything done.
- You have trouble sleeping.
- You are more often sick, have frequent headaches or muscle pain.
- You are irritated by team members or clients.
- You have thoughts that your work doesn’t have meaning or make a difference.
- You’re thinking of quitting work or changing roles.
- All of the above have been experienced most days in the past three months.
Burnout is described by Herbert J. Freudenberger as “a state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward.”
A core part of burnout is a deep sense of disillusionment.
Exhaustion can be solved with rest and sleep. Disillusionment cannot.
How can you avoid burnout?
Find purpose in your job.
I have always met people passionate about their jobs. I had no idea why and how they found their jobs interesting. They were not always in love with their daily tasks but they know they will help them have an impact and feel purposeful. And that is the most important.
Look at the deeper impact of what you do every day; how does your work make life better for other people? How could you add more meaning to what you do every day?
If you know why you are doing your job, even the most boring part of your job will have more meaning. Some tasks have just to be down. For example, in my job as a coach, and even before when I was advertising, I loved meeting new people, writing, and having powerful conversations. I was never over-addict to building Powerpoint. I’ve done thousands in my previous jobs, they were a way for me to convince clients that I had the right solutions for them.
like to serve my clients and I am deeply convinced I have the right solutions for them, so I accept the fact that I have to spend hours building this beautiful presentation. I even find some excitement and pride when it is finished and well-designed.
Find why you chose your field, your company, your current job. Why are you here today? Reconnect to your first moments, your first feelings, your goals.
Spend time thinking deeply about them.
Are you still in alignment with them?
If you are not, what has changed?
Create more autonomy in your work.
When your work schedule is full of meetings and you do not have time to eat or have a coffee, it often means that you do not have the time to do your work well and you feel frustrated.
Before accepting an invitation to a meeting, ask yourself this question: Will I bring value to this meeting? If you’re not a decision-maker, you can also ask for the summary of the meeting. And use this time to work on your main project (or have lunch!).
What are your priorities?
Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Are you neglecting something that is truly important to you?
To have more control in your planning and tasks, you can use a daily planner to manage your to do-list, mind mapping techniques to feel more creative and think outside of the box, or an action program
Free up time every day to listen to your “rescue” songs.
Songs you deeply love and connect you to your body and your feelings.
Plug your headphones, enter in your bubble, and listen to your favorite songs.
I will share with you some songs I like, they help me to “escape” from my stress or anxiety. They make me travel. They make me dance. They inspire me. They help me breathe again. Some of them make me cry, and it is good because you need to feel again when you’re close to burnout.
Manage your stress by taking care of you
Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health.
When you’re on the road to burnout, you can feel helpless.
Reach out to those closest to you, such as your partner, family, and friends.
Whether it is because you figure out you are in the wrong career or because you are not feeling good, it can be time to see a specialist: a therapist, a career or life coach. It is the first step. Let me know if you need help or referrals.
Make exercise a priority.
Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress and burnout. It may be the last thing you feel doing, especially if you are very tired. Do very simple exercises that you can implement in your daily routine.10 minutes per day is better than nothing.
A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.
Stretch yourself to relax your back every hour.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Get off the subway one station before your final stop. And walk.
Focus on your body and how it feels as you move. Your brain will thank you for stopping thinking, even for a few minutes.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz
Feel free to reach out to share your story.
Life & Career Coach, Founder of Rainbow Life Coaching