The Therapy Guy

Burnout and the struggle to balance everything

July 29, 2021 The Therapy Guy Season 2 Episode 15
The Therapy Guy
Burnout and the struggle to balance everything
Show Notes

Burnout is what happens when constant stress causes you to become physically and mentally exhausted.

Often the only people who don’t recognise burnout are those who are experiencing all of the symptoms, because highly motivated, driven, high-functioning, ambitious people can have great difficulty believing they are unbreakable.

A favourite phrase when you are in the midst of this is to say ‘I don’t know how to relax!’ like it was some kind of badge of honour. 

EVERYONE needs to rest. Watching Netflix for a couple of hours on a Sunday is not a weakness. Going for a walk in the park is not a waste of time. Reading a book is not an indulgence.

The first step is to realise that you have burnt out or are running headlong towards it.

The way you are currently living your life, the way you think about yourself, the choices you make, the people you surround yourself with, can be causing you overwhelming stress and leading to your burnout.

Well for one, stop thinking that you are superhuman. You are not, and they don’t exist. 

You have a finite amount of energy and you need to use it wisely.

So, what are the 10 things that could help you recover from burnout?

1. Use your annual leave.

You are not indispensable, they will cope without you.

2. Calm your mind

If you are anything like me, I had constant chatter going on in my brain which I just couldn’t switch off.

It wasn’t just physical work that was making me tired, it was all the mental work as well.

I tried loads of things. Meditation apps, mindfulness, joining a gym and actually going. 

3. Sleep, like you’ve never slept before

Turn off your alarm clock on weekends. Have a long lie in.

4. Get creative

You know when you were young, and you would just sit happily for hours with your colouring book, or build Lego castles or make a den out of your duvet and bed sheets.

 But just do something that is purely for fun and just for you.

5. Schedule your relaxation time.

This was a hard one for me to get my head around (and I still struggle with it a bit) but making time to relax is as important as making time to be productive.

Put a block of time in your calendar to do this, and then MAKE yourself do it.

6. Reduce caffeine intake.

Caffeine is a stimulant. It’s all too tempting to try and push through the tiredness by drinking vats of tea and coffee but this will only make it worse.

7. Shut your phone up.

I spent hours trawling Facebook, reading pointless Twitter articles and looking at photos on Instagram.

Enough was eventually enough, so I ended up deleting all of them for a while. 

I’m pretty sure the answer will be ‘no’ to all of these questions.

8. Admit that you are struggling

Tell your boss, tell your partner, tell your friend. Tell anyone!

If 50% of people in the workplace struggle with anxiety and burnout then you are NOT ALONE.

I guarantee you that if you are given 10 things to do, those 10 things do not have equal importance.

So, what now?

To be completely honest, I didn’t logically follow each step in a calm and steady manner.

What worked for me may not work for you. This isn’t an exhaustive list of hard and fast rules. Just try a couple and see what works out, and if it works for you then keep doing it.

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