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How To Avoid Burnout

Feel like you've been running on fumes? Digging deep but coming up empty handed? Chances are you're experiencing a heaping dose of burnout. Left unaddressed, burnout can ruin your profession, relationships, and routines. 

But that doesn't need to be the case - here are a few ways to course correct to make sure you find the passion, purpose, and meaning within the things that used to just stand in your way.

1) Prioritizing Your Sleep
Burning the midnight oil day after day is a surefire way to bring productivity to a screeching halt. You know it's true. How many times have you heard a friend or coworker say, "there's not enough coffee in the world to get me through this day,"?

Your mind gets sluggish, your focus wavers and you know the thought of working out might bring you to your knees. 

Whether it's limiting your screen time in the evenings, weaning off of the energy drinks or trying out one of the many free sleep apps, it's time prioritize your sleep. Your health and wellness lean on it! Try to make a routine of it, eliminating unnecessary distractions like Netflix, temptations like nights on the town and responsibilities like last-minute deadlines. If you can reschedule, start sooner or push until tomorrow, do whatever you can.

2) Balancing Work and Play
If your job is feeling an awful lot like work lately, you may need to invite a spirit of play into the mix. Can you try a new approach or inquire as to how peers overcome similar challenges? Can your team move a meeting offsite for a fresh experience?

Maybe you even need to tap into that PTO and book a day for yourself to do the things that make you feel alive. A little distance from the day-to-day can help you reset and approach the coming days with more inspiration and energy.

3) Letting Go
Stop trying to solve everything under the sun. Do what you can to make a positive impact on the day before you, show compassion each step of the way and let go of any negativity that tries to follow you home. Life, work and fitness are all marathons. You won't win every day, but you can win most of them if you embrace a proper mindset.

4) Setting Boundaries
Deny the notion that "you time" is selfish. It doesn't have to be the bulk of every week or every day, but conscious personal time is vital to your long-term success. Burnout often occurs from a belief that your time is already spoken for and that there's no choice in the matter. Break the cycle by setting up boundaries in your world. Put blockers on your calendars, say no to the things you really don't want to do, and start saying yes to the things that align with your hopes and dreams. 

If your burnout is a workplace issue, explore the expectations and responsibilities outlined in your job description and take an objective look at whether or not realities align. Tread with grace and diplomacy, but don't be afraid to have constructive conversations about any irregularities or tasks you've inherited along the way that are bogging you down. Be an agent of your own change.

It can be scary. It can be uncomfortable. It can even be a bit exhausting up front. But addressing your burnout early can make the difference between a blip on the radar or a stagnant season of life. Take a stand now for rest, reflection and recovery.