Abby at New Urban Habitat recently shared an excellent post on recovering from burnout.
Today I’ll take the conversation a step further: why are you burned out? what can we do to prevent it from happening again?
Have you taken on (or been assigned) too many responsibilities? Are you in a profession that is a poor fit for your interests and strengths? Do you have underlying health or relationship problems that are exacerbating the problem?
From Abby’s post:
For me the key is not avoiding burnout (or any other emotion), but learning from it, developing resiliency – bouncing back. That’s why I’ve been accumulating these strategies for inevitable bouts of burnout:
Resiliency is a fantastic trait but I’d argue that prevention just as important.
When I was ten my brothers and I came down with the chicken pox. It was a miserable, itchy experience that left behind a constellation of scars from the largest sores. Yes, we are probably immune for life now but I would have much preferred to be immunized against this disease as a small child instead.
A few years ago I became burned out. The process of figuring out what I needed to do to become happier was incredibly valuable. I have an arsenal of skills at my disposal if or when this happens again. More importantly, though, I know what I can do to (hopefully) prevent it:
- Eating a healthier diet.
- Enforcing better interpersonal boundaries – no is complete sentence.
- Avoiding caffeine and refined sugar.
- Transitioning to a career better suited to my personality and interests.
Then again, burnout to me is something to be taken seriously. It isn’t one bad day…it’s a month, season, year of them.
What do you do to prevent burnout? Do you agree with Abby when she says “as the years pass, I’m more accepting of life’s seasons, of natural cycles of dormancy and energy, of the inevitability of falling into ruts”?
(Photo credit – Sebastian Ritter.)