Have you ever felt emotionally drained? Well, it seems that there is work, but it causes only persistent antipathy and rejection, beloved customers begin to irritate, and previous successes no longer inspire. You stop meeting deadlines and don’t worry about it at all. You treat projects somehow detachedly, you perform them without any enthusiasm. You don’t care.
To the complete apathy is added chronic fatigue, when it is still morning, and you no longer want to do anything. Sound familiar? This is a real burnout. Having experienced this problem for myself, I was not only able to cope with it, but also learned lessons for the future. And now I want to share with you my experience.
Why am I “grieving”?
I began to analyze where this burnout could have come from. The last year I often had to work in the time pressure mode. The cycle of projects and clients, constant negotiations in the key of “I want this – I don’t know what”, endless revisions and revisions. Urgent bookings on weekends, when the family wants to go to the country or to the beach, and you have a deadline.
Crumpled vacation in an embrace with a laptop. And most importantly, I passed each project through myself, plunging into it with my head. Because she’s a perfectionist. Because who, if not me, because I can’t do it any other way.
It turns out that under the influence of constant stress, the body turns off emotions to protect itself from severe emotional overload. This is a kind of energy saving that does not allow our internal “light bulb” to burn out. The reasons may be a tense rhythm of work, strict framework for its implementation, increased responsibility, insufficient financial or moral motivation, lack of other interests besides professional ones.
Psychologists consider burnout to be a pre-morbid condition. And if you let it go by itself, then the development of psychosomatic diseases is a stone’s throw away. Therefore, it is very important to stop in time and change your rhythm of life.
After the problem is identified, you need to start fixing it. It would be correct in such a situation to contact a specialist who will put everything on the shelves and help overcome the crisis. But I decided to try to cope on my own. And you know, gradually life began to play with new colors, and work began to bring pleasure again.
I will share with you the methods that helped me recover:
- First of all, I needed a full vacation. But since in the near future it was impossible to go somewhere far away, it was necessary to act on the circumstances. On the weekend, my daughter and I decided to visit the rope park, where we had been going for so long, but because of my workload we could not get out. For me, it was a real extreme, because I am afraid of heights. But each passed level brought incredible emotions and was a small victory over myself.
And the next weekend we went kayaking. Peace and contemplation of nature – nothing better has yet been invented to clear the brain and regain interest in life. In general, any active rest will help to emotionally unload and open a second wind. And it is advisable at this time not to mentally talk with clients and not to discuss work on the phone.
- I stopped grabbing all the projects that come to hand. Choosing the most interesting of them and not spraying on everything, I noticed that I began to work more efficiently. To do this, I had to learn to say “no”, but I no longer had to postpone deadlines, work on orders at night or squeeze 150 tasks into my working day. Think about it, is it really necessary now to embrace the immensity, if on the other side of the scale your health and peace of mind?
- Yoga courses, to which a friend led me by the hand, turned out to be very useful. Any physical activity gives the body the necessary balance between the physical and emotional state. There is no balance and the whole structure collapses. Through movement and sport, we are energized without giving stress any chance. Agree, devoting time a couple of times a week to training or evening jogging is not so difficult, and being in harmony with yourself is priceless.
- I have a new hobby – I embroider with beads. You know, I always wanted to learn it, but I drove the little dream deep into a corner where it had to live until mythical better times. It was during the period of emotional burnout that I came across a long-forgotten blank for embroidering delicate violets in the box, and my hands reached for beads and a needle.
Since then, I have not only a job, but also a hobby that paints everyday life with bright colors. Yes, professional success is still important to me, but life consists not only of working moments. Fishing, photography, knitting, figured sawing with a jigsaw – you can have any hobby, as long as it brings joy and pleasure.
- During the day, I allowed myself to take small breaks to switch between tasks or just get distracted from work. A walk in the fresh air and a cup of fragrant tea helped best, but reading a couple of pages a day of your favorite book also had an invaluable therapeutic effect. Even a short afternoon nap put my thoughts back on track. The main thing is to properly organize the workflow, leaving room even in a tight schedule for such a breath of fresh air.
- Another point that turned out to be perhaps the most difficult for me. How to get rid of excessive perfectionism and the desire to please everyone? Try to treat criticism philosophically, do not try to meet someone’s expectations. Allow yourself to make mistakes and be imperfect, otherwise guilt and anxiety will gradually devastate you. Learn even from failures and don’t stop there. Just do your job as well as possible and learn to enjoy it.
How I Got Out of the Burnout Trap
It took me several months of working on myself and rethinking what was happening to return to a full life. And even though urgent projects and unscheduled orders are still slipping through my schedule, but I am learning how to properly distribute my capabilities.
Labor feats are certainly wonderful, but now I find time for new impressions, and for everyday pleasant things, and for a holiday with my family. At the first sign of anxiety or fatigue, I allow myself to switch and collect my thoughts. So I became much calmer and more confident in myself, and thanks to this, my productivity increased significantly.
Of course, in order not to burn out again and again, you need to make some effort, and this is oh how difficult. Writing about it is easy, but forcing yourself to take even a small step from a vicious circle is incredibly difficult. But it is much easier than then collecting your emotions bit by bit and unraveling the effects of stress. Therefore, treat responsibilities and responsibilities as constant companions of work, but never allow them to drive yourself into a corner.
On the Way to Harmony
Life is not only a challenge, but also a series of amazing moments and amazing opportunities. And it is very disappointing if, due to constant stress, we do not notice the elementary trifles that can make us happy. Do you really think that if you slow down the pace or stop for a moment, the planet will stop spinning? Not at all!
Let the fresh wind into your life. Don’t take on too many responsibilities that you can’t do. And as soon as you feel that you are starting to burn out, immediately take action. Let every business bring you joy and satisfaction!
And what are your ways to deal with burnout?