If you're a human being, you are no stranger to burnout. We all experience it whether professionally, personally, or a hot mix of both. As an entrepreneur who struggles with perfectionism, compulsive working, and a laundry list of other super fun things (if I was a cocktail I'd be called OCD on the beach - with an extra shot of sunscreen please), burnout is something I've learned to manage over time. Here's what ALWAYS helps me even when I don't want to do any of it during that time of brain fog, exhaustion, and no-longer-giving-a-sh*ttery. 1. STOP AND BREATHE
Put the phone down, drop the pen, close that folder on your desktop. Just. Stop. Take 30 seconds to do some juicy belly breaths. Yeah yeah, we've all heard the take deep breaths BS but do you actually do it when you've hit burnout? This will supply oxygen to your brain and help you regain focus, which you'll need just a tad bit of for these next steps.
2. RESCHEDULE OR CANCEL
You need time to rest. There's no way of getting around that - you can't push through burnout like it's a bad Hallmark movie - "it's almost over, I just wanna see if the relationship with this lady and the ghost she's in love with works out." NOPE. So, whip out your calendar and take a GOOD look at it. Ask yourself these two questions about each appointment, task, or event written in your schedule for the next 7 days: Can this be rescheduled? Or, can this sh*t just be deleted from ma life? Be honest with yourself, are these actually set in stone? Or, are you putting unnecessary pressure on yourself? Is it early enough to move your dentist appointment to next month without being charged a fee? Do you really have to organize your entire kitchen this evening? Can that lunch with your aunt's best friend's neighbor wait 'til next week or maybe never? Free up as much time as possible for the next 7 days. Do it, I'll wait. 3. PEACE AND QUIET Since your brain is fried, you're gonna wanna avoid stimulation for a bit so it can recoup. Get off social media, lay off the audiobooks and podcasts, and don't answer calls and texts (even from people you love, you can catch up later - ok unless it's an emergency I get it). Basically, anything that requires you to retain information, adios! Now.....sleep. Whether it's a 10 minute power nap or going to bed 3 hours early, get your butt to bed ASAP. 4. RELAX AND RECHARGE
Now that you've cleared as much as your schedule as possible for the next 7 days, check in with what you need. I like to call this intuitive self-care. Do you need another nap? A bath? A walk? A burrito? What makes you feel taken care of? Do that with your free time for the rest of the week.
5. PROCEED WITH CAUTION Once you've regained some strength, don't just jump right back into the madness. In order to prevent future burnout, give yourself some guidelines. Rules that have helped me: I try my best not to do more than 3 "big" tasks per day, I MUST wrap up my work by 5:30pm, and I have to give myself two full days off per week. Of course I'm not perfect with this, life happens, but I follow-through a heck of a lot more than I don't and it's made a huge difference.
Was 7 days of burnout recovery not enough? Repeat steps 2-4.
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