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Self-care

Burnout: Energy Depleted

Hi friend. You read the title, and I assume you are here because of burnout. As a result of working long and tedious hours, you are experiencing such low motivation, exhaustion, irritability, and depressive moods. You are now trying to figure out what to do. I feel for you. I’ve been there- not knowing how to handle my burnout symptoms and trying out different approaches that didn’t even end up working. The struggle is real, especially for those who work in California’s Bay Area.

Much of the research address burnout prevention, which is pretty frustrating in my opinion. Of course you can prevent it, but executing such awareness can be difficult in a fast-pace work environment. By the time you even read an article on burnout prevention, you’ve already burnt out! Although you may not find an immediate cure for your symptoms, you can still manage them.

Here are the burnout-alleviating approaches I find helpful for myself:

1) Being kind to yourself.

It use to bother me that I wasn’t doing anything at home during my days off. I would be lying on the couch with my neurotic mind screaming at me. “Why aren’t you doing anything? What’s tired? You’re so lazy.” Rather, give yourself some positive affirmations and tell yourself its okay to rest. Don’t be ashamed of taking a break. Being kind to yourself will even prevent you from snowballing up unnecessary guilt.

2) Taking it one step at a time. 

At this point you’ve lost almost all motivation. Maybe you have another big task but just don’t feel like doing it. Thinking about the next project may be too explosive for you. I’ve found it helpful to put the last bit of energy I have into my next step, even if its a small one. Give yourself some praise for getting up from bed and putting both feet on the ground. Such a small step will lead to another, and eventually to your bigger project.

3) Keeping work things at work. 

We’ve all been there. We continue to think about work-related tasks at home (unless you work at home, then go ahead and rephrase this). You’re home for a reason. And that is to rest and recharge, and perhaps to spend time with your family and pets. So when you start thinking about what to say to your client in the middle of your day off, tell your mind to stop. Some of you may not agree to this due to different work ethics, but I would encourage you to make your days off as “sacred” time.

And that is all I have in the meantime. Please comment or share about your own helpful tips!

Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. -Ronald Regan

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Psychotherapist and Associate Clinical Social Worker; emphasis on Families and children, and k-8 school systems. I love Jesus, my husky-bull, my reptile babies, hiking, and making music! In an ever so changing world, I hope to help you help yourself find some peace!

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