How to deal with burnout?

Saturday, 22 September 2018

When people say 'make sure you take a break, you don't want to burn out', 'you can't keep going without burning out',  'you're going to burn out', listen.

Take in what they are saying and realise that burn out is an actual thing and your mind and body cannot simply keep going without rest. And by rest, I mean switching off, allowing yourself time away from work/studying, family time, socialising, days off, not just 1 hour off an evening.

I made the mistake of keeping on and on with no proper break. From GCSE through to A Level I studied non stop. Hours and hours of work and studying, every single day. From September.
1) This was unnecessary (in the quantity I was doing it)
2) Yes I achieved good grades but I am also burnt out.

I was warned, but I didn't listen.
I am a workaholic, which in some ways is great. I am productive, motivated, determined and will always put in 110% into whatever I do. However, balance is so important. Taking a minute to gasp a breath of fresh air is essential.

I suffered from burnout for 3 months after A Levels. Why? Because I did not let my mind rest.
I studied so much that I lost what was important, I didn't think into the future, I did not spend time socialising and overall my priority was studying.
You forget to actually LIVE.

But I don't regret it because I have learnt form it. I have learnt that you have to have a balance between life and work, because it is actually counter productive to not find that balance and to work constantly.

I am slowly finding things I am passionate about, blogging being one thing, I am practising ways of relaxation and stress management. It has taken 3 months to get over, relearning that it is ok to take a break and rest and catch up on all the things you've missed out on.

Symptoms of burn out:
- Exhaustion: physically and mentally
- Feeling fed up
- Inability to concentrate on one thing
- Dreading things you used to love
- Negative thoughts
(not limited to, just some examples).

If you think you are also suffering from burn out, I want to share with you my ways of dealing with it.

 1) Don't beat yourself up for feeling this way, you cannot help it. Working hard is something to be proud of, obviously going to far and burning out is exhausting but now youve realised that you have done too much, do something about it! Speak to someone about your work load, can you cut it down? Can you manage time differently? Can you have cut off points?

2) Take time to focus on self care, your mind and body need a break. Have a bath, watch a film or a tv series, have a pamper night every night for a week. Take time to re-energise and re-focus. You may want to follow my pamper routine here.

3) Find cut off points (briefly mentioned). Promise yourself that after 5pm (for example) you will not reply to an email, you will not look over work notes, you will take time to yourself to relax- and stick to it! Cut off points are really helpful because you are recognising it is time to stop and letting yourself have time to wind down.

4) Go to bed earlier, catch up on any sleep you've missed from stress! If you normally go to bed at 12, go to bed at 11. It could make the whole world of difference, don't burn the candle at both ends.

5) Find a way to release all of your stress: running, walking, blogging, painting, drawing, going to the gym etc... Find something that makes you feel empowered, that is not working!

6) Laugh more, spend more time with family and friends- this will naturally make you feel happier, at ease and relaxed.

7) SPEAK! A problem shared is a problem halved. Bottling up your stress and emotions will make things worse and only adds more pressure and guilt. Speak to someone you trust and maybe they could even help you rest more and make sure you don't overdo it!

I really hope this helps you and you find a way to recharge and find a healthy balance!

Ellie x

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