Burnout is epidemic.
Most people go through their day unaware they are headed for burnout. The constant distractions, typical today, lead to an over stimulated stress reaction. Without a game plan to concentrate your energy and focus, you move from one interruption to the next. Research has discovered that distractions increase irritability and produce a false sense of urgency. This sets off the stress reaction. When distracted you do not recognize changes in your body and your attitude.
Our nervous system is hard-wired for survival and the brain unhooks from higher level thinking functions when the stress reaction is triggered. This means your perspective shrinks.
Chronic stress causes health challenges like high blood pressure, immune problems and contributes to mood and anxiety issues.
Did you know 80% of the reasons people go to their doctor is for a problem caused by lifestyle issues?
Think about your own reaction to stress, how do you respond? Does any of this sound familiar?
Eat more carbohydrates, fast food or convenience foods?
Drink more wine, beer or alcohol?
Exercise less, avoiding the gym because there is no time?
Sleep less because of late night activities to unwind?
When stress is allowed to continue unchecked, you are at risk for physical and emotional problems creating a downward spiral. Our nervous system is designed to adapt and to keep going, in the worst of circumstances for a limited period.
4 Tips to Avoid Burnout
1. Stick to your healthy routines – no matter what.
When work is demanding or life is challenging, continue to exercise—even if five to seven minutes a day. Keep a small weight at your office, wear ankle weights, do stretches in your office. Instead of buying the high fat, high carb comfort foods, buy salads and acknowledge your need for comfort.
2. Indulge in healthy comfort.
Rather than zone out on social media, late at night, to unwind. Sip chamomile tea, listen to beautiful relaxing music, take a bath, use essential oils. Make these comfort routines part of your day. Experiment and find healthy ways to comfort you.
3. Tune into you.
Self awareness is your greatest defense against burnout and stress related health challenges. During the day do a head to toe check. Set a timer on your phone or do the scan right before something you are already doing every day. Take a deep breath, slower and deeper than usual and on exhale, scan your body from head to toe. Where is the tension, tightness, fullness? As you bring your attention to the area, tell yourself, “I release and let go.” Now breathe in peace and exhale that tension. This will take 15 seconds.
4. Have clearly identified goals.
Knowing what is most important will keep you from getting distracted and caught up in activities that may be “nice” to do but are not in line with your main goal. Identifying your goal and keeping it in the front of your mind will keep you from saying yes to activities you should not be doing now.
Burnout is a serious problem. When you ignore the risk factors you squander your potential and your health.
Take charge. Be the solution.
Next Steps …
This is a 1:1 coaching program to strengthen your emotional intelligence and build resilience. Resilience is your capacity. When you learn the skills that will activate your resilience, you are a more effective leader. you also enjoy yourself more!
About the Author
Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, PhD
Performance Expert. Pioneer of the Resilient Mindset. Executive Coach.
Having worked with hundreds of leaders, Dr. Howard has developed a model of leadership effectiveness that unleashes the authentic presence of leaders for better outcomes, consistently.