Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of people have had to learn to slow down, which caused many other problems, however it was also an opportunity for people to learn how to enjoy their lives more. Now that we are headed back to some level of normality, the concern stands that maybe we just do too much? I know from personal and professional experience how hard it can be just to take a day off or even a full lunch break! A lot of us feel this innate drive to push ourselves harder and faster, which is one of the leading causes of burnout. That drive can come from many things, such as being told we were lazy as kids (even if we weren’t) or feeling like we had to do more in order to gain security. Even now the main driving force behind most workaholics stems from comparing ourselves t others and putting our own progress and success down.
Nearing the end of this pandemic there is also now this drive to catch up and do everything, to succeed like never before. That pressure and that non-stop go-go-go mentality can actually be really harmful. Now, I am not saying stop doing, stop succeeding and stop trying, I am saying we need to embrace more pauses and breaks. This feels like the right spot to put some suggestions in:
1. Mindfulness breaks! – taking 2 minutes out of every hour to close your eyes or focus them on an item and just focus in on your breathing. Those small breaks allow your system to relax, reset and can increase your overall productivity and focus.
2. Walk and lunch alarms – I know it feels like sometimes you can’t take a break, but the reality is, it is your right to have a lunch break, eat in peace and even try to go for a small walk. Set an alarm to remind yourself to step away! I promise the world will not end if you eat your salad without typing that email.
3. Recharge your social battery your way – Recharging social batteries can look different for everyone. Introverts may need to go home and absolutely be alone, and that is okay! More extrover5ted people may need to go home and spend quality time with their friends or family in order to recharge. Either method is valid and healthy, so be sure to do what you need to do.
4. Gratitude – This one seems cheesy, but it can be so powerful. Try every day to find a small success you had, or even just something you are always grateful to YOURSELF for. When we highlight how proud we are and our gratitude for ourselves we end up changing our perspective and embracing amore relaxed stance. We take the pressure off by being grateful for all that we do actually do in a day.
5. ASK FOR HELP!!!! – We are so often conditioned to think that asking friends, colleagues, bosses or even professionals for help is a sign of weakness and failure, but in reality we all need help and the strongest of us know when to ask for it and take it willingly.
So those are my small, hopefully helpful tips on how to slow down, enjoy what you have accomplished and hopefully keep you from driving head on into a burnout. It is worth noting though, it is okay not to be driven and successful every single day… some days were meant to lay in bed and just accomplish existing, at least that is what I tell myself when I lay back, turn on my latest Netflix binge and let the dog keep me cosy in bed all day.