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Wellness Dos and Don’ts of Burnout + 3 Tips on How to Start Saying No

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

How to overcome burnout

Did you know that 50% of women suffered from burnout in the past 12 months?

And although burnout is mostly associated with work, it is not uncommon to experience burnout in your personal life too. But what is the difference between just feeling tired or unmotivated and burnout?

As somebody who went through burnout, I want to share some wellness Dos and Don’ts of burnout so you can navigate through it and start your wellness journey.

But before we start, are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!

What is burnout

You may get frustrated with your daughter’s snappy attitude, your partner may drive you crazy by not putting dirty cups into the dishwasher, or your boss may act as a real pill.

You may feel tired, uninspired, or maybe irritated at your work, or a particular aspect of your life. It i part of life and it happens to everyone. What’s more, at some point you will feel like that about anything in your life.

Psychologists say that it is healthy to feel unmotivated from time to time. This feeling will keep you on your toes. It may even give you the motivation to do something different.

Or as I like to say it, if something doesn’t serve you it’s time to investigate.

The problem escalates when the unmotivated feelings intensify, and they are the only ones that you experience. For many, me included, it starts with feeling uninspired, unmotivated, unenergetic, and annoyed. And then a full spectrum of burnout arrives.

Burnout likes to sneak up on you. You may find that you don’t enjoy your work anymore and are always stressed. When you noticed that you haven't experienced joy for a while, it's time to stop. Because if you don’t pause for a moment and ask yourself what is going on, you may end up in burnout.

I never even considered that I could suffer from burnout until it was too late.

Yes, I didn’t have the energy to get up in the morning. Yes, I didn’t feel accomplished despite doing all the things. Yes, I was stressed and overwhelmed all the time. Yes, I also battled depression and grief.

But I thought it was what life looked like.

Wellness Dos

A recent study conducted by Indeed showed that 52% of respondents experience burnout. This means you are not alone. So, the first wellness do is to not feel ashamed for experiencing burnout.

Embrace the concept that things happen for you, not to you. Burnout is showing you that it is time for a change. That whatever you are doing, whatever career path you have been following, or whatever is happening in your life has run its course.

When I was battling burnout, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, it was a turning point for me to do some serious investigating. Byron Katie calls it self-inquiry.

So, ask yourself what could be the possible reasons that you feel unmotivated? What particularly about your job, or another aspect of your life is uninspiring? What is the primary cause of stress in your life right now?

And don’t stop there. Explore your answers and see if there is something on a deeper level that needs to be addressed. Sometimes you need to hit a rock bottom to be able to come up.

The main reason why you experience burnout is that you are stressed out and feel overwhelmed. Most likely you took on a lot of projects, have a lot of responsibilities, and are burdened with tasks. Overwhelm happens when you feel like you have too many things on your plate but not enough resources to meet the demands.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many wonderful health professionals that can help. Engaging with a health and wellness coach may be one of the options. Working with a coach is a great experience because you can truly get to the bottom of why you experience burnout in the first place.

Wellness Don’ts

Contrary to the popular thought of let’s try something new, right now is not a good time. In a culture where being busy is linked to being worthy, it’s hard to stay still. But that is exactly what you need to do.

You can only change direction when you see where you are heading. If you start something new, without doing some personal development work first, you may end up starting a path you don’t even know if you want to take.

It took me many attempts of re-doing my busyness story, stress story, and my worth story to get to the bottom of my burnout. If I started taking on different projects because the current job or my side hustle weren’t inspirational enough, but didn’t get to the core of why I felt that way, I would have been going through a second burnout right about now.

Start saying NO

As stated before you may experience burnout not only at work but also in your personal life. You may hit a wall in your relationship, you may not feel accomplished or feel like a failure. Or you may have feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.

Sooner or later, you will come to the realization that somewhere along the way you started saying too many yes-s to others and too many no-s to yourself. Part of your wellness plan to come out of burnout is to reverse it.

Here are 3 ways how to say no more often:

#1 Build Healthy Boundaries

To truly be able to say no to the many demands of your life you need to have healthy boundaries. Only when you know your worth and you know what serves you, you can start saying no without guilt.

My partner likes to ask the question of who benefits in a situation. This is not to be selfish and only do things that benefit you. But it is a good reality check to see if you are asked to do a favour because you ‘always say yes’ or you are asked because you are the best person for the job.

If you say yes out of obligation, or even worse, guilt, then you know you need healthier boundaries. Saying yes out of fear that you would disappoint somebody else is a universal feeling. We are wired to belong. However the more yes-es you say to please others, the more no-s you say to yourself.

#2 Prioritise

On your way to recovery, you may still try to do it all as you fight the glorification of busyness. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel accomplished. But to be able to attend to what’s on your plate, you need to have a strategy.

In my pre-burnout days, I used to start my days by checking my emails and attending to whatever screamed at me the loudest. That is a recipe for disaster.

When you are in a constant state of stress, under pressure and feeling overwhelmed you are reactive. This means you will be trying to answer every question, complete every task, organise all the parties. Eventually, the yeses will drive you to burnout.

Instead, start your day by prioritizing your tasks. Focus on what will move you forward and what is meaningful to you. When you bring the attention back to what serves you, not others, you become proactive rather than reactive.

#3 Delegate

Many business coaches say to identify your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths. But the truth is that you can’t be all strengths. Life isn’t white or black. There isn’t Yin without the Yang. There would be no day if there was no night.

Instead, embrace your weaknesses and delegate them. Any tasks that you have no expertise in should be outsourced. Any tasks that do not bring you joy, a sense of meaning, or make you feel as though you are doing something just to please people need to be delegated too.

How to get started with the wellness dos and don’ts of burnout

You are not alone in feeling unmotivated, uninspired, or as though you are going through difficult times. Experiencing burnout is common and it can be a sign that you need a change.

When you recognise that you may suffer from burnout start by asking yourself some meaningful questions as to what the real source of your feelings could be. Is it time to take a break from your work or change your career path entirely?

Re-define your busyness and worth story. It will help you to create healthy boundaries, so you start saying more no to the outside and more yes to yourself.

How will you build healthy boundaries today?

Are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!

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