It is very easy to burn ourselves out these days, especially when most of us are working from home. We stay online longer than we should because what is another hour or two while dinner is still being prepared or log on early because it's easy to reach for our laptop when our alarm goes off. Burnout is mainly associated with the workplace; however, our personal lives can easily burn us out too. Cooped up in our houses and running back-to-back Zoom calls will make anyone want to jump on any social plans to make up for this “lost time.” When you overstretch yourself in your professional and personal life, you will inevitably face burnout.
In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, as someone who has suffered burnout in the past, I wanted to share some tips on how I try to avoid it today:
● The List: Every weekday morning, create two separate lists, one for work and one for the personal. Each list should contain realistic tasks that need to be accomplished that day, whether sending out a media pitch (as in my job) or putting laundry away. Writing out everything you want to get done in a day will help focus your priorities, keep you on schedule and prevent your mind from running wild with a million different tasks you think you need to do.
● Hard Stop: These days, we can tend to work late into the evening without even realizing it, and often this leaves our personal life on the back burner Monday through Friday. As we know, the 9-5 life is not always a reality across many industries. Therefore, this is why making a mental note of when that laptop closes for the day is key for your mental health. Creating a “hard stop” will keep you from staying longer than you should and allow your mind to slow down at a designated time, ensuring that you aren’t rushing to get dinner on the table or meet friends for drinks on time.
● Catch You Next Time: The pandemic and working from home have made many of us want to be social butterflies these days. It is so easy to say yes to making plans because we remember when we couldn’t, and now, we feel cooped up in the house in our 9-5 weeknights and weekends can really wear you down; therefore, it is important to keep some free time open just for yourself. Asking your friends to reschedule plans to another night or week that works better will do wonders for you when you’re feeling overscheduled.
● Scheduled Off Day: We hear it all the time, but having some downtime is super important and needed weekly. Picking one day during the weekend where you have zero plans, can sleep in and catch up on anything (chores, TV shows, etc.) will make you feel refreshed and slow your mind and body down.
Burnout will catch up to all of us one day if we keep stretching ourselves too thin. To be successful both in our professional and personal lives, we need to take the time to slow down.