As life can become quite overwhelming, it’s important to learn ways to cope with stress, and most importantly, how to overcome burnout. In this modern world we are living longer, have access to infinite knowledge in the palm of our hand, and the economy has continued to rise over the past 100 years. We are also more stressed and “burnt out” than any of the previous generations that have come before us.
My Burnout Blog
Burnout is defined as a psychological syndrome emerging as a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The “job” in the definition can be at work or at home. The following acronym is how we can combat this syndrome and get back to living our best lives. Let’s go F.I.L.L. our happy buckets and extinguish the burnout.
Focus on Purpose
Having clarity on why you are doing what you are doing is paramount to feeling that you are succeeding at the task. Whether that is watching your kids or dealing with a project at work, what is the reason. One of my favorite authors Viktor Frankl said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live. Can bear with almost any ‘how’”. That quote is taken from an extremely profound book, Man’s Search for Meaning, and is certainly applicable to everyday life. There will always be setbacks and frustrations, but your purpose will trump those feelings.
Human beings are their most creative, productive, and fun when they are at play. Why do we get so serious? We were taught very early on in school, to “sit down and pay attention”. That is sound advice for a teacher to be able to get his or her lesson plan to a class of 30 plus students. However, there are some repercussions if we forget to have fun once the instructions are received. As Alan Watts, the famed writer and theologian once said, “This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play”.
Less is More
One of the greatest challenges we are all faced with are those smartphones always tethered to us. Before the cell phone era, it was much easier to leave work at work. That allowed you downtime to “recharge your batteries” for the day before returning to work. Being present was not such a challenge because a computer was not always there to check emails, scroll the news, or watch videos incessantly. Set boundaries so you can fully be present at dinner, playing with your kids, or even watch your favorite TV show without constantly checking the notifications. So, I’m clear these devices are incredible and changing the world. Some good and in the case of burnout, bad. Give yourself permission to put it away at 8 PM, whatever it is can wait until tomorrow morning.
Lean on Friends
Studies have shown that people with fulfilling relationships have less stress and live longer. Studies have also shown that people want to feel wanted and valued. I can’t think of a better way to help yourself and your friends by reaching out for help. You will get energized because they make you happy and they get to be the supportive friend that can lend solid advice or just make you laugh. More than likely your friends have felt the same way you did at some point. At the very least, now you know you aren’t alone, and you get to connect with someone special which will help fire off those positive endorphins.
So, how long does it take to recover from burnout, and how long does burnout last? The answers are different for everyone. Burnout is a real thing and it’s certainly not something to be ashamed of. More than likely you have been putting in a radical amount of effort and time. Some of your best work will come when you F.I.L.L. your bucket in other areas, and focus on life after burnout. Your perspective will change, you will have a renewed sense of energy, and you will achieve more in less time. To stay ahead of the burnout, check out the Positive Work/Life Balance Assessment provided. It’s free to you and something that I use every month to make sure burnout doesn’t get me down.
By JM Ryerson: Author, Podcast Host, Performance & Mindset Coach for Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Teams.