The demarcation zone between relaxation and work time used to be the Monday morning alarm, but as technology slithers deeper into our weekends, our connection to work is non-stop. As the lines blur, so does our awareness of the beginnings of ‘stress-creep’.
Initial signs can be easily overlooked – irritability, edginess, reduced focus, impatience, frustration or a general sense of disillusionment in a job we once loved. If left unchecked, mind, body, and spirit will eventually suffer the consequences and we could find ourselves taking prisoners in the boardroom or a surprise trip to the hospital with an irregular heartbeat.
If you’re a ‘Type A Driver’ as many of us are, you’ll glance down at the following headings and, quite understandably, dismiss them as a fluffy, vacuous waste of time. Bear with me though for a quick read – it may provide you with serendipitous life-changing information.
Here are five tips for stopping burnout in its tracks:
You’ll be in great company. Steve Jobs, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff each profess to its benefits.
Taking this magic quiet-time on a daily basis (roll out of bed and get it done) is known to help decrease anxiety (which increases resilience and performance under stress), increase EQ (trains us to pause, take a breath and create a gap in time during which we can manage our defensive reactions), and enhance our focus, our innovative thinking and our relationship dynamics.
Have more fun
As stress builds we become serious and mechanical and our sense of humour is the first to go. Try giving yourself permission to bring fun into the boardroom even though you have momentous decisions to make.
Enjoying the moment doesn’t mean we’ll be less professional, less conscientious or less productive. In fact, research shows that we perform at our best when relaxed, confident, and at ease.
Manage your mindset
Have you noticed that the way your day turns out tends to fall in line with the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs you walked into work with? If we start out exhausted and anxious it’ll be a long heavy day.
If instead, we envision positivity and high-energy, that state stands a good chance of fulfilling itself for us. Author Mike Dooley is quoted as saying: “Thoughts become things, so choose the good ones!”
Our happiness comes from within – we know this! Being at ease with ‘us’, loving others and exercising purpose and passions is what drives a truly fulfilling life.
If we’re running ourselves ragged, the ingredients of our life may have moved out of whack. Try rethinking priorities to make sure that your non-working hours are nurturing you.
Acknowledge the good stuff
Burnout can be reversed using gratitude. It’s so easy to get lost in the grey clouds of what’s exhausting us, that we can lose track of what is actually quite awesome.
Take time to consider all the simple things that are working well. Your body chemistry will shift with your thinking and you’ll begin to feel more at ease.
Rinse and repeat.