About a month ago I hit THE WALL. I’m not talking literally, of course, and neither am I talking Game of Thrones (…which would probably be for the first time in oh, I don’t know… SEVEN years?). You know that scene from Run Fatboy, Run? The one where Simon Peg is running the Marathon and he hits that metaphorical wall? He’s knackered; he physically can’t move another step forward and mentally, he’s ready to give up. Well, that’s kind of how I felt about a month ago (minus the marathon). Things had been a bit busy and I’d just kept on burning through – as you do – but when things became quiet again and I stopped to think, I suddenly realised how tired and uninspired I was feeling – mentally, I just didn’t have any fuel left to keep that fire going. All the little things I enjoyed doing on a weekly basis – like cooking, writing and walking the dog – suddenly felt like a mammoth task.
I was burned out.
Burnout isn’t just about feeling tired; it’s a total and utter max-out in energy – period. You don’t just feel tired, you feel drained of that fire that keeps you going on a day to day basis – your personal combustion engine. And once that goes, forget it. You know the creative energy that you need to be able to come up with new ideas at work and feel inspired to take on new tasks? All out. All that social energy you need to maintain relationships and forge new ones? Gone. The motivation to go out, to get some exercise and stick to your usual, healthy routine? Nada. If you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed, uninspired and are struggling to keep up with your friends and maintain your usual healthy routine, then all signs point to burnout, baby.
And it’s not just me; how many times have I heard the phrase, “I’m so ready for my holiday now…” in the past few weeks? We all seem to be thirsting for that summer break – just a couple of weeks away from the desk and a bit of time to get that groove back.
But, what if that holiday is still a few weeks away and you’re feeling so burned out that you’re smoldering out your ears and snoring at your desk? Well, here are five ways to get bouncing back from burnout.
1. Strip Back Your To-Do List
You know when you’re on the computer and you’ve got a hundred different windows open at once (with about twenty different tabs in each on the go, as well as The Sims 4 running in the background…)? Some days you can handle it, but definitely not when you’re approaching burn out. Time to take a look at your to do list and see where you can lighten your load. I mean it’d be easy to ditch the whole thing, but just sit down for twenty minutes and see if there’s anything you can strike out and put off until you’ve got the energy.
2. Sneak in Some “Me” Time
“Me time”, “Self Care”, whatever you want to call it – if you’re heading for burnout taking a little time to do something that’s guaranteed to either relax you or put an instant smile on your face is a must. Sometimes a little bit of what you fancy goes a long way, and sometimes you need a couple of hours or a day or two to just do you – whether that’s something as simple as a soak in the tub, a takeaway, a walk with the dog or treating yo’self to something special – reminding yourself of what feels good will stop you collapsing in on yourself like a black hole post supernova.
3. Focus on NOW
Time forget about… time! Or least shed the stress that goes with it. Forget your monthly, yearly, big picture goals for a while and just focus on getting back on track NOW. You don’t need the stress of worrying whether you’re going to fall behind when you’re trying to bounce back from burnout. The less stress and worrying, the better.
4. Reconnect with your Support Network
If work’s been keeping you busy and you’re feeling burned-out then you probably haven’t had time to see your mates in a while. Time to meet up with your faves over coffee or head over your Mum and Dad’s for a Sunday Roast. Reconnecting with the people who know you best can do a lot to remind you of who you are and how to be that best version of yourself.
5. Have a Break
You don’t need an expensive holiday booked to get a break away from the day to day grind. A break can be as simple as a morning spent on the sofa catching up with your favourite shows! (Can I recommend Fleabag? I binged it last week and IT IS AWESOME).
Have a great week everyone! (Don’t work too hard 😉 )