If you feel like you’re constantly fighting burnout at work or at home, you probably are. We all know the feeling: You get up in the morning and hit the ground running with a packed schedule, but by lunchtime, those tasks have piled up and your energy is depleted. You continue to struggle through the rest of your day before finally hitting rock bottom- and then having to drag yourself back into work again tomorrow. You might even feel that there’s no way out of this cycle. As with any other problem in life, it helps to understand what causes it, which in this case, is stress. Taking steps toward reducing those factors as much as possible will help you break the cycle. 

Identify your sources of stress. 

One of the most important steps to managing stress is identifying your sources of stress. Here is how you can identify what’s causing you stress:

  1. Spend a few minutes to sit down and reflect on what makes you feel stressed.
    Write down a list of all of the things that cause you to feel overwhelmed or anxious. This could include work deadlines, conflict with colleagues or family members, lack of balance between your work and personal life, and much more. 
  2. Next, think about what you can do about each item you wrote down specifically.
    For example:

    Problem causing me stress: Too many tasks are piling up on my desk because no one else is helping me out.
    Possible Solution: Talk to my manager about creating a better schedule where others chip in more equally so that I don’t have so many late nights working alone. 

Reduce the risk factors that cause burnout. 

If you are someone who is prone to stress, it’s important to consider the factors that might be causing you burnout. You should also assess your physical health and look for the signs of depression, like low energy and a loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy. 

Understanding the root causes of your stress can help you get ahead of it before it becomes overwhelming. Stress can come from a variety of sources like lack of control over your life (an example would be not being able to decide when you work), lack of resources (not having enough money), lack of support (from family or friends), or lack clarity about what needs to be done next. 

If you want to watch a deep dive into how to identify and reduce burnout, watch The 7 Minute Life Youtube video about Fighting Burnout:

Be assertive when you must say no. 

Sometimes you need to say no when someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do. This can be difficult, especially if the person who is asking is someone who is important to you or has more power than you in the workplace. 

When faced with a request for your time or effort, it’s ok to say no – or at least explain what the cost of saying yes would mean. Sometimes when we say no to things, it makes us feel like we’re failing or like we’re letting others down, but chances are that if you say no to something, it may not be as big of a deal as you think. If you find yourself having a hard time saying no, know that it does get easier with time and that this is actually a good thing. It’s a sign that you care and you don’t want to let someone down. But it’s also important for you to be protective of your time and energy. 

Need a Break? Here’s what to do. 

Sometimes you just hit your limit. If you’re tired and frustrated and can’t stand another second of whatever’s plaguing you, then it’s time to take a break! 

If you feel like the stress of work is getting too much for you, take a few minutes to relax and regroup before picking back up again. Don’t beat yourself up about feeling overwhelmed or stressed; instead of berating yourself or trying harder, just take a break from whatever task was causing the stress in order to regain control over your emotions. Try taking a few deep breaths in and out before returning to what you were working on. Some people find that meditating even for just a few minutes can help reduce stress in the moment as well. 

You can be protective of your time by using scheduling tools like the 15-Minute Increment Planner. By scheduling your time in 15-minute increments, you become more aware of how much time you have left to say yes to other tasks, which can make it easier to say no to things you simply do not have the capacity for. Want to learn more? Read the blog post about how to better schedule your time using 15-minute increments.

Let go of perfectionism and focus on progress. 

Perfectionism is a form of self-sabotage. 

Perfectionism can lead to procrastination. 

Perfectionism can lead to depression. 

In other words, perfectionism can make you feel like a failure and it doesn’t even do anything for you in the long run! I know how hard it is to give up this particular habit, but once you do, you’ll be happier and more productive at work (and in life). It’s important to note that perfectionism isn’t an all-or-nothing type deal: Everyone has some degree of perfectionist tendencies, so there’s no need to beat yourself up over it—but if your tendency toward perfection ends up hurting your productivity or well being, then by all means stop trying so hard to make everything perfect! 

Get some exercise every day. 

Exercise is a great way to help you manage stress and improve your mood, as well as sleep. It can also help you focus better, feel more in control of your life, and feel more confident. 

Stress-related health problems are on the rise in the United States, so it’s important that we all do our part to reduce stress and keep ourselves healthy. Exercise is one of the best ways to do this! 

Engage in self-care to nurture your own well-being. 

Self-care is essential for reducing stress and improving your ability to cope with the demands of work and life. It’s not just about feeling better- it’s about making you more effective at work. 

Self-care can mean many things, but I am talking about putting yourself first sometimes instead of always taking care of others (even if they need it). It means getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals at regular times throughout the day, exercising regularly (or even just walking), spending some time away from technology by going outside, or doing something creative like writing in a journal. Whatever it is that you choose, the better your brain will perform and you will feel. 

You can reduce the risk factors for burnout by focusing on reducing stress, building up resilience, and feeling more in control of your life. 

When you’re stressed out, it can feel like the world is closing in on you. You can feel like there’s no way out and things are just getting worse—even though they aren’t. It’s important to remember that feeling overwhelmed like this isn’t something that just happens; it’s something we create through our actions and reactions. 

Here are some ways that stress may be impacting your life: 

  • If you’re worrying about a problem at work or home, chances are good that it’s affecting your sleep patterns, which will lead to burnout. 
  • The ability to nurture yourself physically and emotionally—is another big culprit when it comes to stress levels rising too high for comfort levels. Feeling alone or unsupported means there’s no one around who understands what it feels like (especially during tough times), and also makes us less likely to reach out for help when needed most.  

If you are feeling burned out, then it’s time to take action. You can prevent burnout by identifying and reducing sources of stress, practicing self-care, getting some exercise every day, and increasing your sense of control over your life. If you’ve already suffered from burnout at work or home, now is the time to start rebuilding yourself so that you can make better choices next time around! 

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