Dealing with overwhelm and burnout are both consequences of high amounts of stress for a longer period of time. With overwhelm, you might be experiencing stress for a long time, which leads you to become overwhelmed with everything you are thinking and dealing with at the same time.
Burnout is similar, but one step further. Typically you become so exhausted mentally and physically, that it affects your work, motivation, and energy and after doing just a few things, you are ready to go to bed or at least take a rest. You cannot fix a burn-out with a single good night’s sleep. It is a real energy problem due to long-term exhaustion and stress.
Here are some hacks and tips that will help you to prevent and overcome both overwhelm and burnout. Remember that when you are already burnout, it will take an average of eight months to recover.
1. A Healthy Body Means a Healthy Mind
Getting past your overwhelm and burnout always starts with your physical health. Not just because stress can affect you physically and actually make you ill, but because when you eat right and exercise, it has a long list of benefits for you.
If you want a healthy mind, you need to start with a healthy body. This means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. Get regular exercise and don’t forget to drink your water each day.
These small changes will make a big difference in your physical health, which will, in turn, help your mental health as well.
2. Stop Focusing on Time
Everything is always about time. Making time for your family, making time for work, looking at the clock every few minutes during your workday, trying to get out of the house with enough time to spare. All of this focus on time, whether it is time you feel you wasted, time to get stuff done, and feeling like your time is running out, causes a lot of unnecessary stress.
There are certain aspects of life where time is relevant, such as getting to an appointment or meeting on time but don’t make your entire life revolve around time. It can be very overwhelming.
3. Stay Mindful of Positive Changes and a Better Outlook
It can be hard to use standard stress relief methods when you have full-on burnout. By this point, you are having trouble just getting the bare minimum done, especially when you add in stress at the same time.
Instead of putting too much pressure on yourself, just start slow. One excellent “hack” to use is to be mindful during one moment every day. During that moment, give yourself a few minutes to re-focus your energy from a negative thing to a positive thing.
Maybe you are in your office after a meeting that caused you a lot of stress and tension, so you sit for 5 minutes and are mindful of something positive you feel right now.
This could be:
- gratitude for this job you worked so hard for
- happiness for your family and friends
- or just understanding that the stressful situation is over and now you can appreciate you got through it.
4. Don’t Work Through Lunch
Stop working nonstop! Working more is NOT going to help you overcome burnout. You need a break. Your body and mind need rest. If you work too much all week long, then you have no energy left to live your life when the weekend comes.
One small thing you can start doing right now is taking proper lunch breaks. Stop eating lunch at your desk, and stop talking to people on your phone when you’re eating lunch out of the office. Turn off your phone, enjoy this time, be mindful of your meal, and just relax. Work will be there waiting for you when your break is over.
5. Find What Gives You Positive Energy
Look for that thing that makes you feel positive and happy each day. This will encourage more positive energy, which can then help relieve some of the stress and tension you have been experiencing.
Again, this will be unique to you and your situation. It can be related to your home, job, people in your life, achieving your goals, having accomplished something you put your mind to, being more physically healthy, losing weight, or just about anything. The sky is the limit on this one.
6. Start Saying No
Even if you have always been the person other people can count on to help, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You have every right to say no to hosting a party, decline an offer to go out on your only night off this week, or do an extra project at work.
You need to learn to say no when you are already overwhelmed with all your own responsibilities.