Avoiding Burnout: How to Self-Care
Okay, so we've discussed what leads us to be overwhelmed and feel like we can't handle anymore work and stress. Perhaps now is the time to reduce that stress or, better yet, avoid it all together. Here we will mention a few different ways to take care of yourself. This seems simple enough, but often times we forget to do things for ourselves and need a little reminding of what works.
One of the best things that one can have to relieve stress is a positive social network. I don't just mean having 500 friends on facebook or followers on twitter. Humans are social beings and thrive off others. Being isolated can feel depressing, so it is important to have interactions with others. Some people need to have others that they can have long, meaningful conversations with. Others may simply need to be in more superficial setting with others where they can take their mind off of troubles. Whatever your preference, it is important to have time with others and to have social support to lean on.
Attending to physical needs is another important method of self-care. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly help bolster our immune systems and lift our moods. Do you ever notice you get tired and "crash" after sugary drinks and coffee? Do you feel sluggish and sad when you aren't getting out and exercising? Do you feel irritated when you don't get enough sleep? Our bodies run on what we feed them. Exercising gets endorphins running and provides energy. It helps to keep a positive mood.
Laughter. There's a reason for the expression: "Laughter is the best medicine." Studies have found that using positive humor such as making jokes to connect to a group, seeing a comedy show, or watching a funny movie helps to decrease negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and depression. Adaptive humor has been positively linked to personal accomplishment.
When we over-work ourselves, we don't leave time for other areas of our lives. It is important to take time for hobbies. Sometimes reading a book you enjoy is enough to keep you feeling good and de-stressed. Do you like to paint? Go for walks? Write? Garden? Make sure you do the things that you enjoy. You may be very busy but it is nearly impossible to get things done when you don't have the energy or motivation. Taking time for the things you like helps to make the things you need to get done easier.
These are just a few of the many things one can do to prevent and reduce burnout. See anything that interests you? Try it! Take at least 10 minutes for you.