A while ago I wrote a post detailing three easy ways to recover from burnout. Ever since, people have been asking for more ideas on the same topic.
Here are a few additional ideas that may help you:
Hang Out More Often with Friends
OK, call me “Captain Obvious.” But this is a good idea that actually works to revitalize anyone feeling the symptoms of burnout.
Good friends help you recover from burnout at least three ways:
- They perk up your spirits and remind you there’s more to life than whatever’s burning you out.
- To spend time with friends, you must necessarily spend less time doing whatever is burning you out. That’s a good thing.
- The time you spend with your friends helps to refill your reservoirs of positive energy, which gives you more resistance to, and stamina for, whatever’s burning you out.
Indulge Yourself a Little More
Burnout time is the perfect opportunity to float your boat a little higher. In my previous post on this topic, I wrote about doing more for others. But I’ve recently discovered it’s equally important to fight burnout by doing more for yourself.
The simplest way is to schedule some time to do whatever helps you feel relaxed, content, and/or “on track” toward your most important long-term goals. And don’t quit indulging yourself the minute you start to feel the least bit better. Just as with antibiotics, you need the “full course of treatment” or you risk experiencing a relapse that’s even worse than the original set of symptoms.
Cut Back on Commitments
There are periods when it’s important you drive hard and accomplish as much as you can toward your important goals. Burnout, however, is the period when it’s important you do less.
Start by going over your calendar and/or “to do” list and crossing off some of your optional and less important activities. Try to free up at least one hour a day when you will have nothing else to do but relax, reflect, and focus on pleasantries.
Most often, this cutback can be a temporary adjustment to your schedule. But don’t rule out the idea of making it permanent, if appropriate.
Unburden Your Heart
Make an appointment with a life-partner, family member, close friend, mentor, or counselor in which you can express your deeper feelings of burnout. Note that you may need more than one such session to adequately explore them all.
The goal here is to stop bottling up whatever frustrations, anger, and other negative feelings may be helping to fuel your burnout. Even if you can’t change the underlying situation you’re unhappy about, just releasing these negative feelings will start you on the road back from burnout.
Swap Old Responsibilities for New Ones
Just as repeated usage can cause a carpet to wear out in one spot, carrying on with an unchanging list of responsibilities for too long can contribute to feelings of burnout. When this happens, it’s helpful to let go of some of your existing responsibilities.
If you feel you can’t simply lighten your workload, you can still gain a great deal of benefit by swapping some of your old responsibilities for new ones.
You can accomplish this kind of swap by collaborating with a colleague, by putting certain projects or goals on “hold,” or by emphasizing different parts of your overall work.
As I wrote in my earlier post, making a few changes that mitigate your feeling of burnout tends to initiate a “virtuous cycle.” Generally speaking, the better you feel about your work and your life, the easier you’ll find it to enjoy what you’re doing, experience stronger motivation, work more productively, and reach a higher level of success.
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