3 Steps to Avoid Burnout
World record holder at 15, nearly out of my sport by 18…
I know burnout well! I had every intention of being a repeat Olympic champion, but somehow my trajectory in sports took a different turn.
Corporate burnout, sports burnout, burnout from working out, burnt out on dieting… they are all the same! At the core of it all is an extreme dissatisfaction and exhaustion from whatever it is you are burnt out doing.
In my own personal situation, my body burnt out long before my mind and fighting spirit. In any case, my path from burnout to vitality gave birth to my passion and purpose in life: to help others avoid the same fate of burnout, exhaustion, and physical stress by learning how to create optimal health.
3 Actions to Take NOW to Avoid Burnout
#1 Place a high importance on self-care
Your greatest asset is YOUR HEALTH.
You cannot do your job optimally, you cannot take care of your family, and you cannot perform at your best on the field if you aren’t feeling well.
For corporations, employee sick day loss is a big problem. In a study reported on by Workplace Savings and Benefits, employees with poor nutrition reported 50 percent more sickness-related absences than those with good nutrition (Workplace Savings and Benefits, 2013).
Optimal nourishment and recovery are the two most important aspects of human performance. Whether you are in the corporate arena or on the sports field, your performance depends on these two components.
You cannot perform at a high level every day, consistently, if you do not make nutrition and recovery strategies your top priorities.
Nourishment – Reduce processed food in your day, eliminate energy drinks and all sugary coffee drinks, increase your green leafy vegetables, eat high-quality protein (frequently throughout your day), and drink plenty of water.
Recovery – Schedule weekly or biweekly massages (massage schools have discounted rates for tight budgets), attend yoga class a few times a week, create a morning and evening health routine that includes some kind of stretching/movement of your body, and get out and connect to nature.
#2 Diversify yourself
Swimming, for me, was my EVERYTHING. My entire life was geared around swimming for many, many years. I lacked hobbies and interests that kept me diversified. It was a devastating blow to me when my only focus in life wasn’t working out.
Diversifying our interests keeps life flexible and fun. It helps reduce the seriousness and heaviness from our main “thing” (not that it’s not important to focus and be determined in that).
- Take up a new hobby, like dancing (the Latin dances are my favorite)
- Play a musical instrument
- Take personal growth classes
- Take an art class with a group of friends or a healthy cooking class
It’s never too late to pick up a new skill or hobby.
I have so many friends who say, “Oh, I’m too old for that,” and I couldn’t disagree more. I am 42 and always wanted to learn the guitar, so I started lessons one month ago.
When we stop growing is when we get old and tired and burnt out on daily life!
#3 Express gratitude
Being thankful for all that is great in your life brings you more greatness.
It’s that old saying that “where attention goes, energy flows.”
We often get caught up in what’s missing, what we don’t have, and what’s wrong with life. It’s a negativity loop that feeds and promotes itself.
Journal – Keep a gratitude journal. Complete gratitude entries in a journal for 30 days straight and see how you feel at the end of the 30 days.
Meditate – Try meditation. Meditating daily for just 10 to 15 minutes can elevate your mood and energy while giving you a sense of satisfaction with life. It can also provide you with answers to questions you’ve been pondering and guidance on the next direction to take in life. There are numerous guided meditations on YouTube if you prefer guidance over silence. There is no one right way to do it. Listening to a sound like white noise is great, too.
The ultimate goal of all the above practices is to lighten things up a little, take the edge off the seriousness of life, and give you a reprieve from the daily grind.
These are simple self-care practices that could save you from burnout.
Pick a few new action steps to try today and get them scheduled… because we all know that just thinking about new actions doesn’t make them happen. Get into action today!
Click here to read more about my wellness programs.