Do you feel like you are always exhausted, not motivated, or not focused? These are all very legitimate symptoms of being burned out, and it can lead to a spiral straight down that you won’t be able to stop.
Before you start spiraling down, we need to prevent a full on, full force, burnout before it happens.
Why does this matter?
Well it matters for one highly important reason; if you get burned out and don’t take the steps that are listed here on this page, you are going to have a much harder time ever recovering from it. If you want to keep getting stuff done, whether it’s at work, with your business, or whatever else you do, you need to implement these 17 actionable ways to prevent a stress burnout before it ever even happens.
But before getting into the list, let’s go over the some common symptoms of being burned out:
- Impaired Concentration and Focus
- Physical Weakness / Pains
- Chronic Fatigue
- and more..
If you experience one or more of these issues in your life that are causing a noticeable issue for you, you are more than likely suffering from mental exhaustion and are becoming burned out. Thankfully this post is going to help you reverse and prevent burnouts from your life.
Now, let’s finally jump into the first one:
1. Relax Your Way Into The Day
I bet you can agree with me when I say:
When you wake up feeling burned out, you already dread the day ahead because you know it is going to be a tough one. This is something we need to all overcome, otherwise all of your other efforts will never work; feeling burned out before the day has even started will never lead to a good day I can guarantee you that.
How can you achieve that?
By developing a peaceful and relaxing routine than will glide you into relaxation bright and early in the morning time. Some things will work better for others, but it’s about trial and error until you find what relaxes you in the morning time and makes you feel relieved (and not burned out the second you wake up).
2. Continuation of Relaxation Throughout Your Day
Great, you might now start your day off relaxed and that’s one issue that you can check off of your list.
But how can you stay relaxed all day long?
Staying relaxed can be a challenge, I completely can relate to it. Especially if you work a labor intensive job, then you might find it very difficult to get relaxed. But relaxation, at least in this context, is referring to mental relaxation.
Of course we always need physical breaks to get off of our feet once in awhile, but we also need mental breaks to cool our minds down and give them a break. It can be very difficult to achieve this if while you are taking breaks, your mind continues to run a mile and minute about what you are going to do when your break runs up.
Next time you take a break, focus more on the mental relaxation part of it. Meditate, go for a walk, or whatever else you find to work best for your mental break.
Another thing to consider is to take more breaks.
Of course this could be a hard thing to achieve if you work with a strict boss, and although there is not much you can do about that, try to take at least a few minutes here and there throughout your day to take a mental refresher. If you really want to try to change your bosses mind, link your boss to this article and maybe he will see the effects of burned out employees.
But if you have the luxury of taking a few extra breaks (short ones), then do it! Even 2-5 minute breaks can produce some magical wonders.
3. Set Your Priorities Straight
Setting your priorities straight will greatly reduce wasted time that is doing nothing but burning out all of your mental power throughout your days.
Set your priorities straight, know what you need to do, but also know what you don’t need to do. The ABCDE method by BrianTracy.com is an amazing way to evaluate your priorities from A to E (from very important to eliminate).
4. Stop Taking On So Much Work
It might be time for you to start putting your foot down when people ask for all of these favors that are just burning you out.
Obviously you don’t want to turn down relationships with people completely just because you are going through a rough time (you will regret it later), but simply telling people you are burned out might be enough for people to understand and ask for the favor elsewhere.
On top of that, maybe you should try outsourcing some of your tasks that can be done by someone else. This can vary depending on which industry you work in, but you should definitely look at outsourcing tasks that are just bringing you down.
5. Make it a Priority to Do Things You Enjoy
Taking time daily, weekly, or even monthly to do things you enjoy is a necessity. Indulging yourself in your favorite hobby, passing time with the family, or whatever else it is that you enjoy doing are all things that you need to be doing to give your mind a break.
Taking time for yourself, to focus on things you love and enjoy is a surefire way to preventing burnouts. Let your mind be free, not focused on work life, and only focus on what you enjoy doing while you indulge yourself in these types of activities.
It is so important to carve out time for these types of things because in the long run, it is a great way to keep your sanity and feel free from work.
6. Break Every Project into Micro-Projects
Instead of looking at a project or task as a whole while working on it, try breaking everything up into ‘micro-projects’. The goal with this type of work flow is to get you feeling accomplished by finishing seemingly more projects (instead of just one).
Often times when working on larger projects, we lose site and become unmotivated to complete the project at hand. But when we break it up into tiny pieces, and we start completing a micro-project every single day, then we start to feel like we are actually getting something done.
7. Splurge On Yourself
Although you might not want to, it’s a great thing to splurge on yourself and get the things that make you feel like you’ve actually worked for something meaningful.
Whether this splurge is a perfect cup of coffee everyday, or a big purchase once a year, it is up to you to discover what things make you feel important and like you are actually working for something.
Don’t be cheap when it comes to yourself, because doing so is only going to lead you to burnout. And we don’t want that do we?
8. Change Up Your Environment and Travel
We can get caught up in our own minds when we are stuck in a certain area for too long. If you can, try to work ‘on the road.’ With tools like Skype and Dropbox, there isn’t much holding you back when it comes to working remotely.
Obviously this one won’t be an option for everyone, but maybe those who it isn’t an option for should try to at least relocate. It is seriously refreshing to be in an entirely new atmosphere where you will find tons of new opportunities that you might of missed if you hadn’t made the move.
If all else fails, try to switch up your work space and even your home. It will give you that new look to it, and it can be a great mind cleaner for some.
9. Start Working Out – But Don’t Get Physically Burnt Out!
While working out you have no other option but to focus on the task at hand. Otherwise, you might get seriously injured if you don’t.
Working out in the morning, for a break, or any other possible time is a great way to free your mind from all thoughts and just focus on working out. And although working out too much can lead to a physical burnout, that’s not our goal! Our goal is to prevent mental burnouts.
So as long as you don’t go overboard with this one, you might find it to be a highly effective method to avoiding burnouts.
10. Take a Memorable Vacation
Vacations, what a wonderful experience they can be. But don’t just take a vacation with the purpose of ‘getting away’ because this will lead to your mind drifting back to what you are going to have to deal with once you get back.
Instead, plan your vacations with the purpose of creating extraordinary memories. This way, you will focus on the memories you are creating instead of dreading the end of your vacation.
12. Eat a Balanced Diet
Health is such an important aspect to avoid a burnout. If you are mentally fine but you are lacking proper nutrition, you will never win that uphill battle. Ensuring you always eat a balanced diet with good and healthy foods is literally a necessity to preventing a burnout.
On the topic of food, don’t think this means you have to skip out on all of those sweet and fatty foods / drinks that you love. In fact, if you truly gain satisfaction from consuming these flavorful foods and drinks without feeling guilty, then I highly suggest you to not cut them out of your diet.
What I mean by eating a balanced diet is just ensuring you get all of your recommended vitamins and minerals. So if you highly enjoy candy, cake, soda, or whatever else that you enjoy, keep on eating it. Just try to add in things to cover the needs of your body to function at fully capacity.
13. Take a Weekend Off
Sometimes our mental burnouts get so awful that we start to feel physical effects from it. If this is your case, the only thing you can do to start the healing process (in addition to the other things listed on this post), is to just take some time off and get physical rest.
This could mean taking a long weekend off just for yourself. No distractions with work, no annoyances, no nothing. Just focus on rest, just like you would when you are sick!
Then, to keep the healing continuous after your weekend off be sure to follow the other tips listed on this post. Otherwise you will end up right back where you started!
14. Get into Good Sleeping Habits
Not getting enough sleep can cause serious, and potentially dangerous, outcomes if it goes on for too long. Sleep is a priority when it comes to avoiding burnouts.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your mind doesn’t have enough time to heal and collect all it’s thoughts and memories from the day. So by not sleeping enough, you are depriving yourself of a ‘mind reset’ that you so desperately need.
15. Think Positively About Yourself
If you are starting to feel burned out, I can tell you that you are probably doing a good job when it comes to working. Although if you are feeling burned out you haven’t done a good job at preventing it, but don’t worry that’s what this post is for.
Stop think negatively about yourself and your situation just because you feel burned out. Instead, realize that you are probably feeling this way because you’ve worked so hard and so much, you have just went without proper mental breaks that you deserve.
Instead of focusing your mind power on thinking pessimistically about yourself, focus on getting better and actually give yourself a pat on the back for working so hard that you’ve caused yourself to burnout.
Note: Burning out is never a good thing. But my point here is that you obviously have been doing something good in your life, just not so much with giving yourself a mental break. Hopefully that makes sense! 🙂
16. Set Up Micro-Goals
Setting goals that are attainable in the near future is the best way to achieve more goals. Obviously we should all have our goals for 5 and 10 years out, but how are you going to get there?
You are going to get there by setting smaller goals, that are all oriented and focused on that long-term end goal you have. By setting shorter goals that you can reach in a year, month, or even a week, you will feel like you are actually moving towards your end goal (whatever that may be).
Just like setting up micro-tasks, try setting micro-goals which will lead you to your end goals.
17. Change What You’re Doing
Have you ever thought about what you want out of life? Maybe what you are doing now is causing you to burnout because you aren’t passionate about it and don’t see yourself doing it for the rest of your life.
Maybe re-evaluating what you are doing with your life and making the necessary life changes to put yourself on the track in which will bring you to where you are meant to be is what you need to do.
If you had to take one thing from this entire post, it should be this:
You aren’t super human, no one is. We all need breaks, we all need things to make us feel better and feel accomplished. If you think you are just going to power through a burnout, you are mistaken. You need to relax your mind day in and day out if you want to stay working at your highest capacity.
Do you have any personal tips or habits that you use to prevent mental burnouts in your life? We’d love to hear them, so please comment them down below and join the conversation!