Dealing with burnout or being overwhelmed are both consequences of high amounts of stress. With overwhelm, you might be experiencing stress for a long time, which leads you to becoming overwhelmed with everything you are thinking and dealing with at the same time. This could be work, home, relationships, and/or money.
Burnout is similar, though it is typically when you become so exhausted mentally and physically, then it can affect your work, motivation, and energy. You know when you have worked on a projects for months and can’t see the finish line in sight. This can be reason for burnout.
Here are 6 hacks and tips that will help you to overcome both burnout and overwhelm.
1. A Healthy Body Means a Healthy Mind
Getting past your burnout, stress, and overwhelm 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. Walking has been the way I regulate myself on a daily basis to try to avoid burnout and being overwhelmed by life.
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. This is really hard for me because I am most productive when I use time blocks to get things done. So I get in the bad habit for setting time blocks/limits for everything. I am getting better on weekends just to enjoy the moment and not worry about the time or what I could be doing.
3. Stay Mindful of Positive Changes and a Better Outlook
When you have full-on burnout, it can be hard to use standard stress relief methods. By this point, you are having trouble just getting the bare minimum done, especially when you add in stress and overwhelm 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 about 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 non stop! 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 when the weekend comes, you have no energy left to live your life.
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. I know many of us are working during lunch because the kids are sleep or because you are working on a side hustle and this the only time you have. I get it. I really do because I do it, but breaks are important.
5. Find What Gives You Positive Energy
Look for that thing in each day that makes you feel positive and happy. This is going to encourage more positive energy, which can then help to 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, your job, people in your life, achieving your goals, having accomplished something you put your mind to, being more physically healthy, losing weight, just about anything. Sky’s the limit on this one.
6. Start Saying No
Even if you have always been the person other people can count on to help them, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You have every right to say no to hosting a party, declining an offer to go out on your only night off this week, to doing an extra project at work.
You need to learn how to say no when you are already overwhelmed with all your own responsibilities. Remember NO is a complete sentence.
Learning different ways to take care of myself and setting boundaries are important to avoid burnout and becoming overwhelmed. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful to you.