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Recharging Your Mental Battery: 4 Ways to Beat Burnout

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In our fast-paced and digitalized society, we’ve been conditioned to be readily available at all times.

We push ourselves to consistently work through vacation days and spend extra hours in the office, all in hopes of maintaining that “hard-working employee” status.

When it comes to people-pleasing at work, I'm no stranger to this type of behavior. And that’s because I’m 100% guilty of it myself.

I often strive to go the extra mile, offering myself up for tasks that I realistically have no time for. I’ll regularly check my email after-hours, responding promptly to requests that could easily wait until the next morning.

Am I annoyingly attentive to my job? Yes. Is this an admirable quality? Not exactly.

When you fail to fully detach from your professional life, you’re setting yourself up for burnout.

No matter how committed and diligent you may be, your mental exhaustion will catch up to you – and let’s just say that it won’t be pretty when it does.

When burnout hits you, your stress levels will skyrocket like never before. You’ll likely begin to feel fatigued and irritable, losing touch with that positive attitude you’ve been working so hard to maintain.

To stop burnout before it starts, it’s important to be conscious of its pending arrival and take a step back.

If the damage has already been done, a few lifestyle changes can help reduce its impact and prevent its return.

Here are my go-to tips for beating burnout, so you can keep doing what you love without the repercussions on your mental health:

1. Don’t push through the brain fog.

    Between my full-time PR job and blogging side hustle, I’m doing a shitload of writing.

    Although content creation is a passion of mine, I've experienced my fair share of mental blocks.

    Of course, these brain fog battles are extremely frustrating – especially when I’m on a deadline. However, I’ve learned the hard way that powering through the blockage will only matters worse.

    Brain fog isn’t a sign to work harder – it’s a warning of overload. In these cases, it’s critical to take a break and rejuvenate.

    When I notice the cloudy thoughts coming on, I’m now much more honest with myself. I recognize it as an indication that my brain needs a breather.

    If you’re working on something that’s time-sensitive, it can be more difficult to give yourself permission to separate yourself.

    However, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not in the right headspace to create your best work.

    Mental fuzziness is bound to affect your concentration, meaning you’re likely to overlook errors or leave out critical components.

    Plus, your break doesn’t have to be long and leisurely. It can be as quick as a 10-minute walk down the block or around your building.

    By simply stepping away from your desk, you can escape the frustrating fogginess and regain some much-needed perspective.

    2. Laugh it off.

      Daily stressors can latch on to us after we leave the office, as we spend time overthinking a potentially passive-aggressive email or internally reviewing our to-do list for the next day.

      That’s why I love watching a feel-good show or comedy movie after a chaotic day at work.

      In addition to interrupting your negative thoughts and reducing anxiety, a good laugh can remind yourself that your work doesn’t define you.

      Your job isn’t the center of your universe – it’s simply a part of the bigger picture. This leaves you free to enjoy the little joys in life, and that can include watching Harold & Kumar for the 100th time.

      3. Schedule “chill time.”

        As my weekends are devoted to blogging initiatives, planning ahead is crucial. I take time to designate projects for certain days based on order of importance, which helps me use my time most effectively.

        While planning has helped me stay productive and consistent in the blogging world, it’s also left little room for down time.

        This has been my biggest source of burnout, as my busy 9-5 work week is quickly followed by more deadlines, deliverables, and responsibilities.

        Now, I straight-up schedule “chill time” to keep myself sane. This allows for some much-needed balance in between jobs, and prevents me from putting too much self-inflicted stress on myself.

        If you’re lacking down time in your own lifestyle, don’t be afraid to schedule it.

        Most of all, keep in mind that unwinding doesn’t always equate to “slacking off.” In fact, a healthy amount of it is an important step to success.

        4. Focus less on the work, and more on your vision.

          Writing lights a serious spark in me, and I’m constantly intrigued by new opportunities to share my voice and connect with others.

          However, this ambitious attitude can sometimes do more harm than good. When starting out, I would automatically agree to free work and less-than-ideal circumstances just to get myself out there.

          Because I was so enthralled by the ability to expand my influence, I began losing sight of the bigger picture. In fact, I wasn’t entirely sure what that “big picture” was.

          My workload increased significantly, but the results weren’t always serving my ideal outcome. I ended up overworked and exhausted, with little to show for it.

          The truth is, embracing the “hustle” isn’t about working your ass off. It’s about working hard toward a specific purpose.

          If you’re not clear on what your vision is, occasional burnout will turn in to a much bigger problem.

          “Taking a break” might offer temporary relief, but your drive can’t improve without a sense of direction.

          20 Comments Add a Comment?



          Posted on Feb. 24, 2019, 5:55 a.m.

          Sarah, this is the second time I've visited your blog because you have such great content. I am aaaaalll about the self-care and I think this post is so important for everyone keeping up in the fast-paced digital world to connect with.Thanks so much for sharing!


          Kristin Harris/Tales from Home

          Posted on Feb. 24, 2019, 2:51 p.m.

          It's crazy how quickly some of the tips can help clear up that burned out feeling! It can be really hard to teach yourself to step back like you advise but I know my work is always better when I do! Thanks for sharing your tips



          Posted on Feb. 24, 2019, 3:45 p.m.

          Fantastic advice! I am awful at taking a break until I crash. I think its part of being a perfectionist and people pleaser. Thank you for sharing :) xx



          Posted on Feb. 25, 2019, 6:08 a.m.

          Such great advice especially after the day I had today. ????????



          Posted on Feb. 25, 2019, 2:03 p.m.

          This is brilliant and so very true. Our culture is so driven to be doing all the things all at once! Taking a rest to prevent burn out is so vital and is just as constructive as answering all those emails after work. Thank you for sharing this!



          Posted on Feb. 25, 2019, 2:58 p.m.

          Thanks for the great tips! Burnout is no fun. Been there many times. I always find it a challenge to step away from my desk, but I'm trying to do better. Thanks for sharing!



          Posted on Feb. 25, 2019, 3:02 p.m.

          These are all excellent tips! When we're passionate about what we do, it's easy to push ourselves too hard. This is a great reminder to chill out once in a while.


          Marna Altman

          Posted on Feb. 25, 2019, 3:28 p.m.

          Such a great piece. Nice to know I am not alone and have some things I can do to prevent total burn out. Thanks



          Posted on Feb. 26, 2019, 12:14 a.m.

          This is an awesome post with things that are so important to remember! I pinned is so I could read later (I often push myself to burnout so I’ll need it)


          Kendra | Self-Care Overload

          Posted on Feb. 26, 2019, 12:50 a.m.

          I have a hard time with eliminating factors that contribute to mental burnout. This post was spot on and I need to make chill time and focusing more on my vision more of a priority. Now I have some great tips to prevent burnout. Thanks!




          Posted on Feb. 26, 2019, 1:21 a.m.

          By far, #4 is where I need to zone in! Always remember the vision! It’s easy to lose sight of it in the midst of to do lists! Www.lifeofanangell.com



          Posted on Feb. 26, 2019, 2:04 a.m.

          Great post! I agree, taking a small break can be so helpful.



          Posted on Feb. 28, 2019, 6:04 a.m.

          I so needed this. I’m going through some burn out myself recently but I feel so guilty taking a break. Trying to find balance though and this post really helps! Thank you!



          Posted on March 1, 2019, 1:58 p.m.

          I know burnout all too well. I love the idea of scheduling chill time. Between all my roles, chill time, is the last thing I think about.


          Nadia Malik

          Posted on March 1, 2019, 3:52 p.m.

          I really needed to read this as I feel like I am getting to a point where I just need to take a chill pill. It's funny how you understand more when you hear it from someone else. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


          Mandy S

          Posted on March 1, 2019, 5:07 p.m.

          Great tips! I feel like we often feel like we need to do ALL THE THINGS to be successful. We need to be easier on ourselves and enjoy life a little too. :-)


          Amy Thetford

          Posted on March 1, 2019, 5:13 p.m.

          I definitely push myself to the point of burnout at times! Great tips! Especially stepping away instead of pushing through brain fog! I'm guilty of that!



          Posted on March 1, 2019, 8:51 p.m.

          Thank you for these tips! I am definitely guilty of No.3. Trying to juggle work, 2 kids and household leaves me with very little space for scheduling some "me time". We all need to switch off our autopilot sometimes to keep sanity and prevent burnout :)



          Posted on March 1, 2019, 10:09 p.m.

          Thanks for sharing! We are so busy everyday and hardly take a step back to realize what's important. I love that you focused on things like scheduling "chill-time" and to focus more on the vision and less on the work. If we can keep our overall vision in mind and not be so hard on ourselves, then we can reach our goals.


          Van Cast

          Posted on March 6, 2019, 12:02 a.m.

          Great post and strategies :-) I'm going to repost your work on my Facebook page ;-)

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