Say Goodbye to Burnout: 6 Strategies for a Healthier, Happier You!Mar 17, 2023
As someone who has experienced the overwhelming effects of workplace stress and physician burnout, I know the feelings you are probably feeling too; like I have been robbed of joy and am stuck in a rut. The endless to-do lists, long work hours, and constant pressure to perform quickly take a toll on my physical and mental health. During these lows, I feel the most exhausted, frustrated, and disconnected I have ever been. When burnout takes hold, it can feel as if the very essence of ourselves is slowly slipping away and the crushing weight of burnout alone is debilitating. It is easy to get trapped in the cycle and seem like there is no way out.
But the good news is that burnout doesn't have to be a permanent state we live in.
With the right strategies and mindset, you can regain control of your life, find balance, and experience a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment. Whether you're a busy professional, a woman physician, or simply someone struggling to find joy in your daily life, these techniques can help you regain your footing, rediscover your passions, and move forward with renewed enthusiasm.
6 Wonderful Tips to Avoid Burnout
Burnout is a common experience for many people, particularly those who are juggling multiple responsibilities or working in high-pressure environments like women physicians or working mothers. However, there are simple and helpful strategies that we can use to help prevent burnout and maintain our physical and mental well-being. It is possible, friend.
Tip #1: Prioritize Self-Care
I cannot stress this enough. Burnout is not an option when our mind, attitude, and body are taken care of well. As someone who has been on the low road of burnout, I know the importance of prioritizing self-care. Self-care is not a luxury, it's a necessity that we need to take time to do every single day. Making time for activities that bring us joy and relaxation can be transformative in simple ways; whether it's a spin class, a nature walk, or simply reading a good book. Whatever you do, as long as you are doing something that puts you as the priority.
For me, self-care is non-negotiable. It's a commitment I make to myself each day , to nurture my mind, body, and soul. And the benefits are clear: when I take care of myself, I have more energy, focus, and creativity to bring to my work and relationships.
And if you're feeling overwhelmed and depleted, make self-care a top priority. It may require some creative scheduling or letting go of unnecessary obligations, but it's worth it. By taking care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to show up for the people and projects that matter most to you.
Tip #2: Set Clear Boundaries
I know how easy it is to say yes to every request and obligation that comes my way, especially given my profession as a woman physician. I've learned the hard way that this approach is unsustainable and leads to exhaustion and resentment. Overstepping beyond boundaries at work and in my personal life has been the status quo for the longest time … until I learned to set my boundaries.
That's why I've made it a priority to set realistic expectations for myself and others. I've learned to say no to requests that don't align with my goals and values and to communicate my boundaries. It's not always easy, but it's essential, especially when my well-being and happiness are on the table. My last Season of the Brave Enough Podcast was all about boundaries and you’d love to listen HERE.
Saying no doesn't mean being selfish or uncaring. It means respecting your time, energy, and priorities. It also allows you to say yes to the things that matter, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing your passions, and making a meaningful impact in your work.
If you are currently feeling overwhelmed by an endless stream of demands and obligations, I encourage you to take a step back and assess what truly matters. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are my goals and values?
- What are the things that bring me joy and fulfillment?
- Will this be meaningful to me?
- How does this impact my well-being?
Then, learn to say no to the things that do not resonate with joy, fulfillment, and growth. Communicate these boundaries clearly and without guilt. You'll be amazed at how much lighter and more empowered you'll feel.
If you are one of those people struggling to find ways to establish clear boundaries for yourself, my book, Brave Boundaries can help you. This is your guide to establishing clear and effective boundaries that will empower you to live life on your terms. (If you are an auditory learning – the book is on audible)
Tip #3: Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness means staying present in the moment and accepting things as they are, without judgment or resistance. It's about cultivating a sense of curiosity and openness to our thoughts and feelings, rather than trying to control or suppress them.
As someone who has battled with burnout, I know that workplace stress and anxiety can take a toll on my mindset and how I approach life in general. But I've discovered that one of the most powerful antidotes to these challenges is mindfulness. Staying present in the moment and accepting things as they are can tremendously reduce all the stress and anxiety I have been feeling and there are many simple ways to practice mindfulness.
For me, taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on my breath has been transformative. It helps me to tune out distractions and tune in to my inner wisdom and intuition. But mindfulness isn't just about the practice itself. It's also about bringing a mindful approach to all areas of our lives, from our work to our relationships to our self-talk. It's about noticing when we're getting caught up in negative thought patterns or self-criticism, and gently bringing ourselves back to the present moment. So sister, start small, with just a few minutes a day, and see how it feels. You may be surprised at how much more calm, centered, and resilient you feel in the face of life's challenges. I like to practice mindfulness before I get out of my car each morning, and on short breaks from the OR. It doesn’t have to be a 30 minute exercise; even 3 minutes can reset my day.
Tip #4: Take Breaks
When we take breaks, we give our minds and bodies a chance to recharge and reset. We come back to our work with a renewed sense of focus, energy, and creativity. And perhaps most importantly, we remind ourselves that we're human beings, not just human doings. Given all the things on my plate, I know how tempting it can be to push through the day without taking a break. But I've learned that taking regular breaks throughout the day is crucial for my well-being and productivity.
For me, taking breaks can mean going for a short walk around the block, doing some gentle stretching, or simply closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths. I try to do something every hour or so to break up the monotony of constantly working. I know it can be challenging to take breaks when there's so much to do and so little time. But I've found that when I give myself a moment and make it a non-negotiable part of my day, I get more done in less time. I'm more focused, more creative, and overall, more productive.
But if you find yourself stuck deep down the rabbit hole of burnout and workplace stress, I think I got what you truly need and deserve. ,Join me in June for The Coach's Retreat: A Brave Enough Retreat for Women Coaches. It's a bold and empowering retreat crafted for women coaches like you in mind to reignite your passion, both in your personal life and career journey.
Tip #5 Build a Support System
When we have people in our lives who believe in us and see our potential, we're more likely to believe in ourselves and take risks. We're more likely to bounce back from setbacks and stay motivated in the face of challenges. And we're more likely to experience a sense of belonging and connection that's essential for our well-being.
As someone who has struggled with burnout before, I know how important it is to have a supportive community around me. Surrounding myself with people who uplift and encourage me has been a crucial part of my journey toward healing and growth. For me, my support network includes friends, family, and colleagues who I can turn to for a listening ear or a word of encouragement.
Remember, you don't have to go through burnout alone. There are people out there who care about you and want to support you on your journey toward a healthier, happier life.
If you're feeling isolated or overwhelmed, I encourage you to reach out and connect with others. Don't suffer in silence - take the first step towards connection and join the BE 2023 Women's CME Mastermind Conference. This unique gathering is an opportunity for like-minded women to come together and support one another on their journeys toward success and fulfillment.
Tip #6: Practice Gratitude
It might sound simple, but taking just a few moments each day to reflect on the things that bring you joy and happiness can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. Maybe it's your supportive family, your cozy home, or the delicious cup of coffee you had this morning. Whatever it is, by taking time to acknowledge and appreciate the good in your life, you'll start to feel more grounded, more centered, and more positive.
As a firm believer with the power of positivity, let me tell you: focusing on the good things in your life can truly transform your mindset and reduce stress levels. One easy way to do this is by making a daily habit of listing things you're grateful for. Starting today, why not take a few minutes to write down three things you're grateful for? They can be big or small, silly or serious - the point is just to focus on the good. I promise you'll start to notice a shift in your mindset and a reduction in stress levels. Plus, who knows? You might even find yourself feeling happier and more fulfilled.
Avoid Burnout Before It Happens
The truth is, we all experience stress and pressure at some point in our lives. Whether it's work-related stress, family responsibilities, financial concerns, or personal challenges, life can be tough at times. And while some levels of stress can help motivate us to achieve our goals, too much stress over a prolonged period can lead to burnout.
That's why it's so important to recognize the signs and take steps to address them before it becomes a major problem. With the right support and strategies, it is possible to overcome burnout and reclaim your sense of purpose and joy. By facing burnout head-on, you're not only taking an important step towards prioritizing your health and well-being, but you're also setting an example for others to do the same.
If you are feeling like you want to work on your boundaries to prevent burnout, download my free guide on 5 Boundaries I think every working woman should have HERE.
You Got This
While workplace stress and burnout may feel like an inevitable part of life, we have the strength and ability to avoid burnout and live a life full of positivity, joy, and purpose. By doing these simple strategies, we can create a life that is filled with grace, bliss, and gratitude. Imagine waking up each day feeling energized, motivated, and ready to take on the world - this can be our YOUR reality.
You are worthy of a life that is free from stress, anxiety, and negativity.
Overcoming burnout is a journey, and it takes both effort and dedication. But with that commitment comes the opportunity to unlock your true potential. It's not going to be easy, but it is possible, and small steps taken consistently can lead to significant changes in our lives. It's also important to remember that progress is not always linear. There may be setbacks and challenges along the way, but that doesn't mean we should give up. Instead, we should use those moments as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Remember, you are capable of overcoming burnout and creating a life that is full of purpose and happiness.
Sister, you've got this!
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