How to avoid burnout

I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve been neglecting my blog… Not intentionally, of course, but I’ve simply had so many things to do that I haven’t had the energy to write anything. In the past I used to beat myself up over this and tell myself that I’m a terrible person, filling my mind with negative thoughts that would destruct my self-esteem.

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While I’m not happy about the fact that I’ve haven’t been doing much blogging since I started The Balancing Act, I’ve learnt to put things into perspective and realise that it’s not the end of the world. In these busy times it’s so important to reflect on things and make sure your priorities are in check. Have a look at your time management and see if you can change a few things around to fit more time in for the things you want to focus more of your energy on.

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In the last month I’ve let a few things go that were no longer fulfilling me, I’ve started a new business, had family visit, hosted parties, organized tradesman to do work at our house, been working on some big projects at my full-time job, written client proposals for me birthday, celebrated my birthday, started to plan an overseas holiday, accepted an invitation to be a guest blogger, tried to keep up with some bridesmaid duties, dealt with some big family problems and today I began volunteer work at Amnesty International.

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So when I look back on the last month I guess I can cut myself some slack and come to the realisation that I’m doing the best I can. Years ago I simply couldn’t accept this and would tell myself that I should be doing better. Today, I know that I am doing the best I can and if I’m not, then tomorrow is a new day.

I think the most important thing when you’re so busy is finding and maintaining the balance in your life. In the past I’ve experienced burnout, anxiety and depression as I’ve juggled studying, working three jobs and a bucketful of other things. I learnt the hard was but I wouldn’t change a thing. Now I realise the importance of looking after myself and making sure I’m giving myself time to recharge. I’ve always had a tendency to look after those around me first but you can’t look after others if your not looking after yourself.

Today I felt a little tired but generally I’m feeling pretty good, considering how busy I’ve been. I think it’s because I’ve been looking after myself amidst the craziness of it all.

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So here are some of my tips for looking after yourself and nourishing your mind, body and soul through the busy times.

1. Nourish yourself from the inside.

Make sure that you’re eating good, nutritious food. I’m not saying to completely restrict yourself from having a naughty snack here and there or not treating yourself to that delicious dessert after a long, hard day at work (sometimes you need to be a bit naughty, within reason, so you don’t binge later). What I’m saying is to feed your body nourishing food whenever you can.

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  • Make yourself a green smoothie for breakfast or lunch when you can. Not because they are trendy because they are so good for you. Any smoothie packed full of fruit and vegie is a big tick in my books whether it’s purple, blue or brown. Although a blue or brown smoothie wouldn’t look very appealing… I sometimes have a smooth for breakfast and if I don’t have the time to have it at home I’ll put it in my travel cup so I can have it on my drive to work. My favourite combo at the moment is frozen watermelon, frozen pineapple, banana, handful of baby spinach leave, one teaspoon of acai power and coconut water. Delicious!
  • Have a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts to take for lunch. Cashews are full of zinc and its been said that they assist your body with reducing stress. They’re also really yummy!
  • Use those left over vegies in the fridge and steam up a big plate of vegies or cook up a stir-fry for a quick, no fuss dinner. Whatever you do give your body the fuel it needs to get you through the busy times. Otherwise you’ll be running out of fuel before you know it and will be stuck in one spot not being able to function.

2. Look after your mind and body.

Over the last few years I’ve discovered the benefits and my love for yoga and meditation. The idea always appealed to me but it wasn’t until I starting practicing that I realized just how much I needed it. There’s scientific proof that both of these activities have many positive health benefits. If you haven’t tried them, seriously give them a go and you will no exactly what I mean. They won’t be easy at first but stick to it and you will soon be addicted. Meditation is still one I’m trying to incorporate into my daily life but haven’t quite got there yet. You don’t need to be religious and spiritual to try these either, you just need to be open to the idea and give it a go. Pilates is another one I want to try!

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3. Laugh and find time to be silly with those you love.

Life can be so damn serious sometimes. Trying to be the best we can at our jobs, dealing with the reality of bills and everyone’s problems and seeing all the horrible things happening in the world. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane activities of life but you know what they say, “laughter is the best medicine”. So take some time out to catch up with a friend, give your mum a call or be silly and go on a date with that special someone in your life. And if something isn’t going exactly how you’d planned (because it never usually does) then try to see the positive side of it. It’s so easy to focus on the negative and it really does take practice to let things go but when you do it’s like the weight of the world has lifted of your shoulders. Every day I try and look at the lighter side of life after spending so long taking everything to heart and being so serious. This is the only life you get so have fun while you’re living it!

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4. Exercise regularly and do a team sport.

This doesn’t mean just the gym either but if you like going to the gym then go for it. Personally I like variety because I tend to get bored easily so last year I cancelled my gym membership. I do miss pump classes but I have plenty of other things to keep me busy and I really enjoy getting outside in the fresh air. At the moment my weekly exercise includes netball, pole dancing and yoga. A team sport can really boost your self-confidence and it’s a good way to socialize and meet new people. Plus a little competition never hurt anybody. I really like trying new, fun things and there are sooooo many things out there to try. Jump on Google and start searching. So many places offer free trials or cheap introductory passes so you can try before you buy. Exercise is so good for your health and a great way to reduce stress. Start small by taking the long way to the toilet at work and get up every 2 hours and go for a quick walk. Just do something!

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5. Take some time out.

Even if it seems like you don’t have the time you really just need to make the time. I’ve started to make it a habit to leave my desk at lunchtime and I’ve found a seat near the lake where I take my lunch and book to get out of the office and get some fresh air. It’s a great way to break up the day and it really makes a difference to my day if I’m feeling a little stressed. There was a time where I wouldn’t leave the office and would eat my lunch at my desk. This is not a good habit so snap out of it now! Get your nails done, watch a movie, read a book, get a massage, have a bath, do whatever it is to give yourself a break. Even if it’s only for half an hour, take some time out.

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Start small and don’t expect to make heaps of changes at once. It’s taken me years just to learn how to relax and I still have trouble doing it. Make small changes each day and eventually it won’t seem like such an effort.

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I’m not perfect but n

o one really is. Some days I can feel the anxiety bubbly away in the pit of my stomach, threatening to overtake my body and mind. But I’ve found and I am finding different ways of taking care of myself and dealing with the daily grind and everything in between. So make sure you give yourself time out and be kind to yourself!  Namaste x

What do you do to keep yourself sane during busy times?

 

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