Have you had a rough day or week? Worse yet, have the last few weeks blurred from one bad day to the next?
What’s really going on here?
There are quite a few possibilities. Thankfully, many are benign. Maybe you:
- had a poor night’s sleep
- argued with a co-worker
- overslept and missed breakfast
- worked a double shift and now you’re tired
If it’s one of these, no worries. An early night to bed, a nice walk, or a cup of coffee with a friend may be all you need to feel like yourself again.
But how do you keep it from turning into something more serious – like burnout?
When you get in that downward-spiral of worry, irritation, or frustration, things tend to get progressively worse. One negative thought leads to the next, and before you know it, it seems like all is lost.
One of the most effective ways to prevent a pitfall is to make a mental shift. The first question to ask yourself is – “What am I thinking about?” If your thoughts are not beneficial, you have an important choice to make. Choose to continue down this path of despair, OR, change your thoughts.
Rather watch? Check out this video!
It’s not easy to shift from, “Woe is me” to, “Wow, my life is awesome.” So I would like to offer a few suggestions:
1. Cultivate awareness.
This is a great way to make an immediate change out of the negative doom-loop. Notice yourself walking down the hallway. Feel your feet in your shoes. Pay attention to the pen in your hand. Appreciate the color of the paint on the walls. Take 20 seconds to look out the window and enjoy it.
If you’re ready for more, try this:
2. Recognize your inner dialogue and replace it with something more beneficial.
Don’t take the easy way out here! It’s all-too-easy to replace, “This job is eating my soul for lunch” with, “It’s all good” but still live in denial. This one can take some practice, but it’s worth it! What if “This job is eating my soul for lunch” became, “Helping people is why I chose this line of work. It’s not always easy, but it fills me with joy when someone is able to create a better life.”
Do you have a few minutes before your next appointment? If so, this next exercise can work wonders!
3. A simple breathing practice to energize and uplift!
Sit, stand or lie down. Inhale for the count of 4. Pause for 2. Exhale for 4. Pause for 2. Repeat 3-10 times. Do this with a robust breath! Really give it your all! You want a deep inhale and exhale to exchange lots of oxygen and utilize mental effort. This will take your mind off your previous thought pattern AND create a revitalizing energy in your body!
Preventing burnout is something you can do each and every day. Being aware and healthy sets the stage for being burnout-free. Give these tips a try and notice the results.