Burnout is always a problem in the middle of the year. It’s the half way mark between the summer holidays and many just want to hibernate. But there are lots of things you can do to pump up your energy levels at this time of year. Here are five ideas.
1. Run for your life
Menachem Vorchheimer, general manager strategy and special projects, Merlin Diamonds Limited, has taken up running and pounds the pavement six mornings a week.
“When I first started two odd years ago I struggled to run around the local park. I recently ran the Great Ocean Rd Marathon, 45 kilometres from Lorne to Apollo Bay. I find the running gives me the opportunity to unwind, and also the space to get clarity on work,” says Vorchheimer.
“I come home refreshed, with a clear mind and perspective, feeling energetic. I have cut down my coffee intake from three cups per day to one. I find when I don’t run in the morning my clarity and energy levels change. I turn 40 in a couple of weeks, and I feel healthy, positive and vibrant.”
Vorchheimer says with the constant pressures of the digital age, and being on email “every waking hour”, he believes it’s more important than ever for people to find time to remove themselves and engage in activities that give them the space to put things in perspective and establish a plan of attack for the day.
2. Stop being a workaholic
Motivational speaker Stacey Copas says she has been guilty of spending too much time and energy on her business, neglecting both herself and her husband.
“I did two things to get back to a healthier place for myself, the business and my marriage. I took up sport to have a physical outlet and to get me away from my desk regularly. I also now schedule regular date nights with my husband when my computer and phone are totally forbidden,” says Copas.
“These changes have made a massive difference to my productivity in my business and to my overall satisfaction with my life.”
3. Get some sleep
Communication expert Greg Sweetnam believes there are many ways to beat burnout. He says confining work hours each day to manageable chunks, taking breaks and getting the right amount of sleep is critical.
"You have to make sure you are managing a project or job and it's not managing you," says Sweetnam. "Especially if it involves heavy deadlines.”
He also suggests people who work from home put work away at some point each day and have a clear delineation in the home between the space that’s for work and the space that’s the home.
"And make time every day for yourself and your family. Exercise, eat right and maintain your interests away from work. Otherwise business pressures will take over."
4. Do yoga and meditate
Nikola Ellis, who runs yoga school Adore Yoga says even though her business is dedicated to helping people relax, even she needs to take steps to avoid burnout.
Ellis suggests taking five minutes to meditate every morning. “You can use a pre-recorded guided meditation if you don't want to go to a class,” she says.
Her other advice is to remember to breathe properly. “Bring your attention to your breath every time you feel stress creeping up, then take some slow breaths into the lower belly. And stretch out every day – slow, deep stretches take the knots out of your muscles and calm your mind.”
5. Feed your soul
Lisa Murray, who runs coaching and mentoring business Revive Coaching, says if you’re suffering from burnout, you could be experiencing ‘sad soul syndrome’.
“I have been through severe burnout more than once and am writing a book about what to do with it. Burnout occurs because we aren't caring for ourselves. Taking an hour a day and one day a week to be kind and nurturing to yourself will start to change the patterns of overwork and exhaustion.”
Murray says most people with burnout are not doing anything that makes them happy. “Being creative and getting out in nature are known antidotes for burnout and being happy again.”
She says sometimes burnout is situational. “If your life or work situation is not joyful, your body will protest. Ask yourself what you can do to change things. You may be surprised at what you find. Surface level causes are rarely the true cause of burnout.”
Ultimately, avoiding burnout is about taking charge of your emotional, mental and physical well-being. You’re in the driving seat, so if you’ve lost your mojo, it’s up to you to work out what you can do to turn things around.
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