Three Steps to Avoid Overwhelm and Burnout to Thrive at Work
Find me a woman who has never felt the onset of overwhelm and been on the brink of burnout and I will find you a unicorn that dances, because that’s what she would be akin to.
Dancing unicorns aside, there is a deep, pervasive feeling among working women that we have to get it all done, and if we fall short, we’re nothing short of a failure. Or, even more disquieting, if we do manage to get it all done, we feel like we should be doing more. Oof.
The real kicker is if we don’t set a new course, we experience an inevitable downhill spiral into the depths of overwhelm, frustration, crankiness, and anxiety. Our overall health and wellbeing eventually suffer due to the fallout of chronic stress, digestive and sleep issues, brain fog, and a general feeling of unease.
The good news is I believe in dancing unicorns, and you can too! There is a way out from under the pressure and weight of being stretched too thin. There is a way to get everything done on your to-do list and feel great while doing it. There is a way to manage work obligations, family commitments, and general life responsibilities like grocery shopping, appointments, and paying the bills without feeling “meh” while doing it. Your health doesn’t have to suffer for you to be productive, successful, and efficient.
The three steps to avoid overwhelm and burnout so you thrive at work and at home are to set boundaries, create daily self-care rituals, and align intentions with action.
1) Set boundaries.
The first step is to set boundaries around what you will and will not put on your plate. Overwhelm begins when we overcommit. Burnout is a result of perpetual overwhelm. It’s time to take inventory.
Create three categories: things you must do, things you can delegate to someone else, and things you don’t need to do. Once you have an idea of what your “must-dos” are, you can begin to effectively create boundaries around your time to get them done.
Boundary setting is about communicating to others how you want, and expect, to be treated. To keep overwhelm at bay, it’s important to have boundaries around what you take on. Be deliberate and repeatedly ask yourself before you commit: Is this a “must-do?”
Determine the necessary boundaries around your time, communicate those boundaries with others, and uphold them by reminding others when they are ignored or overlooked. Your boundaries are ultimately your responsibility to create, express, and uphold.
2) Create daily self-care rituals.
The second step is to create sustainable daily self-care rituals that support your overall health and wellness through nutrition, movement, sleep, mindfulness, and self-reflection.
There is no one-size-fits-all self-care manual. What resonates and syncs with your lifestyle may not work for someone else’s. And that’s okay! The key is to create small anchor habits that support, nourish, and restore your mind, body, and soul on a daily basis.
This is important because it builds resiliency. Practices could include writing in a morning journal, repeating affirmations/mantras, meditating regularly, walking in the evening, reading before bed, flowing through a yoga pose, or exploring a new hobby.
The important thing to remember here – consistency is queen. It is the small daily consistent steps that add up to biggest changes. Boundaries are also important for upholding these practices for yourself.
[Related: Are You a Change Maker or a Change Avoider?]
3) Align intentions with action.
The final step to avoid burnout is to align your intentions with your actions. If we intend to make changes to our lifestyle but don’t follow through with the necessary actions, then we will feel like we are trapped on a perpetual hamster wheel.
Running fast and getting nowhere only breeds frustration and overwhelm. Creating boundaries, healthy habits, and self-care practices will not keep overwhelm and burnout at bay if we don’t align our intentions with our actions. It’s important that what you say matches what you do.
If you intend to meditate every day to create a sense of calm but never do it, you’re misaligned. If you vow to do a cardio workout three days a week and continue to procrastinate, you’re misaligned. If you want to switch jobs but are avoiding the task of updating your resume, you’re misaligned.
Frankly, it doesn’t feel good to be misaligned. It feels overwhelming. Our confidence and self-esteem suffer. Our sense of self-trust erodes, and we begin to lose sight of what we really want on any given day.
Alignment always feels better. Why? You’re keeping small promises to yourself. You’re honoring your desires. You’re showing yourself (and others) that you mean what you say.
It feels good to honor ourselves. When we feel good, we do better. And, over time, a beautiful new pattern begins to take root. You begin to flourish with optimal health, wellness, and joy.
To avoid overwhelm and burnout, get deliberate about your commitments and set boundaries around your time. Create self-care practices that cultivate resiliency and wellness so you’re better equipped to handle an overwhelming day. Check in with yourself regularly to see if your actions follow your intentions.
The best way to avoid overwhelm and burnout is to not over-commit by incorporating boundaries, establishing practices that foster resiliency, and aligning your intentions with actions. And, lo and behold, you might become a dancing unicorn!
Ashley Logan is the founder of Ashley Logan Wellness, LLC, an integrative health coaching practice guiding professional women to create actionable strategies to support their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Connect with her here.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Integrative Health Coach
Ashley Logan Wellness, LLC
Ashley is an integrative health coach, writer and workshop facilitator who guides professional women to shed stress and overwhelm for a healthy, balanced life. Her holistic coaching approach gives women actionable strategies to support physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. She enjoys playing competitive tennis, travelling, spending time in nature, reading…just about anything, and adventuring with her 3 kids. To learn more or to get to know Ashley better visit www.ashleyloganwellness.com. Continue Reading
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