Have you ever felt physically and mentally drained when it comes to your workload? Or trying to keep up with all the order at home? For me, the burnout stress comes from trying to see as many people I can during the week including loved ones, clients, and acquaintances.
It’s like hitting a brick wall and you don’t feel like doing anything. Every item on your to-do list is a chore. What seemed to be a labor of love is now a struggle.
Even proper nutrition and other things healthy feel like an uphill battle. If you’ve ever felt stuck and helpless in your daily routine, you’re not alone.
Even the most dedicated wellness enthusiasts can experience low motivation at some point.
Often it’s no big deal – for a day or two you might feel less than motivated about your skincare regime and then you’re back in the swing of it. Other times, it can persist more than a few days and affect your confidence and overall energy and determination.
In severe cases, this low motivation can turn into burnout, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to show up ready and willing to be present.
Burnout is the psychological, emotional, and sometimes, physical withdrawal from an activity you once enjoyed.
At first, you feel emotionally and physically exhausted and nothing can get you energized. Next, you develop a cynical attitude towards your productivity, believing it’s pointless and won’t help you to achieve any of your goals. Eventually, you start to think negatively about yourself and your performance.
Although burnout is real, if you are experiencing it, or believe you may be on your way, you’re not doomed.
Here are five proven steps you can start today to give yourself the best shot at regaining your energy and positive focus. Many of these steps could also be used to combat burnout in all areas of your life.
Step 1: Change your routine
Demotivation and burnout is often the result of following the same routine and focusing on the same goals. A common phrase in sport psychology is “A change is as good as rest.”
Any type of change, such as roadblocks in your business, or collaborating with others socially or in work, can create a new challenge that not only improves your physical health, but your overall mindset, energy, and motivation to get back to your flow of efficiency.
Step 2: Remember your daily pleasures
Developing a lean mindset for ambitions, making your list shorter, and achieving more in that small list little by little can help improve your capacity to undertake projects.
However, a tunnel vision focus on results can quickly contribute to burnout because it distracts you away from the enjoyment of being a present person for its own sake.
When you’re following your children’s schedules, planning what’s for dinner, checking the mailbox, or trying to grow a business, continue to include and emphasize all the simple joys you appreciate about these activities.
They can be asking your young ones about things they are looking forward to during the week and listening to their ideas. Asking everyone at home to help you come up with recipes based on the ingredients that are in the fridge. Holding hands and taking the dog for a walk before fetching the mail.
There is only so much you can control in this life and what you can control is still a decent amount. Leaving things to chance is a recipe for disaster.
By balancing activities driven by intrinsic motivation (those you do purely for the satisfaction you experience when doing them) with those that are driven by extrinsic motivation (motivation that is connected in some way to an external driver) you can optimize your enthusiasm for the mundane. Taking advantage of every waking moment instills quality in how you spend your time organizing and executing responsibilities.
Step 3: Celebrate your daily efforts and achievements
Burnout can be partially brought on if you’re constantly focusing on what you haven’t achieved yet. It’s time to focus on the good stuff. For instance, take a look at pro sports.
It’s not just the goals that are applauded. Every successful catch, interception, and rebound is celebrated by the players. The athletes always take a brief moment to acknowledge their efforts and achievements. You, too, must celebrate your daily successes.
Take at least one minute every day to journal one daily achievement. It may be that you opted for a salad instead of a side of fries, that you pushed through a difficult task at work even though you really didn’t feel like it, or that you moved up a level in your own self development skills as learning a new language, or reading a new chapter of a book.
Keep it simple and find positivity in the details. Sisyphean duties need not to be the everyday goal as consistent hustle and grind culture can be toxic for your progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day and nobody lost 10 pounds after only one workout.
Step 4: Set daily process goals
Setting long-term result goals are valuable, but if they don’t come as quickly as you think they should they can also distract you from the day-to-day and cause you a lot of stress.
Process goals help you to stay focused on the little things that will keep you confident and motivated to cross the finish line. Your process goals could be holding your tongue when you want to say something out of line. It can be holding back from an extra cookie. Or simply adding a gentle touch on a loved one’s arm to show your attention to them.
For business owners or workers, it can be paying extra attention to one of your workers and noticing their good works. Finding supplementary time to put into a project’s finishing touches. Or furthering one’s ambitions by working towards a bigger goal.
With each mindful thought, fulfilling your process objectives will create a greater sense of achievement that can only boost your inner drive.
Step 5: Ask for social support
One of the best ways out of burnout is to ask for support. Reach out and share your experiences, talk through specific problems that are having a negative impact on your mood.
As the old adage goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved.”
By vocalizing your pain and talking through solutions you’ll feel less alone in your experience. It will also help you feel as though you are taking action towards improving your situation, and that can give you an extra little boost of confidence to push through and persevere.