How to avoid burnout.

Tara Buckel
January 22, 2024

We all push it from time to time.  Life can get really hectic and if we keep jumping through hoops, our confidence can take a hammering, our bodies get more and more depleted and sore. Before we know it, we are in a pretty bad place.  I learned a tough lesson a couple of years ago, I ignored all the signs to a point where I did some real damage to my health. I have learned to start listening to the telltale signs that I'm heading down that slippery slope, which is easier said than done because we can all make excuses to avoid being kind to ourselves.

We are all different and will have our own ways of coping and reacting to stress and overload. For me, when I notice myself procrastinating, when I get more intolerant & defensive with those around me and basically stop doing the stuff that is good for me, I know it's time to take note.  We all respond in various ways to these differently, but I think my experience is not uncommon.  We tell ourselves we are too busy to eat nourishing food, we reach for a quick fix of sugar or other junk food instead, we don't find time to nurture ourselves, but perhaps we determinedly still stay up late, because we feel its a way to achieve a little time for self indulgence.   

If you notice you are always late for appointments, always chasing your tail and really forgetful, rather than beating yourself up for “not being good enough”, perhaps start to give yourself some time to slow down and breathe?  There is a Buddhist saying “meditate for 10 minutes every day & if you don't have time, then meditate for an hour instead.” I have clients who confess that they panic about keeping their massage appointment because they are so busy.  After their session they are astounded that they thought they didn't have the time or didn't deserve to come.  It's amazing how slowing the mind down can give us the space to put things into perspective.

Life happens, and events can spiral us out of control.  So.  What can we do to make sure we don't hit burnout out?

Know your triggers. For me, it's the end of the summer.  Two businesses and two children.  Mix that together with the long school holidays & a big bucket full of guilt at not serving my business or my family to my satisfaction...that is my perfect storm. No doubt that resonates with many of you.  But, if you know your triggers...that's half the battle.

Plan in advance.

Reduce work commitments in ways that are practical.

Organise your meals, I'm not talking major overhaul, plan some really simple quick, fresh meals for the week ahead.  

Lower those crazy high expectations.  We can often mistake perfectionism for ‘failing’.  What is wrong with been “good enough”? Perfectionism is an unachievable goal.  So don't go there.  

Take care of yourself.  Most of us are way better at taking care and being patient with others than ourselves.  What do you do when a loved one is at a low ebb? Make sure they rest, get an early night, have some fun.  We spoil them so they feel better about themselves.


Do the basics

If you have a diary, schedule thirty minutesin your diary every single day for some time just for you. Add it to your phone or your calendar if you don't use a diary. think of it as a battery recharge.

Sleep more. Nourish yourself with good food & get outdoors, ideally in nature.

Always, always have something to look forward to.  Aim at least once a month to have something great planned.

Limit your time with people who drain you.  Not an easy one, but when you are struggling with your own energy levels, do not allow others to deplete you.  

Spend more time with people who make you feel good.

Finally, be kind to yourself.

Get some proper self care.  I am talking feel good stuff.  Play music which makes you feel good.  Go somewhere that makes you feel great.  Book a treatment that makes you feel awesome.  Get space to breathe.

You are always welcome to contact me to find out more about treatments at the Therapy Room on 07527 878657

Tara Buckel
Therapist since 1999. Specialising in TraumaTherapy and Pain Management
Main photograph credit:
Tara Buckel

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