We have been through a lot in the past few years, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic that locked us down. We kept to ourselves, repeated the same days quite literally, lost hope and motivation, fell into our own pool of emotions, and realized life would never be the same "as it used to be." Let’s highlight the part about losing motivation. Burnouts are essentially emotional exhaustion and a loss of motivation. It is caused by prolonged stress and happens when we feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Although burnout starts from within, it can progress to physical pain if it is not recognized and treated. Today, we will introduce 3 basic tips for taking initiative against burnout. Please remember that this was not written by a healthcare provider. If you are experiencing any symptoms of mental illness, we urge you to seek professional assistance.
Start by taking care of yourself. Whether it be by catching up on sleep, nourishing your body with healthy food, moving your body and getting exercise, engaging in self-help activities, etc. Whatever eases your stress and anxiety, do it. The first step is to ensure that you are taking care of your well-being before proceeding to the next. Self-help activities such as mindfulness can be done through exercise activities like yoga, meditation, and even journaling. This will help you organize your thoughts better to prevent feeling overwhelmed and manage them better.
2. Set Boundaries
Try to set restrictions that will help you discipline yourself. Whether you cut back on bad habits, build good ones, or even both Setting boundaries will allow for better development and regulation of yourself because it will be a good attempt to get you back on your feet. Some things you can do are reset your sleep schedule, get in the habit of making a to-do list every day, create a list of long-term goals, etc. By trying to set boundaries, you are challenging yourself to make changes. But change is not always bad. For example, you want to cut back on your screen time. You can set screen time locks on your phone to start implementing such a change. Despite ignoring the screen time locks at first, you should adhere to them slowly. Otherwise, no change will be made at all. When there are no efforts being made to set boundaries and restrictions, we cannot expect change. Although change makes us hesitant, it will always bring something new and eye-opening.
3. Be Patient!
Remember to be patient with yourself! Burnouts are difficult as they are, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Make sure to maintain a balance between self-discipline and self-degradation. Give yourself time and allow yourself to focus on what is possible and what is doable. There is no need to stress about things beyond your ability. And make sure that you are rewarding yourself. Despite how small the achievement or milestone is, acknowledge and reward the effort you are putting into trying to change. Make sure you don’t get caught up in the quantification of success or view success as a pattern of never-ending work that must be done because you are bound to burn out sooner or later. You don’t have to keep track of the number of successes, but what you can do is acknowledge and reflect on your progress.
Burnouts are normal. Burnouts are okay. Although it is discouraging and may feel like you can never get yourself out of the ditch, things can get better if you are willing to put in the effort. And there are times when things are rough and we feel like we've hit rock bottom, but we can only go up from there. Just remember to always prioritize yourself and your well-being. After all, it is your life, so make the most of it!