Career burn out in women is massively on the rise and is actually more common than you think, since most of us are suffering in silence.
This is an epidemic of overwhelm and exhaustion that is not showing any signs of slowing down and cannot be solved with a little bit of “stress management”.
This silent joy killer is bought about by having very little, if any self-care practices, a lack of personal and professional boundaries, cultural pressure to prove that we are as good as, or better than, our male counterparts, and no consistent and sustainable work-life balance. The result? You are constantly exhausted, overwhelmed, detached, scattered and frustrated, ultimately leading to burn out.
Instead of continuing to ignore these very clear warning signs and hoping that it will magically get better all by itself (because it won’t), here are 6 proven ways for you to overcome burn out and create something radically different.
1. Avoiding Burn Out Starts with Radical Self-Nurture.
For the majority of us, our own needs and care are at the end of a very long list. We have built our life and business in such a way that there is no time for self.
There are some VERY big problems with this.
The first problem is that YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS, so if you are not doing well it is only a matter of time before your business is also not doing well.
The second is probably the most urgent, and that is that your life is precious and fleeting, and right now it is mostly passing you by in a haze of never-ending to-do lists and things you must achieve.
Radical Self-Nurture is about making your needs THE priority before everything else because when you are getting everything you need to feel happy and fulfilled you can give SO much more to your business and your relationships without feeling constantly depleted.
So, ask yourself what makes you feel renewed and cared for, make a list and make sure that you do those things, not once a year or when you are so sick you have no other choice, but every day and every week.
Which brings me nicely to number two.
2. Know Your Boundaries – Create Non-Negotiables.
Your non-negotiables are the boundaries that you must put into place to safeguard and protect those things that have you feeling full and renewed in your life.
These are the immoveable promises that you make to yourself to ensure that you feel happy and sustained, and alive every day.
The chances are, your non-negotiables may also need to be communicated to the people in your life, and although this will take courage and may well feel uncomfortable, the result is that you get to feel in control of your life and business in the most transformative way.
So, get ready to say no a little more than you are probably used to.
3. Get The Help & Support You Need.
In a world where self-empowerment is honoured and celebrated it is all too easy to try and do EVERYTHING by ourselves and to view asking for help and support as a weakness or a failure, but the truth is we all do need and desire support.
In fact, a sign of true self-leadership is to know what we are good at, and what we are not, what we love doing, and what sucks the life out of us and where possible, only do that which lights us up.
As well as getting the support you need in your business and at home (for example, a really good VA/PA or cleaner), it is vitally important that you also get personal support as you learn and grow.
Having the RIGHT like-minded community and mentor that is there to listen to you un-edited, celebrate you, and guide you is, not only fundamental to your ongoing growth and sustainability, but it is often the difference between us feeling nurtured and supported, or completely isolated and alone.
The truth is we thrive in community with others.
4. Unplug – Take Regular Breaks from Tech.
The world that we live in is loud, and it demands our full attention from the moment we wake up in the morning until we close our eyes at night. Our phones and laptops with emails, LinkedIn, news alerts, Instagram, Facebook make sure that we are constantly being bombarded. It’s overwhelming, exhausting and life-sucking, not to mention extremely distracting.
In order for us to experience real wellbeing and balance in our lives, to enjoy downtime, to make space to be truly present, and to avoid burn out I believe that we must regularly unplug.
This can be done in lots of different ways, here are some examples:
- Go for a daily walk every day WITHOUT YOUR PHONE
- Turn your phone on aeroplane mode after a certain time at night
- Turn your phone and laptop off every Sunday (or a day of your choosing)
- Don’t go into your emails until you are ready to, and choose only certain times of the day to check them
The point is to create conscious intentions around your tech, YOU choose how and when you interact with it.
5. Meditate – Breathe Yourself Full.
There’s a reason why the happiest and most successful people in the world meditate. It’s not only scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression (all of the things associated with burn out), but it also develops our vital awareness of the present moment, opens us up to our natural joy and creativity, and seriously improves focus.
Taking some time out just to breathe and be each day is incredibly renewing and powerful.
The most potent time to meditate is first thing in the morning before you do anything else. This is because first thing in the morning our mind has a slower momentum and is much more spacious and open to new ways of thinking and being.
A morning meditation will help you to consciously set the tone for your entire day and help you to be more focused and content.
Try to set aside 15 minutes a day first thing in the morning and if you need to, start with five minutes and work your way up.
6. Consciously Create Your Environment
Our environment should feed us, so does your home space and workspace reflect the things that are important to you? Does it make you feel comfortable and cared for? Does it support your creativity? Does it make you feel the way you want to feel? Is it cluttered or clear?
These things REALLY matter because these spaces are where we spend the majority of our lives and should be an extension and expression of your self-care practices. I will be doing a much bigger piece on this but in the meantime, here are the first steps to creating an environment that fully supports you:
- Examine – Consider how well the spaces that you most frequent measure up to who you are, what you need, how you want to feel, and what is most important to you.
- Evaluate – Determine what needs to change and how you need to change it.
- Eliminate – Get rid of anything you don’t absolutely love or need (Marie Kondo style).
- Enhance – Decide what beauty and comfort mean to you, and make your spaces reflect those things.