Burnout is something we are all at risk from. Whether it be working too much, socialising too much, under stress or a combination of everything, getting to the point where we are physically and mentally exhausted is something that we should try and prevent if we can.
Here are my 3 top tips for helping you to prevent burnout:
1. Make sleep a priority not a luxury.
Scientific research links sleep derivation not only to low mood but physical pain too, similar to that experienced by people with fibromyalgia. Sleep deprivation also lowers our immune system and also means we are less able to deal with stress. Sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body. If you need extra hours in the day to complete tasks try not to cut into your sleep time as this will make it harder to cope with things the next day. Sleep is like food and water- we need it to survive.
2. Ask for help.
When you are feeling overwhelmed and overworked reach out to others and ask for help. Many of us are hesitant to do this for fear of looking weak or incompetent, or perhaps worry about burdening others. However, you may be pleasantly surprised to find others are willing to help, they are just waiting to be asked. As for looking incompetent, ask yourself if you would feel the same way about someone asking for your help, in most cases you’d likely not think them weak. Sometimes we need to swallow our pride and admit that we aren’t coping very well with the demands of life. It’s surely better to keep swimming with the help of a float than to say nothing and drown.
3. Learn how to say no effectively.
Are you a people pleaser, do you take on too much because you don’t want to let others down? Saying yes in situations where we don’t have enough physical or emotional resources to help others can leave us feeling under pressure or even at times resentful towards the person we’ve said yes to. Learning how to say no is part of learning how to be assertive. There are some great resources online for learning assertiveness techniques such as this Assert Yourself course from the Centre of Clinical Interventions.
Try and find more balance in life by implementing these tips to prevent the boom and bust cycle that can often be a feature of conditions where chronic fatigue is a prominent symptom.