You can develop happiness, balance, and true joy in all areas of your life
You are running the company, looking all put together in a high pressure position and crushing all your goals. You are the one everyone calls on to get things done. You are the first to be asked to lead practically every project because you get it done. Period. So, why are you so over it all? Why do you cringe when the alerts go off on your phone? Rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another meeting? Could you be burned out?
Burnout – what is it? It is when you are in state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. You may be to a point where it takes everything you have to complete the most basic tasks some days. Many are feeling cynical and getting less return on the time invested with less professional efficacy. You may be highly committed to your career, but burned out at home, or vice versa. For years, you worked hard to get to where you are, but you are at the brink of giving up. To top it off, the job, family, and others are asking for MORE after all you have done?!? There is barely any appreciation or reward, at this point. Something must give. Have you felt like this recently? If so, you are not alone. You can develop happiness, balance, and true joy in all areas of your life. You can prevent and bounce back from burnout.
Find Your Purpose and Live It
If you are feeling burned out in any area of your life, the first step is to find your purpose and live it. Be unapologetic, live out LOUD, and stop worrying about what others think. Some put their career before everything else, only to realize it is still falling apart or unfulfilling. Some struggle in their relationships or have no personal life to speak of. They ask themselves, where is the FUN? If this is the case for you, you must find what is truly important. You must redefine your purpose. That may mean a pivot to a new career, enjoying more family time, or volunteering. Pay attention to what you do each day that makes you truly happy. Ask yourself what you would do if you couldn’t fail? From there, you can find your purpose and start creating the life you truly deserve vs. a version of your life where you wake up feeling uninspired and go to bed feeling overwhelmed.
Prioritize Your Time
To prevent a burnout in your life, you need to have balance. Your time is finite and has to be divided like a pie. You should make time for more than just work. Spend time with friends, family, and make some time for yourself too. This is something not many people do very effectively. They may take on overtime at work, while other areas of their lives suffer. Some high performing professionals, who are on the verge of burnout, don’t take any personal time. They worry that things will fall apart while they are on vacation in Europe, so they pack their calendars with meetings and more committees, never getting refreshed or fully recharged. This doesn’t have to be the case for you. Do something you haven’t done in a while. Stop taking on overtime at work. Stop volunteering….again…and…again…and remember what you really value. Schedule time with your friends who you haven’t seen in a while. Schedule time to do something fun. Yes, do something playful. It is a good idea and has been proven to increase productivity. Go figure, right?
Asking for help is a sign you are a genius. You don’t try to fix the air conditioner or plumbing…you hire a pro, right? High performing professionals who burn out often don’t see it coming. They are so focused on getting that promotion or checklist finished, they forget how important self-care is to their well-being. We aren’t talking about getting your nails done weekly, grooming, haircuts, or shopping here. What about those hobbies? Concerts? Drawing? Reading for leisure instead of reading another company analysis. It is not a waste of time. You need to have some FUN. Get some rest, go to a spa, sleep in, get a massage, go to a weekend winery tour, and take part in some of the holiday shenanigans.Take some time alone balanced with time to socialize. Create an exercise plan (hire a hot trainer so you actually look forward to the session), relax, take hot baths, call someone to vent, journal, or read.
Still not feeling like yourself? Counseling may be in order to unload the anger and resentment if you have been on this path awhile. You should seek the help of a physician to screen for depression if you have a change in eating, sleeping, interests, concentration, mood or are drinking alcohol or using other drugs to help you cope. Go to the ER or call the depression hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are in acute need. Bottom line: take care of yourself by any means necessary. High performing professionals are at increased risk for depression, suicidal thoughts and self medicating. Make it a habit to practice self-care daily and don’t compare your needs to anyone else. Put your plan in the schedule like you do all your other meetings. Doctor’s orders.
As a high performing professional, your best bet is to focus on the tasks and decisions that only you can do…and delegate everything else! You must realize you can’t do everything on your own. Real talk? Your rate is much higher than those who assist you, so stop wasting your precious energy…time and money is energy. Taking on everything alone is the number one reason for burnout. If you are single mother, hire reliable help and have a backup, so you can have a regular night out or even a nap after a bath in peace. If you are married, get a household manager, hire a chef and get an au pair or nanny that shops and cooks. Don’t feel guilty, they will all thank you. Schedule times for your spouse to make dinner one night a week so you don’t have to be on your feet all evening. If you are at work, ask one of your co-workers to help you accomplish a task early on, so you can meet that deadline without too much stress. Get support from your friends, family, and co-workers. You might be surprised at how willing they are to help you. Especially since you are a bit short with them when things pile up.
No more procrastination. No more telling yourself you can’t have a night out to yourself, because you waited until the last minute to ask for help, and nobody was there for you. No more conflicts due to lack of prioritizing. Take control. When you plan ahead instead of waiting until you are frazzled, overwhelmed, and close to the deadline, you feel better, brighter, and more confident. You feel empowered, like you can take on the world, and you can.
By bringing more joy into your life, you can prevent a burnout. Maybe you have it all together at work, but your home life or personal life is suffering. You might have great relationships, but you are slacking at work. If you follow the above tips, you can create the balance you need in life, to not only prevent burnout, but to live the life you envisioned before you started your career.
Fed up yet? Tired of waiting for things to change? Are you truly doing what your heart desires on your terms, or just going through the motions? Schedule a FREE Strategy Session.
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About Dr. Toni A. Haley
Toni A. Haley, MD is a bestselling author, speaker, and certified executive coach for high performing women. She is also the founder and CEO of Williams Wellness Group. Dr. Haley is sought after by clients for her 25 years of experience in finance, healthcare, and wellness. Her proven strategies have helped hundreds of women break through personal and professional barriers, such as Perfectionism, Martyr Complex, and Imposter Syndrome. She is a proud alumna of Morgan State University and Ross University School of Medicine. Dr. Haley has committed her career to empowering women to achieve greater prosperity and wellness.