One Thing You Should Do to Avoid Burnout

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Does it take you hours to fall asleep? Do you need a drink to relax in the evening? Do you no longer feel like waking up in the morning? Those might be the signs you are burning out or need a life change. Here is how you can re-connect with yourself and restore balance.

Young professional holding his head being stressed
Lack of energy, insomnia and low mood might all be signs of work-related stress and burnout
We often wait until it’s too late to admit we are not ok. We wait until we gain 20 kg, have a stroke, have a spouse leave us or loose sleep.

This happens because we lose the connection with ourselves. We try and please everyone around – make our boss happy, please our partner, meet the expectations of our parents and friends. In a race to have a successful career, be a good partner, parent, child and reliable friend, we forget about ourselves.

Learn to check in with yourself and audit your needs

To avoid depression, anxiety and burnout - learn how to check in with yourself regularly. The best way to do that is to learn how to meditate. While you don't have to lock yourself away in silence for 10 days, like I did, you can learn to develop the awareness of your thoughts, feelings and your body by regularly re-connecting with your breath.

Yoga is another great example. Once you learn how to stay in touch with yourself, check in regularly if you are ok.

When was the last time you laughed? Do you have a sense of purpose? Do you feel loved?

What if you hit rock bottom?

If you are in crisis already, it might feel big and scary. You might not even know where to start. Break it down to the level of basic needs.

I love Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a simple framework to aid that. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Where is the biggest gap for you? Do you have a few?

Maslow hierarchy of human needs
Maslow hierarchy of needs is a great framework to check in with yourself regularly and avoid burnout

Once you pin down which needs you are failing to fulfil, take some time to admit to yourself what are the implications if you continue the way you do.

If what you see is bigger and scarier than the change you need to make to your life, that means it’s time for a new chapter.

Designing a new chapter is a whole other story. You can read about it in this post. Realising you need a change might not be the hardest thing in fixing you not being ok. Resisting all others telling you are ok, when you are not, is.

"Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change." Tony Robbins

Why do others keep insisting that you are ok?

They say you are ok because they need you. Your boss and your colleagues might tell you that you need to take a break or manage your boundaries better. They might suggest moving teams, taking up more responsibility, exciting new project or a pay rise.