How to Slow Down and Reduce Burnout

burnout woman exhausted

Overflowing calendars, to-do lists, always running from one place to another, we are a culture of overextending ourselves. In some cases, we are moving so fast that we are missing our lives. 

This culture of overworking has become so severe that the World Health Organization has officially classified burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in its International Classification of Diseases.

Burnout Is Real

WHO classifies Burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Characteristics include: (1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; (2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism; and (3) reduced professional efficacy. 

There is no denying the fact that the need to slow down our lives is greater than ever before. Taking time to appreciate the lives we have, stopping to smell the flowers, as the saying goes, can help us to be more productive, successful, and happier in the long-run. It is easy to get burnt out when we are always going at full speed. We all need days of rest. We need “lazy” days with our family. We need boredom. We need time to reset and recharge so we can be the best version of ourselves. 

A Move for You

An exhausted, stressed person is not going to be as productive and creative as someone who is well-rested and healthy, consider it a positive move for your overall wellbeing. 

Start by listening to your body and recognizing when you don’t feel well. Are you exhausted? Are you dreading going to the office? Do you need a change? Are you having trouble focusing? When is the last time you sat down and enjoyed your lunch? Respond to your body’s cues. If you are feeling drained, take a mental health day. 

Practice saying “no.” You don’t have to be everything for everyone. Turn down invitations to things that don’t feel necessary to your happiness. Understand and accept your need for self-care.

We talk about mindfulness a lot on this blog, but it is so important. The more present we are, the more of those special moments we can absorb. Being mindful helps us to appreciate what we have because we are soaking up things as they happen. 

Disconnect Regularly

Turn the phone off and disconnect from social media. Make it easier for yourself to be present in the moment. Try to keep your mind from wandering to the future or the past. Avoid comparing yourself to others. You are your own unique individual and you will drive yourself bonkers trying to compete with everything you see on social media. 

Learn to let go. When you start to overthink and worry about things, ask yourself “does it really matter?” So what if you miss a phone call, are late to answering an email, or forget to move the laundry the night before? Is it really that horrible? How bad would it be if you had to put it off until tomorrow? In most cases, the answer would be: not too bad at all. So, instead of rushing to get dishes done and laundry started after dinner, stop and play a game with your children. Those are the moments that matter. 

It will be difficult at first but try to make it a priority to slow down. Your health and happiness will thank you.

We Can Help

If you are struggling with slowing down in your life, consider seeking help from a licensed mental health professional. They can help you with additional tools and tips to get you started on a more productive, happier life.

The psychologists at Wellness Psychological Services are uniquely and expertly specialized in helping you create a healthier environment for yourself. We welcome the chance to discuss an individualized plan to meet your needs. Contact us for an appointment anytime.  ​

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