6 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Burnout
I used to think that serving or helping others required self-sacrifice on my end all the time. I was influenced to believe it showed my commitment and dedication to the cause or person(s) I was helping.
I was wrong. It’s a very unhealthy perspective.
Giving and service is a sacrifice, even so by the very definition of the words. But when is giving of yourself or serving unhealthy or even potentially dangerous to yourself or others?
How do you know if you are experiencing signs of burnout?
Let me ask you this: How are YOU doing right now? What stresses you out by the simple thought of it? Where do you feel most pressure in your life? These kinds of questions will lead you to the answer.
6 ways to protect yourself against burnout:
Clear Expectations. Whether it’s a job role (paid/unpaid) or helping out a friend… What do you know (not think) is expected of you? There’s a difference between our own made up expectations and the actual facts.
Sometimes we can easily prevent situations by being honest with ourselves. Maybe it’s a job you should say no to because the cost will be a personal life on the weekends, or say no/limit your help to someone where it begins to cross your boundary lines and becomes draining for you.
Know your Priorities. Do you know yours? Write a list of them, if you don’t have them listed out. It will help you remind yourself daily of what REALLY matters for you, especially when needing to make a decision.
Pressure to give more. Let’s put it this way: Guilt or pressure from ANYone should never be justifiable or acceptable. It’s a RED FLAG in my opinion. It’s a form of manipulation… and, well, enough said. As a result, when we cave in we can end up resentful, angry and bitter.
Don’t vs Want. On the flip side of not allowing others to make you cave, I challenge you to pay attention and be honest with yourself about what you CAN’T do versus what you DON’T WANT to do. One is very different than the other. I urge you to not sacrifice yourself when you ‘can’t’, but I challenge you to push yourself to try what you ‘don’t want’ to.
Alignment. Burnout is the sure sign you’re doing something that isn’t in alignment with what you should be doing. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean the actual WORK but rather the APPROACH of how you’re doing it.
Self-Care. Are you neglecting your own self-care? Do you manage your time well? You can’t give what you don’t have. Take the intentional time to get fueled up.
Signs of feeling drained or burned out is a sign you need to change something.
As much as I love giving my all and helping others, I’ve learned that putting myself first isn’t selfish, it’s actually my own lifeline. As a wife and mother, I have to constantly juggle and help manage many things at one time, but I have less stress now than I did before as a single woman with lesser responsibilities. These have really helped change my life!
For years, I have seen people (myself included) who didn’t set boundaries for themselves have personal, or even business lives, that are struggling and falling apart because of this very thing.
Remember, life isn’t a short sprint.
We can’t give what we don’t have, so taking care of ourselves and keeping ourselves surrounded by healthy relationships is what keep us going long and strong.