Daily Habits to Prevent Burnout


In today's audio postcard I'm talking about creating daily habits to prevent burnout.

Today's question: What is one new daily habit that you can use to help yourself prevent burnout?

Leave a comment and share your ideas!

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We’re getting close to the end of 2018, which means you are starting to look ahead toward the new year, ready to make a fresh start. And often, a fresh start involves creating new habits.

This is especially true if your life hasn’t exactly been going the way you want it to. Maybe you’ve been feeling sluggish and worn out. You haven’t had the energy to do the things you enjoy. Maybe you’re feeling like you’ve been working too hard and all that working has been stealing joy from your day-to-day life.

But when you’re feeling overworked or even burned out, it’s hard to summon the energy to make a change. The good news is that preventing burnout is something you can work on little by little each day. It doesn’t have to be this huge project that takes tons of energy.

So as you’re looking toward 2019 and you’re thinking about new habits you’d like to create for yourself, I have a few ideas that I hope will help.

One of the best ways to prevent burnout is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself - from the basics all the way to creating your own true-to-you self-care habits. Here are a few ideas to consider as you are creating new habits for the new year.

1. Get more sleep.

Sleep is one of your most basic needs, but if you’re like most people you try to convince yourself you can get by without it. If you’re not getting enough sleep (and no, 4 or 5 hours isn’t enough), you’ll struggle to do your job, take care of your family and deal with daily stresses. Being sleep deprived also makes it difficult to make decisions and solve problems – and it also makes you pretty cranky.

2. Eat and drink well.

What you put into your body becomes the fuel that powers you through your day. Eating healthy food makes it easier to deal with daily stresses and frustrations. When you’re busy at work and home, eating fast food and keeping yourself fueled with coffee all day is so tempting. But all too often, it leads to energy crashes later in the day.

3. Take breaks throughout the day.

When you have a ton of work to do, taking a break seems like a waste of time. But taking regular breaks from your work helps reduce stress and get work done, which means you’ll be more efficient and effective than if you slaved away at your desk for hours on end. You’ll accomplish more and feel less frazzled.

In fact, 90 minutes is about the limit for sustained, focused concentration, so taking a short break every hour and a half is the sweet spot.

4. Move your body.

If the word exercise gives you visions of treadmills, weights and sweating, you’re not alone. Instead of thinking about getting more exercise, consider the ways you can move your body more each day. It’s good for your body and your brain and helps you do your work with more energy and enthusiasm.

5. Spend more time playing.

Playing isn’t just for kids. In fact, playing is very important for adults. According to Dr. Stuart Brown in his book Play, “Our work or other responsibilities often demand we set play aside. But when play is denied over the long term, our mood darkens. We lose our sense of optimism and we become anhedonic, or incapable of feeling sustained pleasure.”

Play is one of the most essential ways to prevent burnout – and it’s fun! As an adult, it’s easy to talk yourself out of allowing time for play because it seems silly and frivolous. But incorporating play and fun into your daily life has enormous benefits.

No one wants to end up burned out, but what most people don’t know is that preventing burnout is something you can work on every day. Don’t leave it for when you’re moments away from a meltdown. Whether you enjoy your work or not – burnout can creep in when you’re not expecting it.

The good news is that there are things you can do each day to prevent burnout. And preventing burnout is easier than recovering once you’re deep in the burnout hole. Daily habits and routines are the best way to keep burnout at bay!