How to Avoid Burnout and Take Your Life Back

10 Simple Ways to Health and Sanity

In Toronto’s dynamic business landscape, where finance and commerce are at the heart of the city’s activity, the demands on our professional lives have never been higher. Furthermore, in so many fields, social media has added to demands of time and efficiency that to keep up has become almost impossible.

Now, our chosen careers are twofold in need: to enhance the business we have chosen and to learn, implement and manage the social media that has become a necessary ingredient to survival.

Which of us do not want to take our lives back? The consequences for not doing so are serious: stress, health deterioration, loss of social and family life, pleasure in our vocational choices and peace of mind.

1. Stop Working

Tell your boss that you are in need of a vacation, not a long weekend or a Wednesday off. For the sake of your health and the sake of your performance, it is in your interest, your family’s interest, and the interest of the company that R and R is needed for at least two weeks. You deserve it. Your tone can seal the deal; so, be respectful and reasoned in your request.

Then book it: a cottage holiday on a remote island with no internet, a retreat in Ireland for poetry writing; a theatre and concert tour of London’s finest playhouses. Make sure you get away, for staying home and cutting the lawn won’t do it. The greatest distance between you and your regular routine will be the most restorative.

Finally, take no work with you. This is your time, not the company’s

2. Swap

If there is another section of your company that you would like to explore, apply for a transfer, even temporary, to make a change for stimulation and innovation. If there is someone with whom you can trade responsibilities in another department, make the request. It’s a swap, but it can be one that invigorates you with newness, and your trading partner.

Stress the advantage to the organisation when you request. Both of you will learn new skills and be more portable if ever there is a need for movement. Company solidarity will be effected by the new relationships. You will become more valuable to your boss who will have more reason to keep you.

3. Get Physical Release

Particularly if you are in a sedentary job, your body needs release, new challenges, a holiday. Think of what activities adult responsibilities have made you give up. You may have loved a sport, or acting or martial arts in the past, or you would like to experiment now. Not only does your physical health need it, but your emotional health will discover benefits when you find relief from work duties that have taken over your life.

A happier ‘you’ will have less risk of a badly timed, inappropriate outburst that may damage your career irreparably. Your new personal activities will give you better personal relations at work.

4. Be Careful of Stimulants and Depressants

Having that extra drink after work or ‘blowing it out’ on the weekend is a slippery slope to aggravating your problem. Whether the alleged solution is pharmaceutical or social, dependence on alcohol, caffeine or other will not bring job satisfaction and relaxation from stress, for the heavy workload will just get heavier. The added weight may affect your much-needed sleep.

Consult the local leisure guides for the best solution, a healthy one.

5. Communicate

Friends can help; families will listen. Do not harbour your doubts, fears and anxieties alone. There is no shame in sharing your concerns with someone who has an interest in your welfare, be it a spouse, old friend or best buddy. Always choose someone to be trusted; don’t blurt to just anybody, for gossips can compound your problem.

Doing so will release the pressure valve and direct you to a practicable solution. In terms of a release valve, unload in a letter to the one who is the source of the problem, and DO NOT mail it. Private expression can help lead you see more clearly. You may want to keep a diary and VENT, VENT, VENT. You must let it out.

6. Put Play in Your Work

Engage in exciting projects with your fellow workers; create ‘fun’ competitions with them, and turn the tasks into games. Challenge and eradicate routine. Nothing makes life meaningless more than routine. You and your team will discover more energy and the effect may be happier workers and higher productivity.

Make work more like a day off: put the ‘off’ back in the office.

7. Get Away From the Work Place

Starbucks has free Wifi. Some computers can work in a park. Expand your work horizon. You may find your breaks restorative when you watch puppies play or interact with friendly strangers. Have a snack and coffee in the local diner and get to know the regulars. Work doesn’t have to be done in isolation.

However, do not work at home if you can help it. Get out, for you don’t want associate problems and frustrations with your personal space.

8. Is the Law on Your Side?

There are provincial and federal labour laws that may be of assistance. Should you need time off, there are laws protecting your being absent from work for mental and physical health reasons without fear of job loss. You may be protected and a quick search online or a short visit to a lawyer will give you the information you need. You should consult your doctor or a registered psychologist to explain and receive the required documentation for your submission.

You may use the legally mandated sick and vacation leave, but if the needs go beyond, you may find yourself drawing on savings. Simply inform yourself as to the terms and conditions that apply. You may be in serious need of a break.

9. Live a Healthy Life Style

Nutritious food, regular exercise, and sound, sufficient sleep comprise the foundation of good mental and physical state. If your body is an over-worked machine, it needs repair. Be your own physician, and heal yourself. So, booze, cigarettes, recreational drugs have to go. Couch potatoes mould. Think of your body clock and need for rest and repair. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with a short nap during the day to recharge.

Love yourself, you are the only one you have.

10. Change Careers

You may find that your current occupation is not the one for you. Financial gain cannot be the only criterion. Do you want to say you saved a million bucks and hated your life for eight or more hours a day when it’s time to retire? Living in such conditions will have dire results on your physical and emotional health; so, change. You may want to take courses in something more meaningful or get support and go back to school.

Your health and sanity are your most valuable assets. Unreasonable stress will deplete you in every way. Take the plunge and make the move

Do not let burn out happen to you.

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