I’m not sure how to break it to you, but if you’re just going about your day, every single day without break or change in your routine, chances are good that burnout is just waiting to creep up on you.
Before you panic though, consider making small changes to your daily routine.
Executive Political Coach Melanie Childers offered some tips to try to slow burnout in its treacherous tracks.
1. Get into nature
Childers suggests that you “Step outside, feel the warm sun on your skin, and put your feet in the grass (or the sand, or run your fingers over the bark of a tree, touch snow, pet a dog, whatever is convenient for you).” Can’t get out to someplace green or beautiful? Keep plants on your desk or even try small things like keeping your screensaver set to a beautiful nature scene or someplace that always makes you happy.
Or just stop and breathe.
Childers said, “Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths to be present and really connect.” Or sneak out to the break room and try a meditation app for a few minutes. It isn’t a yoga or meditation class, but it might just add a few much-needed minutes of calm to your day.
2. Spontaneous adventure
If you feel like nothing interests you anymore, maybe it’s time to try something new. Childers reminds us that “Trying new adventures boosts our dopamine and serotonin levels, especially when they’re fun and spontaneous! Additionally, when you celebrate trying new things, your brain connects being brave with pleasure, winning, and joy, so adventure becomes less scary and more rewarding over time.”
But don’t panic. New adventures don’t have to involve bungee jumping or running with the bulls. New to you is the main thing to keep in mind, so if you’ve dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights, maybe even starting to plan a trip or collecting travel resources will help you feel as though you’re on the way.
3. Combination self-care
In recent years, the notion of self-care has become less of a luxury and more something we accept as being a needed part of our lives. But how do you find the right ways to care for yourself?
Childers says your best bet is to “Use a combination of relaxation modalities that appeal to multiple senses at once and enhance each other: Run a hot bath with aromatherapy oils while playing meditation music, burn incense while writing or doing yoga, or listen to affirming self-hypnosis while exercising.”
Can’t wait until you get home to give yourself a needed treat?
Self-care and an office environment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Keep some calming desk toys around, or anything tactile that can take your mind out of a stressful moment even for a nanosecond. Use these as positive triggers to remind yourself that you’ll be able to better care for yourself sooner rather than later. Or invest in a ring with a favorite mantra engraved inside. I have a ring that I wear on extremely stressful days that has “This too shall pass” engraved on the inside. It gives me a hidden boost of calm.