Its easy to work too much. Our workplaces encourage it, and our society assigns status to people who are “too busy.” It’s like we’re all trying to earn merit badges for the most consecutive days without a break. But who benefits from this? In short bursts, working extra hard to get the job done can pay off. A proposal gets written, a client is satisfied, a commitment is met. If this intensity goes on for the long haul though, no one wins. If you work or think about work 24-7, don’t take breaks or vacations, can’t find time for family or friends, let alone sleep, exercise and self-care you are working your way toward the emotional and physical exhaustion that characterizes burnout.
Burnout sneakily creeps up in response to continual and excessive workplace demands. If you work in human services, if your life includes an array of demands from your personal as well as your professional life and if you get little peer or supervisory support at work you might be especially prone to burnout. You might notice a gradual loss of the passion, commitment and motivation, replaced by a sense of exhaustion, cynicism, and low morale.
it literally took me years to realize I was burning out. I didn’t really understand what was happening to me until I got out from under the relentless stress and looked back at what had happened. The good news is that I recovered quickly at that point. The even better news is that you can stop burnout in its tracks by noticing what is happening, making a commitment to take care of yourself, and by helping to create a workplace that supports it staff.
Taking time to not work can make you more productive in the long run. That might mean a few minutes of deep breathing, 15 minutes for meditation, an hour of enjoyable exercise, or a week or two of vacation. Time off restores, replenishes and helps you find your way back to the passion and enthusiasm for your work. Life coaching can offer you the break you need to focus on self care. By listening closely,your coach can help you take a look at your life, envision how you want things to be, and create small, do-able steps to get you to that goal. Life coaching is a great burnout-prevention resource. Get in touch to find out more.
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