3 Actionable Tips to Turn Burnout to Balance
Is there a cure for burnout? If there is, let me know! I’ve read all sorts of studies and I think I really have heard it all. There are even some ‘experts’ who say that humour can cure burnout. Well, If we don’t laugh we’ll cry, I suppose, but I’ve yet to meet anyone that has 100% ‘cured’ their burnout. It’s something that doesn’t just go away because, guess what, burnout breeds burnout. But that doesn’t mean we need to live with it.
Burnout is real. It’s something that needs to be acknowledged, but trying to find a cure is a bit like searching for the Holy Grail. Why? Because burnout is different for everyone, so searching for a one-size-fits-all solution is pretty pointless. Instead, I believe that the best approach is to turn whatever pain and stress we’re feeling into something useful.
Here are 3 easy ways to transform your feelings of burnout into something meaningful:
1. Know what balance means to you
If you want to turn burnout to balance, you have to know what you’re aiming for. Otherwise it’s a bit like going to the supermarket without a shopping list: frustrating! Think about what a balanced existence looks like to you. Ask yourself what matters to you, and don’t be afraid to change your idea of balance as you grow and develop. When you have a better understanding of what you value and what you want your life to look like, it becomes much easier to channel your ‘burnout’ energy into achieving your goal.
2. Change your perspective
‘Work/life balance’; it’s one of those horrible cliché sayings that makes coaches like me want to scream. They always say ‘leave your problems at the office’, which is ridiculous because we all know that our brains don’t work like that. We can’t feel burnt out at work yet magically feel right as rain at home. So to find balance, we have to consider the whole, rather than just the problematic segments. Although balance means different things to different people, it always takes into account all aspects of being.
3. Prioritise You
None of us are equipped to turn burnout to balance if we’re not in the right frame of mind. It’s like being expected to fly a plane without a license. The key to implementing change in your life is feeling powerful enough to do so. Practice self care; look after you and give yourself the inner tools you need to make a positive change. But remember: you can’t rely on how others see you. Only you know if you’re taking care of you so be honest with yourself, and if you’re struggling, ask for help — there’s no shame in it.
It’s OK to be normal
At one point or another, we’ve all wanted to be a superhero. Me included. But one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned is that it’s OK to just be normal. We don’t have to do it all, even though there’s this expectation that we should. And ultimately I think that’s the secret to turning burnout to balance: understanding that we don’t have to say ‘yes’ to everything, understanding that we can set our own boundaries, and understanding that we don’t have to achieve everything in order to feel accomplished.