Hooray, you are out of the burnout and ready to go back into the real world!
“I am so proud to be over the burnout and I will dive right back in! Whoop! I’ll show the world what I can do and work even harder to prove it! I am back!”
Is it necessary to tell you that this attitude might not be the best approach with the most desirable output?
Fact is that when someone has had a burnout, they are more at risk of developing a new burnout.
“When did you know the burnout was over?”, a question I often ask people who refer to having had a burnout in the past tense.
“The doctor didn’t write another sick note” or, “it felt about time to get back to work”, are the answers that I hear the most.
In this article I describe what you can do to prevent a new burnout, so after all the therapy and soul searching, these are some very interesting things to look out for. Inspiration for this text is the many conversations I had with people on my yoga retreats and in life coaching sessions. What they seem to miss the most is practical advice to tackle daily life after the burnout.
Preventing the relapse by seeing the signs
The most obvious advice that I can give you and at the same time, that which is missed most often.
Your body will tell you when it’s time to slow down.
It will tell you exactly what’s going on, IF you take the time to listen. If, this time, you choose to listen to the warning signs.
If you are…
- Oversensitive to sound and noises,
- More irritable than usual,
- Sick really easily,
- Sleepy with enough rest,
- Anxious ‘over nothing’,
- Feeling a bit low and detached from every day life,
- Developing all kinds of odd food intolerances?
If you’re ticking some or all boxes?
In that case, your body is giving you massive warning signs, again.
Nothing is what it seems
Even if you have changed your work and it seems (!) like you have changed your entire life.
In reality, it could be that nothing has really changed.
You are still taking care of the whole world first, before yourself. Taking breaks or doing less is still not in your vocabulary. Remembering when you did something just for yourself will take a while.
And, if you’re honest, you’re still rushing around.
It all looks very different for the outside world but the only thing that has really changed is the stage.
Changing work environment doesn’t necessarily mean that you eliminate the risk of a new burnout. On the contrary…
Change your habits
As long as you don’t make lasting changes in your habits and reassess your personal values and goals, nothing substantial will change. And we may as well just wait for your next burnout to happen. Harsh but true.
Here is a list of 5 things to consider before jumping into your next burnout:
- Stop the idealism of trying to be the perfect wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, friend, sister, brother, employee, boss, etc.
- Have very honest conversations with people that you trust.
Let them know how you really are instead of holding up appearances if you’re down.
Truthfulness can be a game changer!
- Get a hands on coach to guide you towards the next step and who will keep you accountable for all your good intentions.
- Give yourself a break! Be gentle to yourself, ever so gentle.
Even, when trying our best, we can be the hardest on ourselves. How many friendly, loving thoughts did you have about yourself TODAY?
Let me tell you the answer: not enough!
- Change your expectations for appreciation.
Tony Robbins mentions it often and it is very difficult to feel frustrated when you truly feel gratitude.
If you are serious about reaching your full potential? In that case, I have a little assignment for you.
Here’s 2 very simple questions for you, the exercise is to answer them and to take some time to reflect on your answers.
Question 1: How much time out of 24 hours do you devote to:
- Being with, fully attending to the people you love,
- Your occupation,
- Play and relaxation,
- Acquiring useful knowledge,
- Plain waste
Is this the way you would like it to be?
Question 2: Who among your acquaintances,
- Encourages you the most,
- Cautions you most,
- Discourages you most,
- Inspires you most,
- Helps you most in other ways,
Are you hanging out with the ‘right’ people?
I hope you liked what you read, if you have feedback or would like to schedule an initial session with me to check how you are doing post burnout, please don’t hesitate contacting me.
Rachel Bonkink – Retreat Expert & Life Coach
Life Coaching for Passionate People