Easy daily things that reduce burnout
I want to preface this entire post by validating any feelings on burnout! I also want to say that you can do ALL of these things to reduce burnout and still end up with burnout and it doesn’t make you a failure. There are a MILLION factors involved in causing a human to feel overwhelmed, anxious and fearful about the path they’ve chosen; and while these daily habits, when I made them a part of my routine, are super helpful, sometimes the world can still just be too heavy on occasion.
That is not to say my post is a waste of time. This is to say that I don’t want you to read this, see that you do these things to reduce burnout and are still feeling burnt out and decide this is another area of failure! That is not the case!
Most of these are activities or habits I include in my life daily or weekly that are outside of the scope of my work, while some are boundaries I put on my work. For me personally, burnout occurs when I spend too much time in my work. I am a very goal oriented person, and so if a goal is set I work hard towards it, often to the detriment of things around me- particularly those things that are inherently ungoalable (like raising children- you can’t set an attainable time restricted goal on parenting). I can become hyper focused on the goals and neglect other parts of my life, then those things become overwhelming and that’s when burnout happens.
Racing towards a goal is a great tool for growth, but there are ways to do it more sustainably so you can always be working towards the next goal instead of a roller coaster of ups and downs within your race.
Physical Activity: This is number one intentionally for me, but it may not be the first one for you. I have been very physically active for most of my life. So including some sort of movement in my day is key to feeling balanced. I get antsy and anxious if I am too still all day and didn’t spend that energy. Choose whatever you want, but make sure it lifts your heart rate and makes you sweat a bit. My personal favourites are crossfit style workouts in the gym, yoga and spinning.
Walk: This is above and beyond physical activity for me, but your activity can be walking 🙂 I like to do a couple different 10-30 minute walks throughout my day when it’s not winter. There are so many benefits, movement, fresh air, sunshine, they’re all so good!
I feel like a broken record but give away tasks that others can handle! You don’t have to send out emails, you don’t have to be the one to optimize and publish blog posts, you don’t have to be the one to optimize social media posts. Give away tasks that can easily stay on brand and be done by others so you can prioritize the things that must be done by you as well as focusing on the bigger picture growth stuff! This could mean adding to your team with an assistant, a second in command or a virtual assistant! Outsourcing is the number one way to reduce work burnout.
On a similar note, Automate: For things that no one has to do! Automate! Use the software that is out there to automate and schedule things to go out without you. Pro tip: Outsource the set up of these automations. My assistant set up all of our CRM automations for us!
Create boundaries around your office hours: Do you need to work in the evening because its a side hustle? Awesome! Is this your full time gig? Sweet! Do you have kids who need your attention through the day! Amazing. The point is any schedule is fine, but make some non-negotiables! For me, I work in the office Monday-Thursday 9:30-3:30. Yes I know that isn’t 40 hours. But I also do sessions in the evenings and shoot weddings on the weekends. I don’t always stick to those times, but I try to.
During busy season I often work in the evenings as well. However, my non-negotiables are: I never work Fridays, at all. I never work Sundays and I try not to work Tuesday evenings. Knowing what my non-negotiables are has made a HUGE change to my work balance. Sessions are not offered on those dates and know I will have those days off to spend with family and get life things done.
Now I will grant you that there are a few times a year that these are broken – for instance I shoot a couple of weddings on Fridays or Sundays. BUT I know those well in advance, and make accommodations and know that when booking those I am breaking my own rule.
Schedule time that is just for your family: Create traditions that make everyone want to be together. Friday night is Pizza and Movie night with our kids. Our kids know this, most of our extended family know this, half the neighbours know this. Fridays I make pizza dough and when the kids get home, we put on music, make our own pizzas, pick a movie and watch together. Then the kids go to bed and we watch something the 2 of us, usually with wine and ice cream. In the summer pizza changes to barbecue and occasionally the movie changes to a campfire. The point is, it is dedicated, ingrained family time!
Eat good food and drink lots of water: Eat good food, eat fruit, eat veggies, eat home cooked meals with lots of protein, eat smoothies, eat dessert, eat a candy bar, eat things you love, get take out, go to amazing restaurants! Do it all. The point is to enjoy eating. Yes you should eat food that will fuel your body as you work hard everyday. Yes if you have any medical stuff you should accordingly. But you should also take pleasure in the process of eating, so have treats, have takeout! Live yo life!!
Drink water– 50$ says your chronically underhydrated, buy a fancy waterbottle and drink it, several times a day. If nothing else, it will force you to get up and move your body more to refill your water bottle and go pee more frequently.
Read: Whatever you want, but I strongly suggest it has nothing to do with your work! Personally I prefer historical fiction. I try to read daily and I almost never read anything non-fiction. This one took me years to get a handle on. For some reason reading strictly for pleasure without learning some important skill or mastering a task made me feel incredibly guilty. It seemed like an indulgence of pleasure I didn’t earn. THAT IS NOT TRUE!!! Read whatever YOU want! Enjoy it, and if you have guilt about it then message me and we’ll get through it together!
OK so I do all these things, I hustle my butt, I dream big, I work towards goals, and then I realize its October and it’s busy season and I’m running like a burnt out automaton! Now what? Step one is acknowledging the burnout and acknowledging I need to something to step out from under it.
I like to dive into my passions – is there a particularly creative shoot I have been thinking about that I haven’t gotten to that I got start brainstorming more? I know that this is not the time to start something new, but researching and pinteresting and picking a future date that this could happen is a great way to renew your energy.
Further to this, one of my go to’s is planning a killer date night. For my husband and I- if you haven’t already read about it, we are HUGE dreamers. Talking about dreams is literally a past time for us! So when I am burnt out, I love to plan a date at a nice restaurant, order wine and dinner and just talk! Talk about where the burnout is coming from and then talk about our dreams. Talk about why we choose to live such a BIG life- and the struggles and sacrifices and incredible gifts that comes with!
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