7 Ways to Save Yourself from Burnout

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In 2014, I had a hip injury and in 2015 I had a nervous breakdown. These were both consequences of not taking care of myself when I needed it the most. These were cautionary signs of burnout that at the time I took for granted because well, I was on the highway to success like so many others. We needed to keep up with the Joneses and that was more important to us than our own health. Until of course, everything was forced into a halt and one day I found myself helplessly bedridden.

Now that I’m back to work, I’m both excited and nervous. The big question is, can I trust myself to take care of myself when the going gets tough or will I give into overwhelm? The answer is yes, I can trust myself!  I’ve spent the past few years learning from my mistakes, changing my ways and doing some deep inner work. These are just a few things I’ve learned along the way.

Create Time by Prioritizing.

Most people feel like we don’t have enough time to do everything and while that may be true, the trick is to prioritize and make time for things that matter most. Don’t create an impossible to do list. Instead, write 3 things a day that you want to accomplish. And make sure to pat yourself on the back when it’s all done. Let it be enough. You are enough.

Get yourself a cute notebook at Gold Leaf in South Park to keep track of your priorities. Write it down and don’t just create a “to do” list but also a “done list”. It will make you feel that much more successful. It always puts a giant smile on my face.

Self Care Rituals.

There was a time when self-care was barely on my radar. This is a fairly new concept to me. I think a lot of us feel guilty for taking care of ourselves, especially as women. As if there is always somebody else to take care of before ourselves. Again while that may true, I realize that if I don’t take care of me, I am probably not taking very good care of anyone else.

We should be giving from a full cup, not a depleted one. So, schedule in a self-care date on a weekly basis. It is not a luxury; it is a necessity for a sustainable life. So whether that’s a massage with my favorite masseuse Christina Wehry or getting your hair done at Koda Salon, please make you a priority.

Quiet your Mind.

At one point in my life, I thought that this was impossible. Most of us suffer from what’s called monkey mind. We live in a society that is forced fed information on a consistent basis.

For sanity’s sake, I highly recommend taking the time out to meditate. You don’t have to look like a monk doing it. It can look like sipping tea in the morning without looking at your phone or simply walking your dog and being fully present in the moment. If you are interested in traditional meditation, they offer classes at my favorite yoga studio Sojourn Healing Collective.

Take a Vacation.

When I ran my own business I didn’t take much of a vacation and if I did, guess what? I was still thinking about work. If you are able, do a technology detox. Turn off your phone while you’re out and about. The world’s not going to end.

For a last minute vaca nearby, check out Cautro Cuatros in Ensenada, Mexico. It’s the best glamping experience of my life. Spend time in nature but also in luxury.

Enjoy a Hobby.

All work and no play can drive anybody crazy. What if you enjoy your job? It’s even harder to create boundaries in that situation. That’s why I recommend a hobby purely for play. Somewhere where you forget you’re an adult and tap into your child-likeness. I promise play is just as important as work. It will even feed the creativity in other aspects of your life.

Personally, I love to dance. It’s where I let go of all my inhibitions. I take dance classes on the beach with Yellowbird Expressive Arts on Fridays. It’s like dance mixed in with a spiritual practice. If you enjoy dance, you’re in for a real treat. You’re welcome in advance.

Community over Competition.

To me, competition is somewhat of an illusion because really, no one is offering the same exact thing. Even if it’s a similar service, it is the style in which we bring it to the world that makes us unique. The best thing to do is to collaborate with others in your field rather than seeing them as the enemy. That kind of community fuels creativity and productivity rather than drains it.

If you’re looking for a community that supports your dreams, I highly recommend a group like San Diego Business Babes. These are women that want to see you rise into your Queendom.

Empower Yourself.

Often we blame others for our situation if we are not getting what we want. But mostly, those are choices that we’ve made even if they seem forced because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. It’s important to know your core values and to be able to say “no” comfortably. It’s imperative to be picky about our choices in life. We are the creators of our own worlds. And if you don’t believe that, you’ll just be at the whim of everyone else’s desires.

I highly recommend hiring a life coach like Krystal Brandt to get started. It helps to have someone by your side, cheering you on, aiding you with tools on how to tap into your best self.

Lisa Ormsby is a San Diego-based conscious living, meditation, and wellness writer. She was born in Rochester, NY and grew up in a Korean family. She attended Long Island University where she studied English and Writing and studied abroad throughout Europe and Asia in her later years there. In 2006, she moved to San Diego to follow the California Dream and met the love of her life (They've been married for 10 years now!). She is a member of San Diego Writers Ink, San Diego Memoir Writers Association, and Thought Leaders Who Write. When she’s not writing, you can often find her in yoga class, dancing on the beach or traveling the world with her husband.

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