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Tag Archive: How to Overcome Burn-Out

How to Overcome Burnout and Get Back on a Routine (Part 4)

If you missed Parts 1-3, be sure to read them here.

6. Make Time For Things That Energize You

If you are feeling burned out, step back and evaluate your life. How much of the time are you spending doing things that drain you and how often are you doing things that energize you?

If your answer to this question is that you’re doing little that energizes you, you may have just found the solution to overcoming burnout.

Make a List of Things You Love to Do

Instead of thinking of all the things you have to do or the things you should do, clear your mind for 10 or 15 minutes and just make a list of things you love to do. What excites you, makes you feel alive, refreshes you, and recharges your batteries?

Maybe it’s gardening, having lunch with a friend, going to garage sales, painting, scrapbooking, swimming, writing, or browsing books at a bookstore. Whatever comes to your mind as something you love to do, write it down.

Be Intentional About Scheduling In Time for Things You Love

Take your list and schedule in at least one or two things every week that you love to do. Not only does this give you something to look forward to every week, but it prevents you from becoming too worn down. If every few days — or at least once a week — you’re doing something that recharges you, you’re going to be less apt to ever feel completely burnt out because you’re regularly replenishing your energy stores.

When I did this exercise, it was so helpful for me. I realized that, while I love spending time with other people, I’m most refreshed with quiet. Going and doing and being with people exhausts me after awhile.

So, in order to recharge my batteries, I need time away — going to a coffeeshop and writing for a few hours, curling up with a good book for an hour, or going grocery shopping by myself.

Because I know this about myself, I intentionally carve out at least an hour or two of quiet each week, if at all possible. The stillness — without people and projects and pressing to-do’s — re-energizes me and makes me much more productive and passionate about life.

What If You Can’t Think of Anything You Love To Do?

When I was deep in the midst of postpartum depression, someone encouraged me to try and do something fun every single day. The problem was, I couldn’t come up with a single thing I wanted to do. Nothing sounded fun, interesting, exciting, or even appealing to me. And that was a warning sign that I needed to get help — and to get it quickly.

If you’re feeling this way, please don’t take it lightly. Like me, you may be suffering from something more than just physical exhaustion or fatigue.

How to Overcome Burnout and Get Back on a Routine (Part 3)

If you missed and Part 2 be sure to read them here before you read Part 3 below.

5) Recognize That You Can’t Do It All

No woman, no matter how put together she might seem, is superwoman. Every woman has her flaws, shortcomings, and struggles.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

The sooner you stop comparing yourself to others, the sooner you’ll start to find more peace and contentment in life.

You can spend all of your life trying to measure up to someone else. You can fritter away hours of time wishing you had her hair or her figure or her energy or her gifts. But you are not her, you are you.

You have unique gifts, talents, and abilities. You can improve upon what God has given you, you can wisely steward what He has given you, but you cannot change who He has created you to be.

So instead of living life wishing you were someone else, embrace your own uniqueness. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t get up when she gets up, or decorate your home like she decorates hers, or fit into the size of jeans she does, or juggle all the activities and responsibilities she does.

Your life and goals are going to look different from others — and that is completely okay. In fact, if everyone were a carbon copy of each other, wouldn’t life be dull and colorless?

Do the best you can with the energy, gifts, talents, and resources you have in the season of life you are in. And then be free from guilt!

Pick a few priorities and let the other stuff go.

People ask me all the time, “How do you do it all?” And the simple truth is: I only have a few priorities — and I seek to do a good job at those priorities. Then, I let a bunch of other stuff go.

And by a bunch, I mean a bunch of other stuff.

I don’t cook gourmet meals, I don’t host elaborate parties, and I’m the farthest thing from a fashionista.

I don’t sew. I don’t really garden. I don’t head up any organizations or run any committees.

My children are only involved in one extracurricular sport/activity right now (they are all taking ice-skating lessons) and we stay home all day at least two or three days most weeks.

I have a fantastic team of people who help with all the behind-the-scenes stuff for December212012.info, I have a full-time assistant, and I have a mother’s helper who comes in one day each week.

So while I might do a good job of most weeks, I might accomplish a number of my weekly goals, I might , and I might update this blog frequently, the only reason I have time to do those things is because I’ve chosen to say “no” to a lot of other things that I’ve deemed aren’t priorities in my life right now.

Give yourself grace.

You are never going to be where you want to be. There will always be something undone or left to do. And as soon as you complete one project, there’s another project (or five) that needs to be completed.

Don’t beat yourself up that you’re not as far as you’d like to be. Instead, give yourself grace, and focus on the progress you have made and are making.

Rather than becoming discouraged that you have 12 things left on your to-do list to do and it’s 10:30 p.m., be encouraged that you accomplished three of the things you set out to do today.

When you have a day when it seems like nothing gets done and you just go around and around in circles, remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day.

And remember: Life is meant to be enjoyed and savored not run through at breakneck speed. Take time to stop and smell the roses, even if it means fewer things get crossed off the to-do list!

…to be continued tomorrow

How to Overcome Burnout and Get Back on a Routine (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, be sure to read it here before you read Part 2 below.

4) Take Care of Your Health

As women, we often are prone to take care of everything and everyone else before we take care of ourselves. The problem is, if we do this for months on end, soon we are going to end up so worn down and fatigued that we won’t be able to take care of anyone.

Make your health a priority — even if it means you must say “no” to other seemingly important commitments. In the long run, it will be every bit worth it.

Nourish your body with good foods.

In addition to making sure you’re getting enough sleep, make sure that you are nourishing your body with good foods. I’ve found that I feel so much more energetic if I eat at least one big salad everyday. If I don’t eat one for lunch, I eat one for dinner. Some days, if I’m feeling like I really need the extra nutrition and energy boost, I’ll eat one for lunch and dinner.

I don’t eat all these salads because I always feel like it, I eat them because I know that I won’t like how I feel if I don’t eat them. So I down the greens — and I always am thankful I did afterward. 🙂

If you can, chop up some veggies or wash and tear lettuce on the weekends. Then you don’t have to spend a lot of prep time throughout the week. And, you also have fewer excuses for getting in your greens when you make them more easily accessible. 🙂

Take your vitamins.

I know, I sound like your mother, but taking a good multi-vitamin can really make a difference in how you feel. I also recommend taking fish oil, too.

There are lots of other vitamins out there to consider taking, but do your research before you just start popping pills. Too much of a good thing can sometimes be just that — too much.

I used to be really, really bad about consistently taking vitamins. Then, I learned a trick: I had to make it part of my routine. Instead of just trying to remember to take my pills sometime during the day, I made pill-taking part of my evening routine.

Now, it’s become such a habit, that I pretty much can’t go to bed unless I’ve taken my pills. And I feel so much better as a result!

Drink lots of water.

Many, many of our physical ailments can be the result of just not drinking enough water. Headaches, constipation, weight gain, leg cramps, exhaustion, and much more can often be related to the fact that one is dehydrated. So before you spend a lot of money on products to help you with your physical problems, make sure you’re getting hydrated.

If you struggle to drink enough water throughout the day, you might find it helpful to or on your phone — or just on a notebook in your kitchen. You could also fill up a pitcher of water or two bit water bottles before you go to bed at night and then commit to drink all of it by the time you go to bed the next night. You could even set a timer to go off periodically throughout the day to remind you to drink water.

Or, you can do what I do and try to always have a glass of water nearby wherever you are. I’ve found that the physical presence of that glass of water encourages me to constantly be taking sips of it throughout the day. And before I know it, I’ve downed 8 or 10 glasses of water!

Exercise regularly.

If you’re already fatigued, it might seem counterintuitive for me to be suggesting you start exercising. However, instead of exhausting you, exercise can often actually increase your energy.

If you aren’t regularly exercising, set really small goals at first: such as jogging or walking for 10 minutes three times a week. Track your progress on a site like to help you stay motivated. Or, find an exercise accountability partner to exercise with you or to check up on you throughout the week to make sure you’re sticking with your plan.

For those who feel like exercising is such a boring and dull thing, may I encourage you to try some new things? Join an exercise class, try biking, or check out some exercise DVDs from the library. Keep experimenting with different things until you land on something you enjoy.

And if you’re Type A like me, find a way to multi-task so that it feels more productive. I’ve found that I’m much more likely to hop on the treadmill if I have during my warm-up walk and a good podcast or audiobook to listen to while I’m running.

…to be continued tomorrow.

What suggestions or tips do you have for simple things a busy woman can do to take care of her health? I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas!

How to Overcome Burnout and Get Back on a Routine (Part 1)

I love my role as a stay-at-home mom, but I am just burned out. I wander aimlessly. I know I need my routines again, I know I need structure, but this once big-time routine-oriented mama is now struggling to get up out of bed. Do you have any advice or suggestions for how I can break out of this rut I’m stuck in? -Chrissy

My heart goes out to you, Chrissy! I am so sorry that you are struggling and feeling so exhausted and burned out. I can’t promise that I have any miracle solutions for you, but I will share some things I’ve learned from my own journey through postpartum depression and burnout two years ago.

1. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is vitally important to your overall health and well-being. If you’re short on sleep, it can affect many areas of your life — including your moods and motivation.

Make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep almost every day. If you’re up at night with a baby and it’s impossible to consistently get a good night’s sleep, do the best you can do and let anything go that isn’t a necessity so that you can make sleep a priority. You’ll be much more productive and energetic when you are awake if you give yourself the grace to step away from the to-do list and get some shut-eye instead.

Go to bed early. Studies have shown that . I’ve also found that I feel much more rested (and am more efficient the next day!) if I go to bed early rather than trying to stay up and get stuff done when I’m exhausted, only to wake up feeling all groggy in the morning.

Take power naps. If you can’t get a long stretch of sleep at night because your husband works weird hours and your babies are up multiple times throughout the night, try power naps. I used to think I wasn’t a napper, but I’ve found that if I feel tired in the afternoon, lying down and sleeping for just 20 or 30 minutes can really re-energize me for the rest of the day.

Find your sleep number. No, I’m not referring to , but to your personal number of hours of sleep that you need to get every night to function at maximum capacity. For most people, it will be somewhere between 7 and 9 hours.

Experiment with getting 7 hours of sleep every night for a week and see if you feel rested and energetic all day long. If not, increase to 7.5 hours of sleep for a week. Continue to experiment until you land on what works best for you and then make that number a priority every night, as much as you possibly can.

2. Get Your Thyroid and Hemoglobin Checked

If you haven’t been to the doctor to get your thyroid and hemoglobin checked and other bloodwork done, I recommend picking up the phone and making an appointment today. Many times, what might feel like an emotional imbalance — or what you might think is just some lack of motivation on your part! — is actually a physical issue that can be easily treated and fixed.

3. Fill Your Mind With Good Things

Read God’s Word. If you are a Christian, make spending time in God’s Word and prayer on a daily basis your number one priority. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mom, it’s how much I need God — every single moment of every single day.

I encourage you to start your day with at least a few moments in God’s Word and prayer. Take five or ten minutes to pray over your day, asking God to give you strength and grace to face the tasks before you. I also highly recommend reading a good devotional book, along with a passage of Scripture. (I’ve loved and am being very blessed by right now.)

Read good books. Books such as or , can help encourage, inspire, and re-invigorate you when you feel worn out and lifeless. Even reading just one page per day or listening to three minutes of an audiobook each day can give you a little extra boost — and the motivation to keep on, keeping on. You can see a list of all of the and the here.

Listen to music. When I’m down, I’ve found that music can be a huge pick-me-up. Even if I don’t feel like listening to music, if I turn it on, I usually can’t help but be uplifted. And singing along with some of my favorite songs can also be a big mood-brightener.

Count your blessings. It’s easy to become discouraged if we focus on everything that’s wrong or difficult in our life. However, instead of dwelling on the negative, challenge yourself to think of at least three to five things to be thankful for. It’s amazing how a grateful spirit can change your mood — and even your whole outlook on life!

 …to be continued on Monday

What has helped you overcome burn-out or exhaustion? I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips!