Are you a naturally go fast person? I know I am. My mind races and the pace at which I like to get things done can make most people’s head spin. If something needs to be done, I’ll do it. If a goal I want to reach, I’ll reach for it and if there is any way to push myself out of my comfort zone? I’ll do it (ok well sometimes I might need a little push).
Are you the same? If you are you’ll know it is an exciting and fulfilling way to live. We get stuff done! But as you are no doubt well aware, there can also be a downside. We don’t always know when to slow down. We pack our schedules so tightly and take on so much that we can visit the edge of burnout a little too often!
If you too find yourself trying to live out every single minute of every day – then this post is for you. Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you that you need to stop, but I am going to show you how to achieve a little more balance and introduce you to a few of my practices that keep me out of the burnout zone.
1. Take the pressure off
It sounds easy when it is written there like that doesn’t it? But taking the pressure off yourself when you have extremely high self-expectations can be one of the most difficult things to do. So let me clarify, you don’t need to expect any less than your best. You just need to be more realistic with what you pack into the time you have.
So don’t go packing your daily list with 100 to-dos. Break it down. Pick 3-5 key must-do tasks and have the others on a ‘would be nice to achieve’ to-do list.
There will be some days that you rock out. You tick everything off your list and get everything you needed to – and more – done. Awesome. Celebrate it. But also understand that there will be days that don’t go to plan. You won’t even make a dent in your list (I can feel some of you squirm now in discomfort at the thought). But it is ok. It is just the nature of life.
If you can accept this – and be kind to yourself when it happens – you will keep yourself away from the ledge.
Think that working late to get those unfinished tasks off your to-do list is the answer? Think again. Lack of sleep causes health issues, weight gain, impairs judgement, and slows reaction time. On the other hand, when you’ve had a good night’s sleep you feel energised and ready to tackle the day, your body is well rested, your mind is more clear, and you gain the perspective you need to balance out your emotions.
If you’re not sleeping well start a sleep routine, and include relaxation, no blue light from screens and essential oils.
A major part of our health and happiness comes from recharging. By this, I mean taking time out from your usual day to day stuff. It could be a holiday, or it could be just having a day off doing something you love. For me, it’s about adventure and getting an adrenaline fix. I look for things that stretch me and get my juices going.
What excites you? What do you want to try but haven’t yet? Visit that place, do that thing that makes you feel alive. Play as hard as you work.
4. Give back
Giving is one of the most unselfish ways you can help yourself. Because make no mistake giving is just as much for you as it is for the person your help. When you give, whether it is time, money or talents, you shift your perspective.
You go from a mindset of “I need more” to “I have enough” from “what can I get” to “what value or service can I provide”. You are more grateful for what you have, you are happier within yourself, and you become realigned with what really matters. So if you are wound up, take a step back and give something.
5. Essential Oils
One of the most effective things that I do is use Vetiver essential oil every day. Vetiver is known for its grounding effects, it is beneficial for mental exhaustion and helps to relax a scattered mind – ideal for the workaholics among us. I use it in combination with Jasmine, Bergamot, Sandalwood and Geranium, in what I call my ‘Sanity Saver’ blend.
I use it in my office in a room vaporiser, and before I go to sleep, I rub a few drops diluted with body oil into the soles of my feet or abdomen for a good night’s rest. It isn’t a sedative; it simply grounds you so that you can focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to do multiple things and only succeeding at doing increasing your stress levels!
If aromatherapy is new to you, I encourage you to take a closer look at it before thinking that it’s too ‘out there’. It’s just ‘old time’ pharmacy, and many essential oils are replicas of the original ingredients using cheaper synthetic versions in pharmaceuticals. They are potent natural compounds that interact with our body’s chemistry with powerful effects.