Burnout is really all about lifestyle choices, particularly making bad choices. It becomes a downward spiral that starts when we realize we can’t take the time to care for our own bodies with the tender loving kindness that only comes with reflection and taking time to make healthy lifestyle choices.
When we make poor lifestyle choices, we contribute further to burnout because burnout leads to illness, which isn’t dealt with well, which leads to more burnout.
By changing our lifestyle choices in the beginning, we can reduce burnout and the never-ending cycle of stress, illness, and burnout. This means starting with setting comfortable priorities and avoiding those things that contribute to burnout.
For example, traveling twice a day in rush hour traffic, taking up to an hour or two a day just to get to and from a hectic job can contribute to burn out. We justify this by saying we need the job, we need the money and we can’t possibly change the fact that rush hour traffic is contributing to our stress.
By thinking differently and deciding to work from home some of the time or to get a more satisfying job closer to home, we change the lifestyle choices we have made and can reduce our level of burnout.
Many people have been in this exact situation and have come out of it happier and more successful because they chose a life that didn’t lead them toward daily or weekly burnout.
Eating Habits and Burnout
When we have no time in our day to eat right, we put into our bodies just about anything that will satisfy our hunger and thirst. This means drinking too many stimulants in the form of sodas and coffee, eating food that can be bought from a vendor, or foregoing sitting down to a relaxing meal, choosing instead to eat on the go or in the car. This makes eating very unpleasant. We eat too much, we gain weight, and we don’t even enjoy the food we are eating.
The way to turn this around is to make eating healthy food a priority. Make healthy lunches and bring them to work. Turn off the television and sit down with the family for a sit-down, handmade dinner. Have a barbecue on the weekend and spend time with friends enjoying the outdoors and some good food and drink.
The stressors of the week can fall away when we choose to eat healthy and eat with mindfulness. Just taking the time to eat right can reduce burnout and can help keep your body healthy; reducing the burnout, we would feel if we added sickness to our list of things to worry about.
Exercising and Burnout
Many people spend stressful hours in front of a computer as part of their job or even as part of their leisure time. Some of this time can be better spent by making exercise a priority. Even exercising for a half an hour a day can improve our health and can improve the body’s endorphins so we feel better for the rest of the day. Just about anyone can spare a half hour to walk, run, swim, or lift weights.
These things can improve our outlook on life and can reduce burnout. Exercise can reduce weight and can improve metabolism so we don’t feel sluggish while we are working. Evidence suggests that just this small amount of exercise per day can improve burnout and enhance a person’s outlook on life. Hobbies involving some kind of exercise are choices we can make that reduce burnout and improve the way we live our lives.
Make the Right Choice
Self-care is a choice too! So many people in our modern hustle and bustle world do not choose self-care over job performance, personal and family responsibilities. The truth is that all of these things will suffer when we become burned out and can no longer function.
It is better to maintain a state of wellness and energy by caring for ourselves regularly and consistently, instead of waiting to hit bottom when it is much harder to recover.
Self-care is not difficult, adequate rest, relaxation, and evaluating and getting rid of major stressors is well worth your health and wellness!