12 ways to prevent and deal with burnout

PREVENTING IT

1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eat, sleep and exercise regularly. Consume nutritious food, take supplements, get at least six to seven hours of sleep, work out at least three times a week, and be in the sun for some 15 minutes every day.

"Because there is a definite mind-body connection, if we take care of the body, the mind will be much more at ease as well," says Helen Lee, life coach at Lee Heiss Coaching.

She adds that being relaxed doesn't take away your edge. On the contrary, it can help you to be more focused.

"Living healthily helps you be more confident that you can influence your own outcomes, and yet, be totally happy and accepting of the present moment," Helen points out.

2. Say no - and mean it

Every "yes" you say adds another thing to your plate and takes more energy away from you. Instead, give a huge nod to yourself and indulge in more me time, even if it is only for 15 minutes a day.

3. Find a good support system

It's important to have loving and supportive family and friends - people who won't try to control, fix or complain and gossip about you.

High-maintenance friends and their demands are draining - remove them from your life.

"When you feel well emotionally, you will also feel better physically. Your uplifted spirit will help heal and rejuvenate your overall well-being," adds Helen.

4. Laugh - a lot

Don't underestimate the power of fun and playfulness. Consciously include small pleasures in your life every day, and bigger ones in your weeks and months.

"Fun and play help us function at an optimum level. What we all need to do is work towards having balance and harmony within our bodies and our lives," says Helen.

5. Soak in warm baths

Bath salts (especially Dead Sea salts) are said to help clear negative energies and stresses.

Throw in some essential oils - either in your bath or diffuse them in the room where you spend most of your time - to relax, lift and heal you.

TREATING IT

1. Completely overhaul your lifestyle

Make a list of what needs to change in your life. What are the things that are burdening you, and what would you like to have and enjoy? Then, come up with an action plan and a deadline. For example: "I will book a holiday by 4pm, next Monday".

Helen advises: "You must do a serious self-love and self-compassion exercise, where you know that you matter. Remind yourself that if you're not physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually healthy, nothing else in your life is going to work."

2. Take relaxing vacations regularly

Make time for this, no matter what, even if it's just a free-and-easy long-weekend getaway every other month.

"Either go away on your own to spend quality time with yourself, to learn how to enjoy your own company, or go with someone who makes you feel great about yourself and won't be a burden to you when you are already feeling depleted," stresses Helen.

3. Delegate

No man is an island. So let others take greater responsibility - and as much accountability - for the tasks you're handling, both at home and at work.

Helen says: "The world will carry on with or without you, so why not let it run with a healthier and happier you?"

4. Drastically reduce your connection overload

Switch off all your gadgets as much as possible, and leave them outside your bedroom when you go to sleep.

Remove the television set and computer from your bedroom - all the radiation and time spent glued to them can be draining.

Also, being too connected makes you too available to others, and takes you away from your own well-being.

5. Start new hobbies or rediscover old passions

Put aside your dreams for too long? It's time to reconnect with them and do something that may finally make you happy.

"Choose to do things that make your heart sing, until the joy flows freely from deep within you, for no particular reason. That's when you are truly just happy," says Helen.

"Stop overthinking and needing to use your mind to figure everything out. Feel with your heart instead - it will give you a great deal more peace," she adds.

6. Resolve conflict in your life

Start with your internal conflicts, before extending it to your personal and work life. Be clear about what is important to you and get on a path of forgiveness, for yourself and then for others.

"You can also practise breathing consciously. When we are aware of our breath going in and out of our nostrils, the whole day, for instance, it will help to keep us in the present moment," points out Helen.

7. Make downtime a daily ritual

It's important to recharge throughout the day, so schedule daily blocks of downtime to mentally refuel.

It could be anything from a power nap to a walk to the office pantry, or simply turning off the Wi-Fi for a bit.

This article was originally published in Simply Her September 2015.

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