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The Real Talk on Burnout And Practicing Self Care

Comfy bed with books and coffee

Have you ever felt like you were at your breaking point? Like you physically, mentally, or emotionally (maybe all three) couldn’t continue participating at work, school, or other activities? Almost like you can never catch a break from life’s responsibilities? If you said yes to any of the following (or again, maybe all), it sounds like you might be experiencing burnout. 

Now you may ask, “What exactly is burnout?” 

In short, it’s a more extreme state of being exhausted or overwhelmed by continuous stressing circumstances. Burnout can look different for everyone and can be brought on by different environmental experiences, and it’s usually a gradual process. Typically, feelings of being tired all the time, lessened enthusiasm around certain activities, and decreased performance are all signs of burnout. 

So, the follow up question, “How do I prevent this? How do I keep my stress levels down?”

Self-Care. Finding time and ways to take care of YOU! When we think of self-care, it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or lavish (Ex. spa days, vacations, shopping). Unless that is your jam, then go for it! Who am I to stop you and put a limit on relaxation? Self-care can be simple (Ex. taking a walk, reading a book for leisure, taking a nap (this is my favorite!)). Think of things or activities that you enjoy, maybe things you don’t get to do as often anymore. These are what I encourage to use as self-care mechanisms for yourself.

You’re probably thinking now, “Okay, so when do I do these self-care activities? How do I find the time in my busy life to do this?” 

Two key words for you… Balance and Boundaries. Self-care is all about finding a balance between yourself and your daily life activities. How we create that balance is by implementing boundaries. Think of boundaries as an imaginary line. This line can be identified as time or space (We’re keeping it simple for example purposes). So at a certain time you start/stop an activity (Ex. start: self-Care, stop: working/school), or same idea but make it certain days (Monday-Friday: work/school, Sunday: self-care). We can do this also with a space (Ex: This designated area is for work/school. I don’t do these things when I’m not in this environment.). By creating this imaginary line, we’re keeping ourselves from overextending our energy and also giving ourselves time to do things just for us. 

The goal is to create space for YOU to be YOU and do things YOU enjoy. These activities don’t have to be everyday, start small, maybe just once a week, or just an hour. Some of us need more time for ourselves than others and that's okay! Find what works for you and continue to practice those activities!

Supervised by Shannon Lynch McFarlin, Ph.D., LPC-S, CSC


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