Burnout is a prevalent problem. Many people are struggling with feelings of overwhelm, stress, and exhaustion with no end in sight. While there could be a myriad of reasons that a person might deal with the symptoms of burnout, the reality is that we need solutions that dig deeper than striving for better work-life balance and being more mindful. While both of those are wonderful and helpful solutions, the first place to start is actually with a shift in mindset.
Mindset Around Setting Boundaries
We talk a lot about the ideal work-life balance but why is it so hard to achieve? Why is saying “no” and setting boundaries so hard?
Maybe you’re just trying to keep up or you feel pressure to achieve. You might have a fear of failing, falling behind, or losing what you have. Maybe you feel like if you pause or stop, you’ll suffer.
Reframing your mindset around taking time for rest is the first step in being disciplined in setting boundaries. When you rest, you recharge so you can operate as your best self. One way to think about boundaries is that when you maintain them, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to be your best. No one can do that for you. Rest is not selfish; it’s necessary. Even your phone needs to recharge its batteries. Go ahead and claim your time for rest. Set the boundaries with others and yourself. The world will keep turning.
Reframing Your Identity
In many cases, one of the reasons I see people burn out is because of their achievement-oriented values. People often equate what they do as their identity. For example, “I am a writer, a wife, a mom, etc.” To be this person, I have to do this or that. It can mount up to a lot of pressure.
To reframe this mindset, first, think about what identity really means to you. You are not your successes or your failures. You are not what you do or what you don’t do. Let go of your attachment to identifying yourself solely on your achievements or titles.
When I work with athletes on identity, we focus on how their character shapes who they are. Purpose evolves as you evolve. Take some of the pressure off of yourself and focus more on being the person you want to be. You’re enough.
Knowing What Motivates You
When you feel totally overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to think about what’s really motivating you. For example, in the past, I found that I was keeping myself busy because I wanted to feel like I was being productive. I am someone who is achievement-oriented so I would strive to control everything and overdo things. I wanted to feel like I was getting somewhere, even if I wasn’t. This sense of being busy and total exhaustion helped keep my insecurities quiet. Once I realized this, I was able to make adjustments to my schedule because I understood why I was taking on too many things and why it was important to change that habit.
Learn to Pause During Chaos
You don’t have to wait to schedule a time to relax. A short mindful meditation or breathing exercise can help you reconnect with your inner stillness no matter where you are and what you’re doing. The key is to practice. For starters, incorporate a 5-to-15 minute meditation into your morning. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just sit and focus on your breath. When your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breath. The more you practice, the easier it’ll become to connect with your inner stillness. It’ll also become something that feels familiar. So, when you’re in a space that’s hectic, you can take a few deep breaths, connect, and slow down even if it’s just for a few moments. This clarity will help you navigate your day with less stress.
Misty Buck is an athlete mental health & mindset coach; contributor & coach to the Hall of Fame Health (HOFH); international speaker; and author of the "Athlete Mental Health Playbook." An entrepreneur for 15 years, as the owner of an award-winning digital marketing agency in Miami, she also hosts a weekly show called "Marketing Monday.” She is a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPC), Certified Spiritual Life Coach (CSC), and a Reiki Master. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication (Public Relations) and English (Creative Writing) from Florida State University. Find out more about Misty on her website PurposeSoulAthletics.com or on social media at @TheMistyBuck.
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