Have you ever felt by Friday that you are just too tired and burned out to function?
That the week just drained you beyond belief and you need about a week of sleep to recover?
Is TGIF your motto??
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there, myself included. And not always on a Friday either.
Even if you are not in full-out burnout syndrome at the moment, we all do things on a weekly basis that add to our stress and exhaustion.
Over time if not corrected, I believe these may lead to the much more serious issue of adrenal fatigue syndrome or burnout syndrome.
However, you can avoid all that, actually enjoy your week (yes, it is possible), and feel great simply by being aware of these 5 key mistakes and taking steps to prevent them.
5 Things You are Doing Weekly that add to Feeling Burned Out
1. Skipping meals. You could also add to this eating on the run, junk food, fast food, and starting a diet on Monday.
What you eat and when you eat really does have a major impact on your energy level, your productivity, your mood, and of course your overall health. When you skip meals or quickly snarfle down a Big Mac, your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs to keep you going.
I’m not saying every meal has to be perfect—mine definitely are not—but even just making a commitment to a healthy breakfast and then focusing on one meal at a time really can make a huge impact on your week.
A note on starting a diet on Monday…for most of us that might last about 2 days max. Then, you eat something you feel you shouldn’t and feel guilty and all stressed out. This adds to your stress level for the week. Don’t do it. Instead, use the weekend to take the time plan and prepare for your meals for the week and to eat well.
Again, simply focus on one meal at a time doing your best but not beating yourself up when you slip. There comes a time when we all need a bit of chocolate. Remember to eat.
2. Skipping exercise.
When you don’t move your body, toxins build up in your body and brain. You can feel more tired, moody, and stressed out. I’m not saying you need to go to the gym daily or even at all. I don’t. I get my exercise at home, walking, spending time with my family and when I am out and about. Move your body.
Take 2 minute breaks during the day to get up and walk around or stretch. There are some AWESOME 10 minute (or less) exercise videos on Youtube for just about every kind of exercise you want from dance to crossfit. When you add exercise into your daily routine even in small increments, it reduces your stress and actually gives you energy. Now get up and go for a walk or dance.
3. Skipping sleep.
We all need sleep to live; it’s a physiological need like breathing. When you don’t get enough sleep, it impacts your mood, your focus, your productivity, your health and your relationships. And yet, so many of us put sleep last on our to-do list…”if there is any time left after doing everything else, I’ll sleep“.
Sleep should be a top priority. In fact, I recommend scheduling in a regular sleep routine if you don’t have one already. There are also tons of resources our there if you have trouble falling and staying asleep. However, you first need to set the intention that sleep is important and you will do what it takes to get enough for you (whatever that amount is). Start by turning off all technology at least an hour before bed (even better, get the TV out of your bedroom).
Do activities that signal a rest period to your brain like reading, journaling, meditating, taking a warm bath or shower, etc. Having more sleep can almost instantly decrease your stress level. Sweet dreams.
4. Not taking breaks.
Have you ever had a day where you were just run off your feet and by the end of it you realize that you didn’t take one break and you barely remember having time to use the restroom? Ya…those days can add to your stress level big time. Your body and brain need regular breaks—short breaks and long breaks. Did you know that you are actually most productive AFTER a break?
Without regular breaks your creativity and focus get stuck, your energy level plummets, your problem solving skills nose-dive and your mood can get pretty low. Take regular breaks daily and weekly, and longer breaks quarterly. Use the time to have fun, relax, exercise, play—something that brings you joy. Even a 2 minute break can do wonders for your body and mind.
5. Ignoring your needs.
In my opinion, this is actually the number one mistake—always putting everyone else first and pushing your own needs to the back of the bus.
Helping and serving others is good and important…of course it is…but not at the expense of your health, happiness and life. When you constantly put the needs of your job and other people ahead of your own, you will eventually have nothing left to give.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish—it’s necessary.
This means taking YOU time daily, weekly, monthly, yearly…regularly. Only you truly know what you need and only you can truly give it to yourself. If you are hungry eat, if you are tired sleep, if you need a break take it.
When you are at your best you are filled with energy and able to serve, however, when you are already drained and burned out, you can’t help anyone.
Stress is part of life for pretty much all of us. But burnout doesn’t have to be.
When you take the time daily and weekly to eat as best as you can, move your body, get enough sleep, take breaks and truly care for yourself, you’ll find that you’ll be able to handle those stressful situations much easier. You’ll be able to use the weekend to have fun and not just recover from a rough a week.
Do you have any tips or experiences? Please share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.