If lately you’ve been exhausted, grumpy, reluctant to take part in any work-related activities or simply feel burdened with your workload, you’ve probably reached the state of burnout. These issues can also affect other areas of life if you ignore them.
Maybe you are just under a lot of stress and you need to unwind a bit. This is a better scenario because if you acknowledge it in time, you’ll prevent a more serious condition. Burnout can be prevented and these improvements will help you achieve a stress-free state of mind.
Create a Routine
A proper routine will help you achieve more in a day and reduce all those activities that drain you emotionally. The first rule of a well structured day is to get to work in time and to leave once your work hours end. Having a routine throughout your work hours will help you prioritize tasks properly and reduce any work-induced stress. The second rule is to spend your free time wisely and engage in different stress-reducing activities every day.
Make a to-do list
To-do lists are great for a productive workday. If you plan your day in advance, you’ll know exactly what must be done. This will lessen the distractions and let you be focused on a task at hand. Bear in mind that a to-do list can be adjusted to the time required for a single task. If something requires more time then expected, but you still have to check 5 more on your list until the end of your day, just change your plans for the day. It is better to finish 3 tasks than to start 5 and never finalize any of them. There’s always tomorrow and you’ll continue where you left off. Overburdening yourself with impossible goals will make you unhappy and lead you to burn out.
Make a not-to-do list
The not-to-do list might sound like you are telling yourself that it is easy to be lazy all day. However, it is the opposite of that. This list is essential for those people who don’t have NO in their vocabulary. It is also beneficial to those who wish to be more productive in a day. Basically, all those activities that are tempting, but don’t serve you or you just don’t have time should be on your not-to-do list. For example, don’t work after 5 can be put on your don’t do list. It is all about prioritizing those tasks that are important by putting all those that are not on a don’t do list. Once you get used to this practice, you’ll maximize your productivity and effectiveness.
Coffee or juice will never hydrate you as much as at least 2 liters of water, every day. Mild state of dehydration is another cause of tiredness so you should stay hydrated. Make sure to keep a bottle of water near and with you at all times. This will also help maintain energy levels throughout the day.
Eat the rainbow
Nutrition is important to keep your energy levels high throughout the day. It should also consist of a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables and a lean source of protein. This variety will give your body all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function properly.
Forget about junk food when the afternoon slump kicks in. instead, have a meal rich in protein, carbohydrates and plenty of vegetables. A proper meal will be responsible for a sudden and lasting surge of energy.
Exercise is one of the best cures for stress and burnout. If you want to improve your mood, reduce stress, be happier, improve health, maintain or lose weight, aim to exercise moderately at least 30 minutes a day. If you have all this pent up tension in your limbs, you might want to try a combination of strength exercises and stretching. A class of Pilates for beginners will help increase your flexibility and strength, and it will alleviate stress with lots of deep breathing. Regular physical exercise will even improve the quality of your sleep and you’ll be more energized and refreshed in the morning.
Have more fun
Fun should be an essential part of your wind-down and reduce-stress routine. Listen to some great music and dance around your apartment every day for fifteen minutes. Go to a trivia night with your friends and have fun while you show off your knowledge. Go to the movies once a week or host a movie night at your home. Your goal is to pick an activity you’ll utterly enjoy, which will make you laugh and forget about irrelevant stressors.
Unplug (and enjoy some me-time)
The pressure to be present all the time and to take part in everything also leads to stress. So, learn how to put your phone away and do something that has more value for your personal development than the Instagram feed. Put your phone on silent, turn off your work emails and pick a book that you plan on reading, but never get the chance to do so. Go hiking, alone or with a friend. Stargaze or write a diary. After a while, you’ll realize that these moments of me-time are more valuable than notifications on your phone.
If you find yourself feeling lost, depressed, unhappy or anxious it is time to step back from the things that nurture these feelings. It is all about finding the proper balance between what must be done, what can wait a bit and those things that are not your responsibility. So, striking a proper work-life balance is the key to a happy life. If you engage in these activities and add some of your own suggestions, you’ll keep stress at bay and be happy.
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