How to Avoid Being Burned Out

I have been so busy since the last couple of weeks “making things happen” that I have not been able to write as much as I would like – the activity which I look forward to every week.

Why? Because I felt that I had so much to do, I could not afford to take a break. Let me tell you why this was a stupid decision.

Here is what was going on:

I signed up for an online Mastermind type of community to learn, and get inspired from hustling entrepreneurs. This is an online course, and I am already working more than I anticipated on learning and the homework.

You may know that I have been wanting to learn pottery since the last year. I finally found a class in Nashua, and signed up for it.

I was invited to speak at an event on “How to Get Noticed, Hired, and Promoted with Social Media”. I was working hard on preparing and editing this presentation so that my audience – which were mainly novice at social media – will walk away with solid, actionable advice that they can use starting that day.

What I totally underestimated is the time it takes to make a complex concept easy to understand.  Albert Einstein has said,

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Let me tell you, it takes a LONG time to “explain it simply”!

All this hustle is great! I am already getting inspiration for my future business, learning a new hobby, and delivered a highly appreciated talk.

But somewhere in this work, I had forgotten to “be there for myself”.

Let me explain what I mean.

  • Do you feel that you are constantly running around like a chicken with its head cut off?
  • Do you feel that you are always “working” – in office or at home to get things done?
  • Do you ever feel trapped in your routine, goals, and expectations from yourself and others, so much so that there is no breath of fresh air?

In your daily life and chores, do you take time to pause a bit, and ask yourself, “What can I do to receive more energy to keep going?”

That question is my definition of “being there for myself”.

How will I  ever show up 100% for my life’s responsibilities and tasks, if I am not energized enough to conduct them?

Will your car move even an inch if you use up all the fuel but do not refill?

Just like a car runs on fuel, people run on energy. We humans can go only so long without filling up our energy tank. After two weeks of all “work”, no play, I strongly felt the need to recharge. And mind you, what I am calling “work” are the things I love doing. (Well, except for cooking and cleaning. 😉 ) Not to mention the fact that I don’t have children to constantly cater to.

So if you are a parent, working hard to bring home that dough, and making your house a home for your family – just think how much stress you are going through, whether you notice it or not.

Often we get so good at disguising stress, under the name of responsibilities, that we forget how much it weighs us down. It makes us less productive, less efficient, and less focused.

On the other hand, if you incorporate mindful recharging in your routine, you will be able to achieve a lot more, in a lot less time.

So after the two long weeks, by the time the weekend arrived, I had given up. (Or you can say I got smarter.) I decided that it was going to be a recharging weekend. For me, it looked like this:

  1. I made plans to spend time with my friends whose every invitation I have been declining for the last month or so, because I had to stay focused on my goals. Thank goodness for friends who don’t give up on you!
  2. I disconnected from internet, and finally started reading a book that I had borrowed from a library with much anticipation but had not even opened yet.
  3. I scheduled time to exercise, and eat healthy meals. When the time came, I stuck to the schedule as if there was a deadline to fulfill.

The weekend was amazing! It was not only relaxing but also energizing.  I woke up bright and early this Monday morning. As soon as I woke up, the first thing I started doing was writing. Writing that I dearly missed for two weeks.

I have finished more tasks before noon, than I did in a whole day toward the tail end of the last week. My day and week has already started on a good foot.

I am back to being awesome worker bee, because I took time to be an awesome queen bee!

Now think about you: What does a mindful recharging break look like to you?

Painting, cooking, dancing, camping, mountain climbing, sports, meditation, reading, fishing, chatting with a friend – whatever it may be. When was the last time you devoted undivided attention and time to it?

I bet, just the thought of it brings a smile on your face. Then why not schedule an appointment this week in your calender with your ideal recharging activity?

Just go ahead and schedule it right now. Even if it’s just 20-30 minutes, the fact that you did it is a good enough break for your mind. And remember, you have to keep this appointment as if it is a work commitment. Don’t take it lightly just because it is an appointment with yourself. Believe me, you will be thankful that you did it.

Now share in the comments what you are planning on doing. I would love to know afterwords, too, how you felt after the mindful recharge.

Happy Monday everyone! May this be the first of many weeks where your calender includes an appointment with “mindful recharge”.

Photo courtesy: Varun Kakde of Aperture Adventures

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  • I will sleep till I feel I am boared of sleeping 🙂
    This is the only thing which I am longing since ages I guess.
    This weekend I will be only person at home. So will make this opportunity at fullest


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