Quantcast
The Ultimate Guide To Maximizing Your Time & Minimizing Burnout

The Ultimate Guide To Maximizing Your Time & Minimizing Burnout

Burnout shouldn't be praised as a marker of hard work or success, but an indicator that self-care is needed.

Workin' Girl

After a 72-hour migraine, I found myself in an emergency room with debilitating pain. The doctor found nothing wrong and my vitals were all clear. Yet, the headaches persisted, and I knew this was something deeper. For months, my energy had been decreasing and the easiest tasks had to be broken up into parts. I was exhausted. Not your average get a good night's rest and wake up refreshed, but the kind of exhaustion that tires out every fiber in your body, forcing you to have several seats without consent. I was experiencing burnout.

media.giphy.com

The stress of trying to be the magical black girl, doing all things for all people, all while keeping up my social calendar after losing my job and trying not to lose my cool. My body was taxed and the stress manifested in form of migraines, stomach pain, and fatigue. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

This wasn't the first time I've experienced this. In undergrad, after returning from a semester abroad, I received the news that two of my classes wouldn't be accepted. This forced me into overdrive since my ego wouldn't allow me not to graduate on time. I took 18 credits in the fall, 3 credits during the winter session, 22 credits in the spring, which required approval from the dean, and 6 credits in the summer. I did all this while commuting and working part-time.

You may say I have a penchant for working in high-stress situations; I would say I didn't know how to function otherwise.

Many of us don't know when we're dealing with burnout or chronic burnout. Common symptoms of burnout include:

media2.giphy.com

  • Development of an escapist mentality
  • Feeling empty inside
  • Obsession over problems at work or in life
  • Pessimistic outlook on work and life
  • Physical symptoms intensify and/or increase
  • Self-doubt
  • Social isolation
  • Behavioral changes
  • Chronic headaches
  • Chronic stomach or bowel problems
  • Complete neglect of personal needs
  • Continuation or increase in escapist activities
  • Desire to "drop out" of society
  • Desire to move away from work or friends/family

According to Fast Company:

"Millennials are called the burnout generation. High-achieving perfectionists–especially self-critical ones–work hard to avoid failure and put themselves at higher risk of burnout. We graduated college with the pressure to be 'successful,' and we've been told that means aiming (and climbing) for the top of the pyramid."

I've had many peaks and valleys in my life and throughout my career and each came with its own set of lessons. Now I know the only way for me to get out of this rut was to tell the truth, first to myself, and then to others. As painful as it is, introspection is a necessary first step in your healing journey. Think about your personal life. Do you have social support, and work-life balance? What about your job? Do you feel in control of your career, have clear job expectations, and feel like the work is a "fit" for your skills, or interests? If you answer "no" to these, you may be honing in on the areas of your life that could be setting you up for burnout.

If you're experiencing burnout, here's how to get through it:

1. Make Gratitude Your Constant Companion

media.giphy.com

Gratitude is the ultimate sign of being thankful. Honoring the journey allows you to stay current and connected to the issues at hand.

2. Schedule Content In Advance

Batching goes a long way for your blog, social media, or podcast. The same goes for email. If you respond to an email on a Sunday, use an app like Boomerang to schedule it to send at 9 a.m. on Monday. And if you're a fan of Gmail, you can also now schedule your emails to send through your desktop version of the platform.

3. Manage Expectations And Delegate

Shutterstock

Outsource work and build a supportive network of people you can rely on when you need help.

4. Create And Stick To Your Boundaries

Most of us don't realize that "no" is a complete sentence. It's time to put your big girl panties on and let them know they cannot and will not take advantage of you.

5. Make Space For Joy

media2.giphy.com

Put on your favorite music, drop it low, and pick it back up. This could also include meditation, reading, or enjoying your favorite TV show.

6. Take A Nature Break 

The sun naturally energizes you. Take your lunch break and go for a walk, you deserve it.

7. Above All Things, Get Your Rest

media.giphy.com

You must prioritize your sleep when recovering from burnout. Prepare for sleep 2-3 hours before bed by setting a nighttime routine, this could include defining your working hours, meal-prepping in advance, and whatever you find necessary.

I want you to know that burnout shouldn't be praised as a marker of hard work or success, but an indicator that self-care is needed. Take the break, sis.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Minimize Burnout: This Is What Self-Care Looks Like For The xoNecole Staff

Stop Playing Catch Up & Do This Instead

Lessons I Learned In The Stillness Of Recovery

I Tried Flotation As An Act Of Self-Care & It Changed The Game

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

Featured image by Shutterstock

stop-trying-to-change-your-partner

You ever go into a dating experience like, 'He’s great, but he needs to work on XYZ,' and before you know it, you're over his head every second you can get to remind him to work on that same 'XYZ?' Yes? Well, perfect because this article is for my lovely fixers; it’s time to dive deep into learning to discern better potential long-term partners for you!

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
This Couple Once Broke Up Over Money And Now They've Made It Their Mission To Teach Others About Building Wealth

Julien and Kiersten Saunders met in 2012 while working for the same company and they quickly fell for one another. However, their whirlwind romance was cut short following an extravagant vacation. When they got home from Panama, reality set in, and they were forced to have a tough conversation about money after they both had different opinions on recouping the money spent on the vacation.

Keep reading...Show less
Five Things To Know Before Becoming A Dog Mom

This post is in partnership with Blue Buffalo.

So you’re thinking about becoming a dog mom? We love that for you! Having a happy, furry friend to greet you at the door each day, cuddle up on the couch with, and keep you in touch with the great outdoors is one of life’s greatest joys. And that’s before we get into all the cute puppy outfits there are to buy! But there are some key and non-negotiable things to know and consider before saying yes to bringing home a fur baby.

Keep reading...Show less
sagittarius-season-december-2022-monthly-horoscopes

December is a powerful month for the world and a month where love, power, and connection are all coming together as one. With the Astrological transits that are happening this month, true gifts are appearing to tap in to, and the possibilities are truly endless right now. Sagittarius Season is always a time when there is more hope and excitement in the air, and December is no different. There are a lot of opportunities this month if you open your heart to receiving them.

Keep reading...Show less
Here's The Real-Life Story Behind Netflix's 'From Scratch'

If you’ve recently heard the loud sobbing of women across social media, you can thank Netflix’s new romantic drama From Scratch for that. The series, based loosely on the memoir of the same name, which was written by Tembi Locke, centers on the story of a Black woman named Amy (Zoe Saldaña) who leaves behind her life and budding law career to move to Italy to study art. While there, she meets a local professional chef named Lino, and the two begin a romance that brings together two different cultures.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts