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Successful People Suffer from Burnout Too. But They Know How to Deal with It

Successful People Suffer from Burnout Too. But They Know How to Deal with It

Ever felt that it’s all getting too much? It’s not a pleasant feeling and often makes us believe that we’re failing in some way.

But I’m here to tell you that you’re not failing. In fact, many people we deem successful in work and life in general, suffer from burnout too they just have a way of dealing with the situation that quickly gets them back on track.

What it boils down to is adopting a mindset that cultivates looking after yourself, acknowledging that it’s getting too much but that’s okay, and taking positive steps to improve the situation.

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Why Can It Seem So Hard to Deal With a Burnout?

When we’re in the midst of a burnout we often feel exhausted both mentally and physically. This puts us in a space of feeling low about ourselves, and as I mentioned earlier, a sense of failure in either one area or many areas of our lives.

But a burnout should be seen as our body and mind’s way of indicating to us that we need to stop. It’s hard, but keeping a positive perspective while going through what feels like a massive fall into a deep pit, will allow you to get out much quicker.

Experiencing Burnout? Here’s What You Need to Do

Everyone goes through this at some point in their life and usually involves experiencing chronic stress, exhaustion, lack of motivation, frustration, health problems and decreased satisfaction. However, going through this can help you re-evaluate your choices, see more clearly how you intend to live your life moving forward and teach you how to avoid any similar situations in the future.

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This is primarily how successful people choose to look at difficult times in their lives and here are the best things you can do when burnout occurs.

Be Serious About Relaxing and Taking it Easy

We hear it everywhere these days with mindfulness being the vogue word at the moment, but carving out time to relax is important for our mental and physical health. Often we overlook this by thinking we don’t have time. Meditation is for people who have time to meditate, but not me. Well, it’s time to stop the excuses. Everyone has time – and not just to meditate but to take that walk or run that bath – anything that puts us in that state of relaxation.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is paramount for our optimum functioning throughout the day. Stress is a big factor in our inability to get enough sleep but not getting enough is what can cause more stress. This can be a vicious circle but admitting, acknowledging and prioritising sleep is key to overcoming burnout and helping you deal with it much better.

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Learn to Say No

Successful people learn to say no. When they feel the burnout looming they start to eliminate potential stressful situations before they happen. Many of us are afraid to say no especially at work but you’ll be way more useful to people when you’re coping than when you’re falling into the pit. It’s about putting yourself first in the short term in order to create a better you in the long-term.

Unplug Yourself

Disconnecting is a great way of eliminating the degree of burnout you experience. Make sure you spend time unplugging from your phone, emails or any gadgets that are bombarding you and not allowing you to switch off. It’s all too easy to carry on checking messages even after we’ve left work with phones always at our fingertips. But be more mindful of unplugging yourself as protection from further stress. Aim for peace of mind.

Re-evaluate Your Priorities

Usually when we’ve got to a point of burnout, it’s because we’ve neglected our priorities. Think or remind yourself about what’s important to you. Have you been neglecting your home life? Your relationships? Yourself? Successful people know that their happiness is just as important and shouldn’t be sacrificed. Getting that re-balance back in our lives is getting you more on the fast-track to a more content and happy outlook.

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Be Attuned To How You Feel

In order to prevent burnout from happening again, it’s important to learn to recognise the feelings you’re getting in the lead up. Successful people are aware of the signs and try to steer themselves away before it gets too far. If you’re feeling stressed, negative, tired and demotivated then don’t ignore these feelings. Instead identify them and recognise that they need to be dealt with.

Is it Other People or is it You?

Successful people take responsibility for their circumstances. We often blame others when we reach a stage of burnout but we need to take responsibility for how we react to situations or realise we’re putting this pressure on ourselves rather than other people doing it. This isn’t to spend time blaming yourself and beating yourself up, but rather see it as empowering and knowing you have more control than you imagine.

Make Time for Exercise

Exercise is probably one of the best things you can do in the midst of a complete burnout. Despite being mentally and physically exhausted, exercise can combat this and release those endorphins that lower stress. Whether it’s going for a walk, going swimming or pounding the pavements, getting your body moving will help give you that much-needed clarity and headspace.

Re-evaluate Your Attitude

Mindset and attitude is key to how successful people deal with burnout. We can easily get caught up in the spiral of negative thoughts that just make us feel worse. While going through a burnout isn’t pleasant, making sure your mindset and perspective is one of ‘what can I learn from this?’ and ‘I will get over this and make the necessary changes’ is important to recovering more quickly and moving forward in a positive way.

Featured photo credit: Sam Churchill via flickr.com

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Jenny Marchal

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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