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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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Last Updated on February 19, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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