9 More Tips for Avoiding Burnout

Most of us have days when we are overloaded, bored or feel unappreciated; when the 47 balls we are juggling aren’t noticed, never mind rewarded. Some days hauling yourself out of bed requires the determination of a salmon swimming up stream during mating season. If you feel like this most of the time you may be flirting with burnout.

Burnout is a state of emotional depletion and cynicism resulting from excessive and prolonged stress. When you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands, you lose your motivation to continue a certain role. You are simply beyond caring and don’t see any possibility of positive change. You may not even notice you are burnt out, unlike being you are under a lot of stress, when you still feel there is hope to get beyond the “too much”. Burn out can originate from home or work and regardless of the origin this state will invade the other parts of your life.

9 tips for avoiding burnout:

  1. Follow a personal wellness program
  2. Have a support system
  3. Know yourself and your signs of burnout
  4. Set and maintain healthy boundaries
  5. Practice daily habits that bring you pleasure
  6. Take time off- ok this one is a repeat, but it is worth repeating
  7. Stay stimulated with learning
  8. Nourish your creative side

Signs of burnout can be physical, behavioral or emotional and often include:

  • Frustration, anger, anxiety
  • Difficulty making a decision
  • Withdrawing from others and responsibilities
  • Fatigue, feeling tired even after sleeping
  • Health signs such as hives, headaches or feeling run down
  • Dreading an event
  • Melancholy
  • Apathy/ not caring
  • Taking your frustrations out on others
  • Using drugs or alcohol to cope
  • Procrastinating

If you see the signs of burn out in yourself, it is time to step back and begin to restore your self and well being. Now. Without delay. You can prevent things from getting worse and a free fall into complete breakdown.


Every choice you make has an end result.

Every choice you make has an end result.”-Zig Ziglar

Make every choice purposeful. The small ones, like what coffee drink to have at the java shop, can have an exponential impact overtime. The big ones, like deciding to take a risk, such leaving a unsatisfying  job  that looks so right on the resume for a career reinvention, ripple throughout your life. What was the most impactful choice you have made?

6 Elements of Personal Wellness

Wellness is an individual constellation of proactive health giving elements that span the physical, emotional and spiritual arenas of your life, resulting in a comprehensive state of well-being, high life satisfaction, as well as a sense of purpose in and connection to life.

Self-care: a regular routine that supports your best energy. Often this routine combines physical, emotional and creative aspects, such as a client of mine who’s routine includes the following: walking 3 miles with her dog at least one a day regardless of the weather; keeping Saturday afternoons sacred for her knitting time to support her creative and emotional sides; 3-4 nights a week cooking healthy meals that provide leftovers, helping to ensure she’ll fuel her self and family with the “good stuff” and a spiritual practice she lives out daily.

Environment: designing environments, physical and otherwise, at home work and play, which nurture your best self. At home this translates into it serving as space where you can recharge and be inspired to be your most honest and true self.  At work or school this means crafting your space to enhance your abilities and nurture your continued growth. At play this means room to cultivate that other stuff that feeds your soul:  your creativity, your athletic interests, and your aesthetic pursuits. While many of us might not be able to afford the home or office of our dreams, we can infuse a sense of personalization.

Relationships: connecting to yourself and others in relationships that support your best intentions. Keep the ratio of personality energies your life skewed toward the positive rather than the negative. When you are able to do so more often then not you’ll be able to preserve a positive outlook, your best presence and energy, even in the midst of chaos.

Thoughts: adopting attitudes and self talk (you know we all have that inner voice that keeps a running monologue, might as well make it work for you) that support your most deeply held values, so that your best presence is upfront and center.

Time: managing your energy through each day over time to support your highest priorities. Unfortunately the world does not run on your time alone and we all have the same number of hours in a day and so very many of us have multiples of tasks that all declare themselves to be priorities-whether they truly are or not.  Nor do many of us have minions to do our bidding. So what to do? Task management supports your ability to achieve what really needs to be done. Most of us don’t multitask as well as we imagine we do. Focus on what is most crucial to get done in a day, do it well. And if there is room to done more – hurrah that’s a bonus.

Finances: handling money and building reserves to support your ability to give and receive freely.  Money is a tool; a nice tool, but a tool, which does little on it own. Tools can be wonderful to have at your disposal and that is key to have at your disposal. It also means knowing when and how to best used them so they serve your long-term interests and needs.

Few minds wear out; more rust out.

“Few minds wear out; more rust out.” ~ Christian Nestell Bovee

Keeping your self and mind engaged and interested is paramount to a fundamentally happy life across the life span. This is what I think of the mental equivalent of WD-40. There are so many ways to do keep “lubricated”. Dive into learning something new, like a language exchange (a dear friend met her husband this way), how cook a new cuisine, read a book from a genre you don’t normally dive into, volunteer your time in way that exposes you to new skills and people (my academic, football loving husband volunteers with a therapeutic horse back riding program – an unexpected and wonderful thing)… the possibilities are unlimited. How many different ways can you think to do this?

The Art of Good Health- Let’s Dance!

I live in Mississippi, a State known for food (world’s best fried catfish- yum!), the blues, writers (Willie Morris anyone?) and the civil rights movement but not often known for its healthy living related efforts.  Ballroom dance is a long time passion of mine and one I have written about on this blog before.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear a story that combines both, here in Mississippi!

Students at Bay-Waveland Middle School in Bay St. Louis added ballroom dance to their daily curriculum.  “Moving Toward the Art of Good Health” is 3 year  pilot program encouraging students to become physically active through ballroom dance, while learning about health, wellness and good nutrition. A grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation supported the program.  By the way, Bay St. Louis, MS is a community blasted by Hurricane Katrina and still recovering from its impact. This program was started at the Middle School in wake of Hurricane Katrina. After trauma finding joy, focus and purpose is exquisitely important and healing.

Middle school aged kids dancing with each other and enjoying it. Normal everyday middle school aged kids. I am not so old that I can’t remember the awkwardness of middle school.  Your body is doing odd things, at varying times and probably not at the same times of your friends. Cliques are formed and bringing new friends in to a circle or bridging across them is tough.

You can watch to a wonderful piece about “Moving Toward the Art of Good Health” here. You can see the joy and fun these kids are having dancing the Cha- Cha. In it students and the instructor name a number of benefits from this program. Social benefits include self-discipline, self- confidence, respect for one self and others. One young man, Gus profiled in the story lost 21 pounds over the course of the school year. He describes not only how his eating habits and choices have changes, but also how he has change. Now he’ll reach out beyond his exciting circle of friends and expand his social connections. These are skills for life.

This is not the first school based ballroom dance program in schools, watch Mad Hot Ballroom a wonderful film about a program in New York City, but it is the first I have heard of in Mississippi. This is inspiring! The story and these kids will make you smile.

Keep It Moving: I think I can, I think I can…

After starting on a new venture be it a weight loss program, completing professional certification requirements or a home improvement project there comes a time when keeping up the effort to get to the end goal is hard. We get distracted with other obligations in life, the siren call of old habits catch our attention. Change is challenging and a process. So how to keep it moving?

Here are a 4 tips to help you feed your motivation and keep moving forward.

Impact: What do you notice changing? The small changes add up overtime and provide a solid foundation for sustaining desirable change.

Follow through: How do you celebrate your successes?  What you appreciates, appreciates. Start celebrating all your wins, big and small. Writing down a list of week wins is an easy, fast way to do this.

Rhythm: What timing naturally works best for you? As you being to focus more purposely on when change happens for you and how you’ll naturally fall into a rhythm that works best for you.

More: What is it time to invite into life/work now? What is it time to leave behind? Your abilities and boundaries grow as you change; consider these two questions to help further your journey.