3 tips to keep burnout at bay

November 28, 2016

The pace of life today is crazy. Many people juggle multiple responsibilities ó work, home life, caregiving and relationships. How many times have you felt like the demands, expectations and time pressure are exhausting and relentless?

Humans arenít programmed to go through life without rest, solitude or downtime. With everything going on, itís easy to get blindsided by stress and burnout. So experts explain itís important to beware of symptoms and acknowledge when your responsibilities start to become too much to handle.

"The symptoms of stress can include head and muscle aches, upset stomach, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, lack of focus, over- or undereating, angry outbursts and social withdrawal," says Dr. Tiffany Casper, a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. "No one is superhuman. You need to recognize and then respect your limits."

Casper shares three tips for keeping burnout at bay:

ó Ask yourself, "Whatís important now?"

If youíre driving, pay attention to the road. If youíre having dinner with a friend, be engaged and present. Donít play around with your phone. Itís not only distracting; itís disrespectful.

ó Quantify the commitment.

Before you agree to sit on a committee or host a dinner party, recognize that it means giving up time that canít be replaced. Anticipate that the time commitment probably will be longer than your initial estimate. Factor that into decisions about whatís worth your time. Be willing to say "no."

ó Make yourself unavailable.

Itís OK and important to set aside time for yourself. Schedule it on your calendar, and donít let other responsibilities encroach on that time. This may mean saying "no" to some requests."

In addition to these tips, itís also important to maintain healthy habits in order to prevent burnout," says Casper. "Making sure youíre getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy meals during the day and exercising regularly will help give you the energy to take on lifeís myriad of responsibilities."



Associated Press