Burnout is Officially an Occupational Phenomenon

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you’re likely familiar with the signs of burnout.

You feel tension in your shoulders. You can’t focus and read the same email three times. You’re wired on caffeine after a series of restless nights. You’re exhausted and all you want is to feel healthy and energized again.

You aren’t alone. The World Health Organization now recognizes burnout as an occupational phenomenon. This means that a concerning pattern has formed and can no longer be ignored. You, along with countless working women are exhausted, overworked, and anxious for too long without relief. 

And this unfortunate phenomenon affects more than the individual ⁠— our entire workforce, businesses, and economy are feeling the hazardous effects of occupational burnout. So whether you are an employer or an employee, this is an issue worthy of your attention.

The World Health Organization has now recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon. How can female professionals recover from occupational burnout? Click To Tweet

An Occupational Phenomenon with Startling Consequences

Living in a hustle culture that encourages you to work, work, work may offer short-term rewards, like money and career advancement, but this behavior can compromise your physical and mental well-being. 

“More than half of the American workforce,” according to a study by TollFreeForwarding,” say they are battling stress, fatigue, and frustration every single week, with issues such as exhaustion (44%) and anxiety (40%) not far behind.”

That’s right. More than half of our workforce is experiencing burnout to some degree.

And this data isn’t isolated to a specific profession or industry. Every working woman is at risk of burnout.

Medical professionals struggle with the emotional demands of their patients. Corporate professionals are drained from long hours at the office. Physical laborers suffer exhaustion from the physical demands of their jobs.

And the effects of burnout go beyond individual employees. Its hazardous effects can damage entire businesses and our economy.

When Employees Burn Out, Businesses Suffer

Businesses are similar to machines. For a machine to function, its individual parts need to be in quality condition. For a business to thrive, its employees need to be healthy, mentally sharp, and fulfilled.

So, what happens to a business when its employees are burned out? 

Productivity declines because employees are fatigued. Mistakes increase because their focus is blurred. Workplace morale dips because employees are unsatisfied. This negative combination can lead to:

  • Revenue loss
  • Decreased customer loyalty
  • Increased employee absenteeism
  • Higher employee turnover rates

When customers are dissatisfied, they take their business elsewhere. When employees are miserable, they polish their resumes and apply to other jobs.

When more than half of the American workforce is burned out, what can we do? How can our workforce escape the clutches of burnout? How can we transition from burnout to balance?

The solution begins with embracing self-care.

Graphic showing statistics on the effects of workplace burnout

By Toll Free Forwarding

Conquer Occupational Burnout by Embracing Self-Care 

Burnout awareness and the importance of self-care is gaining media exposure, but we still have yet to see self-care as “standard protocol” within the workplace. To help weave self-care into our professional daily lives, employees and business leaders need to cultivate a culture of self-care. 

With the following tips, I’ll be addressing either employers or employees. Both, however, will benefit from applying these changes in the workplace.

 

#1 Employers, Offer Better Benefits Packages

It’s the individual’s responsibility to practice self-care, but employers can offer benefits packages that encourage employees to lead healthier lives.

For example, some companies offer monthly stipends for their employees to sign up for a gym membership or a specialized fitness center, like yoga or crossfit. If a company has the infrastructure, they can even build an on-site fitness center for employees to use before or after work.

Offering more vacation days is another way to encourage employees to step away from the daily grind and recharge. Many businesses within America offer only two weeks of vacation time, compared to the four weeks offered in European countries. 

If we want to get serious about managing burnout, then employees need more time to rest, resharpen their mind, and recover from exhaustion. 

#2 Employers, Load Healthy Snacks in Vending Machines

Burnout worsens when your body isn’t supported with nutritious foods. When you regularly consume fruits and vegetables, your body rewards you with increased energy and longevity. And as your health improves, you build more resilience to workplace burnout.

Employers can use this insight by offering nutritious alternatives in office vending machines. Replace the chips and cookies with fruits and yogurt. Remove the sugary drinks and add coffee and tea. Even small changes like this promote a health-minded workplace culture.

#3 Employers, Regularly Communicate With Your Employees

Employees often hesitate when admitting when they’re overworked or burned out. They might fear disappointing their boss or losing their jobs.

Employers can be the first to open a dialogue built on honesty and understanding. Ask questions like:

  • What do you need from me?
  • Is there anything I can do to support you on this project?
  • What can I do differently next time that will help you feel supported?

You might realize that you’re assigning too much to one employee and need to distribute the workload. Or that you need to encourage a burned out team member to take a vacation.

Monthly “check-ins” with your employees will help you gather feedback on how you can improve as a leader and better support your team.

#4 Employers, Encourage Your Team to Take Vacations

Despite the health benefits that vacations offer, many workplaces participate in vacation shaming. Those who take vacations are teased about how they’ll be enjoying their time off while the rest have to work. This can lead to feeling guilt or embarrassment, which discourages employees from taking time off.

As their leader, support your employees when they take a vacation. Assure them that their responsibilities will be covered during their absence. Encourage them to enjoy themselves.

Be direct. Tell your employees that you want them to take vacations. Share how time off can improve their work performance and improve their well-being. To drive this point, send reminders when it’s time for an employee to schedule a vacation.

And don’t forget to take your own vacations. Your team will feel empowered to take time off if they see you, their leader, setting the example.

#5 Employees, Take Your Vacations

America’s hustle and bustle culture might tempt you to leave self-care on the back burner. Women, especially, can feel compelled to outwork their competitors so they can secure a promotion or salary raise. Ambition is healthy and encouraged, but only when balanced with consistent self-care.

If you’re an employee, you can take self-care into your own hands. As you accumulate paid time off, remember to schedule your vacations. Avoid letting your hours roll over into the new year—the longer you delay extended rest and self-care, your risk of burning out increases.  

Sometimes, mental health days aren’t enough. You need extended durations of uninterrupted relaxation to feel fully-rested again. 

Travel. Read a good book. Catch some sun. And reward yourself with as much quality sleep as possible.

Do you have another way to encourage more self-care in the workplace? Share it in the comments below!

Whitney believed in me and saw what I couldn’t.

Whitney is a joy to work with. Her compassion, deep listening skills and coaching supported me to accomplish and move forward in areas of my business where I’ve previously felt like I was spinning my wheels. I’m now doing what I set out to do with love and compassion for myself!

Thank you Whitney for believing in me and seeing what I couldn’t. I highly recommend Whitney to anyone interested in upleveling their life and especially upleveling their self-care.

Jill Fischer

CEO, Jill Fischer International

Hi, I’m Whitney

About Me

As an International Speaker, Certified Life Coach, Spiritual Counselor, and Ordained Minister with 3 decades of experience researching personal growth and how we heal from within, I have healed myself from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and burnout. My proven strategies help women overcome overwhelm and break free from the burnout cycle. I then partner with them as they reclaim their passion and create the life they desire. Having experienced first-hand the challenges of finding physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured!!!

A gift for you:

How Self-Care Can Rescue You From Caregiver Burnout

When you’re a family caregiver who also has a regular job, you’re a miracle worker. Whether you’re a caregiver to your parents in retirement, your child recovering from a soccer injury, or your spouse healing from an illness, take a moment to recognize the amazing work you do.

Even after a busy day of work, your boundless love and patience is unwavering. You stand by your loved one’s side, tending to their injuries and recovery. You nurture, encourage and uplift.

But your compassion can come at a cost — your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

If you’re vulnerable to overgiving your time and energy, you’ll eventually feel the effects. Exhaustion. Irritability. Isolation. Your life feels unbalanced and you’re desperate for a remedy.

Ease your worries. You’re exactly where you need to be. 

In this article, I  share tips on how self-care can help you prevent and overcome your caregiver burnout.

Let’s get started.

What is Caregiver Burnout?

Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion triggered by your responsibilities as a caregiver. Many caregivers are prone to over-giving their time and energy, while sacrificing their own health. The negative effects of doing this are subtle at first. Over time, however, these small consequences snowball into signs of burnout.

Many caregivers are prone to over-giving their time and energy, while sacrificing their own health. Click To Tweet

What Causes Caregiver Burnout?

Caregiving is a demanding role that can drain you and trigger caregiver stress and burnout. Some stressors that chip away at your well-being include:

  • Neglecting self-care: As a caregiver, you might develop tendencies to fulfill your loved one’s needs, while neglecting your own well-being.
  • Overwhelm: Caregiving is demanding of your time and energy. Trying to fulfill this role alongside your other responsibilities can leave you overwhelmed and fatigued.
  • Negative Attitude: Sometimes the people you care for can be difficult, especially if they suffer from a grave illness. They may be hostile, combative, or passive aggressive. Daily exposure to their negative energy can be emotionally draining.
  • Loss of personal time and space: If you’re a caregiver from within your own home, duty and relaxation share the same space. This may cause poor work/life balance, which can lead to caregiver burnout.

 

What are the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?

Caregiver burnout is straining on your emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Women, especially, need to be careful. Studies show that female caregivers report “higher levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms and lower levels of subjective well-being, life satisfaction, and physical health.” 

In addition to depression and anxiety, you may experience:

  • Social isolation
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Increased sickliness
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Irritability

While caregiving can be a virtuous calling, don’t fall prey to over-giving yourself to this role. Balance, healthy boundaries, and self-care will protect you from caregiver burnout.

How to Manage Caregiver Burnout

When you feel your stress and exhaustion manifesting, pause and assess what changes you need to make.

The worst thing you can do is to act as if nothing’s wrong. Enduring your burnout symptoms without making changes will compromise your health.

Here are a few ways to help you prioritize your health and well-being:

#1 Ask for Help

Doing everything yourself can seem like a noble mission. But fulfilling your every obligation as a mom, career woman, spouse, and caregiver? It’s more often wishful thinking.

The uncomfortable truth is that you can’t do it all — at least, not indefinitely.

Sometimes, you’ll need to ask for help. Assign more household chores to your children. Take turns putting dinner on the table with your spouse. See if you can hire a nanny to look after the children.

Learn when it’s time to slow down and lean on your support system.

What is one thing that you can delegate? Who will you ask to help you?

#2 Join a Caregiver Support Group

Caregivers experience unique stressors that few can empathize with. For example, caring for a parent with a terminal illness creates an emotional toll that your friends and family may not relate to. You might start feeling isolated.

There are ways to overcome this loneliness.

Try joining a caregiver support group. Surrounding yourself with women who share your struggles can inspire a sense of belonging. They understand the physical and emotional hardships of being a family caregiver.

If you’re interested in joining a caregiver support group, you can search locally or join an online community.

#3 Research Respite Care Services

If you’re a live-in caregiver, your job can be a 24-hour responsibility. Imagine what happens when your brain is on non-stop alert.

It puts you on the fast-track to burnout.

Before your mind and body crash from overexertion, consider using respite care services. They will send a substitute to take over your caregiving responsibilities and are offered within your home, at a day-care center, or an overnight residential center.

This gives you time to rejuvenate your mind and body while keeping burnout at bay.

#4 Prioritize Your Well-Being

As a caregiver, you focus your time, energy, and attention on the person you care for. Sometimes, you get so locked into your role that you forget you’re your own woman with her own needs.

Remember to be a caregiver to yourself.

You might feel guilty at first. Selflessness is the cornerstone of caregiving. But caring for the caregiver? That isn’t part of the job.

But failure to practice self-care is a disservice to you and your loved one.

The quality of your care is reduced when you’re physically exhausted and emotionally drained. Overcome this by reconnecting with happiness, health, and balance.

Provide your body with exercise and nutritious foods. Practice patience and self-love. Maintain relationships with your friends and family. Value joy and compassion.

All It Takes is Ten Minutes…

Following my last tip, you might be curious about prioritizing your well-being with self-care. What do you do and how do you introduce it into your daily life?

Does it take a lot of time or cost money?

It doesn’t. Self-care doesn’t have to be a week-long retreat or an expensive therapy session.

You might be surprised how simple and quick self-care can be.

All it takes is ten minutes to practice self-care with my “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.” 

This practice has been shown to:

  • Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
  • Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
  • Reduce or even stop worrying

Click here now to download your “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

 

References

https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-health

Whitney believed in me and saw what I couldn’t.

Whitney is a joy to work with. Her compassion, deep listening skills and coaching supported me to accomplish and move forward in areas of my business where I’ve previously felt like I was spinning my wheels. I’m now doing what I set out to do with love and compassion for myself!

Thank you Whitney for believing in me and seeing what I couldn’t. I highly recommend Whitney to anyone interested in upleveling their life and especially upleveling their self-care.

Jill Fischer

CEO, Jill Fischer International

Hi, I’m Whitney

About Me

As an International Speaker, Certified Life Coach, Spiritual Counselor, and Ordained Minister with 3 decades of experience researching personal growth and how we heal from within, I have healed myself from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and burnout. My proven strategies help women overcome overwhelm and break free from the burnout cycle. I then partner with them as they reclaim their passion and create the life they desire. Having experienced first-hand the challenges of finding physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured!!!

A gift for you:

Positivity and Health: How an Optimistic Outlook Can Improve Your Life

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

– Winston Churchill

Is the glass half-full? Is it half-empty? Does it even matter?

Absolutely.

In my journey with burnout, I learned the relationship between optimism and health. Early on, I suffered from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and burnout. I experienced every challenging emotion on the spectrum – loneliness, frustration, anger – and felt very much like a pessimist.

And I stayed that way for a while… Bedridden and isolated from the world.

Until I realized: I was choosing to feel this way. I was choosing to feel sorry for myself. I was choosing to stay stuck.

I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. I wanted to feel empowered again. Now, I choose to look at the glass half-full. Sure, my situation sucked. But positive change depended on ME taking action and having a positive outlook. 

And it worked. Through optimism and taking action, I healed from burnout and fibromyalgia.

Optimism saved me and it can rescue you from signs of burnout, as well.

What is Optimism?

Optimism is about staying hopeful and positive about your present and future.

But it’s more than a mindset shift. It’s a lifestyle change. Optimism can have a profound impact on your life satisfaction, how you make decisions, and what types of goals you embark on.

However, many pessimists and realists are skeptical of the benefits of optimism. They believe that optimists suffer from the Pollyanna Principle or positivity bias —  an unhealthy fixation on the positive while avoiding the negative. They prefer to feel happy instead of taking action and facing reality.

Sounds more like delusion and wishful thinking, right?

After all, how can optimism pay your bills? Or pick up the kids from school? Or restore peace to your chronic anxiety?

I felt that way until I discovered firsthand how life-changing optimism can be.

What Can Optimism Do For You?

Optimism benefits both your mental and physical well-being. Studies show that those who are more optimistic are at less risk of coronary heart disease. Another study shows that greater optimism can reduce the effects of chronic disease.

That’s right.

Optimism has a healing effect on your body!

By replacing my victim mentality with optimism, I was able to take charge of my burnout and fibromyalgia symptoms. This is because my new positive outlook changed the way I related to these symptoms and empowered me to take action through self-care.

When you embody positivity and optimism, you tend to live longer, you’re more likely to build healthy habits, and you cultivate greater resilience during hardships.

Are you ready to welcome more optimism into your life? Here’s how you can do it.

When you embody positivity and optimism, you tend to live longer, you’re more likely to build healthy habits, and you cultivate greater resilience during hardships. Click To Tweet

4 Tips On How to Be More Optimistic 

#1 Practice Gratitude

When was the last time you sat in silence, appreciating the blessings that touch your life?

It may have been a while.

Your life often gets hectic. Your calendar is overbooked. You have obligations to fulfill and deadlines to meet.

In the hustle and bustle, you forget to simply appreciate.

Take a moment to do that right now. Ask yourself:

What are three positive things that happened today?

Make answering this question a daily habit. This simple activity will train your brain to actively seek out what’s right in your life, instead of dwelling on what’s wrong.

#2 Surround Yourself with Positive People

Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with. If the people around you are constantly complaining, negative, and pessimistic, then you are more likely to exude those same characteristics.

Instead, set yourself up for success and wellness by associating with people who:

  • Set goals and take action
  • Choose optimism over pessimism
  • Encourage and uplift you
  • Cultivate a growth mindset
  • Build healthy habits

The friends and family you keep close to you can influence your daily habits and your overall well-being.

#3 Use Inspiring Affirmations

Pessimism affects more than how you perceive the people and world around you. It can also distort how you see yourself.

You put a magnifying glass over your flaws. You catalog your faults. You doubt your skills and potential.

Daily affirmations help you replace these pessimistic thoughts with more optimistic beliefs, by giving voice to reminders of your strength and worth. 

Every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to sleep, look at yourself in the mirror and say:

I love myself. I respect myself. I accept myself. 

I am worthy of love and abundance.

I exude optimism, confidence, and self-compassion.

You might not believe the words at first, but they will eventually manifest into your reality. Over time, you will believe that you are worthy, valuable, and powerful. 

Optimism isn’t about overnight change. It’s about being open to positive change, even when your current situation is less than ideal.

#4 Be Solution-Oriented

Think about the last time something didn’t work out the way you wanted. It sucked, right? You might have felt discouraged. Perhaps you blamed the world for this setback.

It’s okay to process your emotions before taking action. Just keep in mind that the worst thing you can do in adversity is nothing.

Optimism is more than looking on the bright side. It also encourages you to take real action to effect positive change in your life.

Don’t let your temporary setbacks limit you. Instead, take back your power.

When you’re struggling with something, approach it as a challenge to solve. This perspective shift will keep you focused not on what happened to you, but rather what can you do about it?

Think about a setback you recently experienced. What action steps can you take to solve it? 

Optimism and Health Begins With Self-Love

The choice to be optimistic is an act of kindness we show ourselves.

Each time you express optimism, you’re choosing the glass half-full over half-empty. Choosing to keep going over giving up. Choosing positivity over cynicism.

Optimism also inspires you to make more empowering choices, even in hardship: choosing self-compassion and self-love over despair.

When you practice optimism and self-love, you welcome so many benefits into your life. That’s why I encourage you to claim my free gift, “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

This practice has been shown to:

  • Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
  • Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
  • Reduce or even stop worrying

Click here now to download your “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

Getting Downright Real: What Self-Care REALLY Means

Everywhere you look, you can learn new ways to practice self-care — books, blogs, videos, podcasts. You’ll find catchy headlines like… 

10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself 

5 Self-Care Tips That Will Revolutionize Your Life 

20 Daily Habits to Upgrade Your Self-Care Routine 

Self-care is trending, and for good reason. It helps you stay grounded, empowered, and most importantly — free from signs of burnout.

However, the media is skewing our perception of self-care. What comes to mind when you hear the word “self-care?” You might think of spas, scented bubble baths, or a shopping spree. 

The media offers only a limited version of self-care. There’s so much more to learn about what self-care really means.

The Truth: What Self-Care Really Means

You might believe that self-care is an indulgence — eating that extra red velvet cupcake, blowing your money on that new makeup palette, or staying out late to socialize. 

More often, this is treating yourself rather than practicing self-care.  Self-care is about respecting your mind and body. It’s more than rest and relaxation. It’s also challenging yourself to grow into the person you want to become. It’s about setting personal goals and achieving them.

While self-care can be enjoyable — a relaxing massage or sugary treat — it can also be difficult and uncomfortable.  

Self-Care Is Not Always Pretty or Fun 

Self-care can be unglamorous. Sometimes, it can be downright scary. 

It might test your limits. It may cause discomfort. But that’s sometimes necessary if you want to respect your body and achieve your goals.  

Yes, self-care might look like a deep-tissue massage after a stressful work week. But it can also look like: 

  • Getting honest with yourself about your finances by creating a budget 
  • Having a challenging conversation with your significant other because you’re unhappy 
  • Letting go of a toxic friend because their negativity is affecting your well-being 
  • Heading to the gym, despite wanting to lounge at home 
  • Seeing a therapist to unearth your suppressed emotions and insecurities

Some of these situations nudge you to travel outside your comfort zone. You may want to retreat and hide from the world. 

But, you see… 

That’s the truth about self-care. It’s the uncomfortable things you choose to do that help you to grow.

How to Implement Real Self-Care In Your Life

You might still be grappling with this new definition of self-care. It may be different from anything you’ve read before. To help you come to terms with this revelation and apply it in your life, I propose the following tips: 

#1 Make Real Self-Care Non-Negotiable

Do you want to know the secret to making self-care stick — even the activities you don’t like doing?

Make it a daily habit.

Self-care isn’t something you do when you feel like it. It isn’t like scheduling that two-week vacation each year. 

It’s a daily commitment.

It means doing both the things you want to do and the things that you don’t want to do every day

Self-care is indulging in a scented salt bath and walking 10,000 steps. It’s dressing up to feel beautiful and going to bed on time for a restful night’s sleep.

Most importantly, self-care is understanding the relationship between small habits and life-changing results over time. However, this positive shift happens only when self-care is non-negotiable in your daily life.

#2 Get Clear On Your Values

Instead of thinking of self-care as a list of things to check off, try seeing it as a lifestyle that aligns with your values. 

Take a moment to pause and reflect on your values.

If your current values are focused on health, how would that affect how you practice self-care? Yoga and resistance training would make sense, but indulging in a decadent slice of chocolate cake would not.

What if one of your values is around being an empowered career woman? Self-care can look like attending a conference to improve your skills. Staying out late and compromising your sleep, however, would likely conflict with this value.

Real self-care is different for each woman. Your values might be different from mine. What’s important is that you identify what your values are and how you can cater your habits to manifesting them.

#3 Use Self-Care as a Compass, Not an Escape

Have you ever skipped a workout and treated yourself to a night in with Netflix and pizza instead? Or put off working on a project because you felt that you deserved to grab drinks with your friends?

If you do this routinely, you might be using self-care as an escape — an excuse to avoid your responsibilities.

This is not self-care. This is avoidance and procrastination… and can actually cause more stress than relief.

Rather, self-care activities align with the life you’re hoping to achieve. If you want to be more healthy and energetic, then exercise will serve you well. If you want to get that promotion at work, then staying productive without procrastinating aligns with that goal.

Self-care is like a compass — the self-care habits you build will lead you to your destination.

Share below the one thing that you know you need to do. Then let me know, is this the day you’ll take action on it?

Self-care is like a compass — the self-care habits you build will lead you to your destination. Click To Tweet

Get Started With Self-Love

Remember what I mentioned earlier about self-care being uncomfortable?

Here’s a question I have for you: Do you love yourself?

If you answered no, you’re not alone. Many women struggle with insecurities and low self-esteem. You might even feel that you’re undeserving of love from yourself.

But here’s the thing.

Self-care is both physical and emotional. You can apply a face mask to achieve glowing skin, but that does little to radiate genuine love towards yourself.

When you look in the mirror, I want you to love the woman looking back at you. To help manifest this in your reality, sign up for my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge.

During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again). 

If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…

  • Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
  • Energized, clear and focused
  • Calm, easy-going and peaceful
  • Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
  • Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life 

Join me by clicking here to sign up for my next From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge. It’s Free!

5 Self-Care Misconceptions: Are You Doing It Wrong?

Self-care is a trending topic right now. Articles, videos, and books flood the market, revealing so many ways for women to prioritize themselves.

It’s wonderful!

We’re increasing awareness of the relationship between self-care and burning out. That is, if you neglect taking care of yourself, you increase the risks of experiencing signs of burnout.

However, there are also some self-care misconceptions out there. Some companies and media outlets are actually missing the mark — reducing self-care to a pore-shrinking face mask or an excuse to treat yourself to a new outfit.

Self-care runs much deeper than that.

In this article, we’re debunking some self-care misconceptions and embracing the essence behind taking genuine care of yourself.

First Off, What is Self-Care?

Quite literally, self-care is taking care of yourself — your mind, body, spirit, and emotions. In an overworked culture where 96% of employees are burned out, self-care is especially critical to your well-being.

And self-care looks different for every woman.

For me, self-care is being mindful of how I care for myself daily, starting with a morning routine that grounds me and sets the tone for each day. I also take periodic breaks throughout the day to re-vitalize myself.

 What does self-care look like for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Whatever activity you enjoy, self-care is how you recharge your batteries. It helps you enjoy your life. It builds your resilience during hardship. And it strengthens your physical and mental well-being.

Whatever activity you enjoy, self-care is how you recharge your batteries. It helps you enjoy your life. It builds your resilience during hardship. And it strengthens your physical and mental well-being. Click To Tweet

More importantly, self-care is necessary for a happy and fulfilling life.

But what happens when self-care is misinterpreted? 

What are the consequences when today’s trends skew your perception of self-care?

When Self-Care Gets Problematic for Women…

While contemporary culture has increased the popularity of self-care, it has also distorted it.

Women are often fed unrealistic or idealized versions of what taking care of yourself looks like. And some women use self-care as an excuse or escape from certain aspects of their lives.

My goal is to debunk these self-care myths. Also, I advocate that self-care is both essential and accessible to all women.

Coming up are five scenarios where self-care is actually misinterpreted and done wrong.

5 Self-Care Misconceptions to Watch Out For

#1 You Do It For Others 

The popularity of social media makes it tempting to share everything you do with your followers.

Online influencers flood the self-improvement industry with their morning routines, diet regimens, workout routines, and more.

From a self-care perspective, this may have a hidden consequence…

You obsess over likes and comments and lose sight of what’s truly important: your health and well-being. 

Remember: you practice self-care because you love and take care of yourself — not for the likes and comments.

#2 Self-Care Conflicts With Your Goals

You may not realize it, but you might be sabotaging your goals with self-care “treats.”

Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. After two weeks of dedicated diet and exercise, it’s tempting to reward yourself with a decadent (but calorie-rich and sugary) slice of cake. Your internal dialogue may eventually convince you that you deserve it. 

However, indulging your appetite is at odds with what you’re hoping to achieve: a healthier you.

Let’s use another example: you want more time for yourself because you’re often over-extended. Then you hear your friends are volunteering for a fundraiser event this weekend. Sounds like it’ll be fun and it’s for a good cause, right? You decide you’ll join.

But even that goes against your goal to recharge by taking away your “me” time.

Self-care is important. However, it must also align with your goals and lifestyle. 

Is your “self-care” moving you toward or away from your goals?

#3 You Put a Clever Disguise on Procrastination 

If you meditated, recited your affirmations, and soaked in a bubble bath, that’s wonderful! You must be feeling great. 

If you did all of that but neglected your responsibilities, then that’s not so wonderful.

Self-care can often be a pretty disguise for procrastination. 

Are you practicing self-care to relax and recharge? Or is it a convenient excuse to postpone your responsibilities?

Be honest with yourself about when it’s time to work and time to relax.

#4 You Make It Your Go-To Avoidance Tactic

Sometimes, we use self-care as a way to avoid something uncomfortable. 

For example, if you struggle with socializing, you might be tempted to isolate yourself all weekend and call it “me time” and “self-care.” 

If you make this behavior a habit, you may be using “self-care” to mask your fear of social interaction.

When this happens, you close opportunities to challenge yourself.

Self-care isn’t strictly rest and relaxation. It can also be an opportunity for personal growth. In this scenario, self-care might actually look like scheduling coffee with a close friend to slowly overcome your social anxiety.

#5 You Attach a Price Tag

Businesses are capitalizing on the self-care trends you see on social media. That’s why industries, like skincare and fashion, are booming. Businesses want women to look and feel great when buying their products.

However, you don’t need to spend buckets of money to take care of yourself.

Self-care doesn’t have to be an expensive retreat to a tropical climate. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious day at the spa either. 

Self-care can be as simple as enjoying ten minutes of silence. Or improving your sleep quality by heading to bed an hour earlier. Even going for a walk outside can be considered self-care!

Taking care of yourself can be both nourishing AND free.

What free or low-cost self-care activities do you practice? I’d love to know!

When Self-Care is Done Right…

When you make self-care a top priority, you’ll notice a positive shift in your life.

Your mood lifts. You’re more resilient. You find fulfillment in life. Your overall well-being improves.

That’s the power of self-care.

And I want to help you achieve those amazing benefits with my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge

During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again). 

If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…

  • Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
  • Energized, clear and focused
  • Calm, easy-going and peaceful
  • Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
  • Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life 

Join me by clicking here to sign up for my next From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge. It’s Free!

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