How Spiritual Self-Care Can Lead You Back From Burnout

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” – Albert Einstein

If you woke up this morning feeling like it’s yet another day the universe is out to stomp you into the ground, and then it only gets worse from there, chances are you’re burned out.

Your life looks bleak when you’re in the throes of burnout. It’s hard to believe in yourself, or muster up the energy to give two hoots about the state of your spiritual well-being. Cynicism and apathy rule – you’re simply unable to re-connect yourself with your higher power, or God, or whatever you call a spiritual entity bigger than yourself.

And when you don’t practice spiritual self-care, you keep yourself mired in a state of burnout that robs you of your health and happiness. It feels like nothing is going right. Some days you may want to crawl under the covers and not come back out. 

It’s hard to live this way; to feel like life is out to get you; to be struggling with burnout. Life seems grim…

But when you shift your focus to nourishing your spirit, you start yourself back on the road to wellness. So, let’s get you started back down that road.

What Is Spiritual Self-Care? 

The term spiritual self-care can mean different things to different people. To me, spiritual means prioritizing being loving to myself and others, which means I care about people, animals, and the planet. I understand that we are all One, and I am conscious about honoring this Oneness. 

As the Dalai Lama says “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” In essence, to me being spiritual is being kind.

What does it mean to you?

Here are some practices that are particularly powerful and can be effective pieces of a regular spiritual self-care routine. I encourage you to adopt some or all of these activities as part of your regular spiritual self-care practice. Most importantly, choose something that meets your personal definition of spiritual:

Meditate

Quieting your mind through meditation is a centuries-old, proven way to rejuvenate your connection to spirit. A mere ten minutes a day of simple meditation can relax you, cultivate your well-being, and restore a sense of the rightness of the universe.

Quieting your mind through meditation is a centuries-old, proven way to rejuvenate your connection to spirit. A mere ten minutes a day of simple meditation can relax you, cultivate your well-being, and restore a sense of the rightness… Click To Tweet

Practice self-love

Although you’re born to love yourself, when you’re burned out you lose that feeling of self-love. To get it back, focus specifically on ways to show yourself some love. Be at least as kind to yourself as you are to others. Talk to yourself like you would to a beloved child; or, treat yourself to something you enjoy but have been putting off, such as a massage or a leisurely bubble bath.

When you take steps to show you love yourself, your feeling of self-cherishing will snowball.

Surround yourself with people who uplift you

You’ve probably experienced people who drag you down, right? You dread being around them because they make you feel worse than you already do (even when you didn’t believe it was possible to feel worse!). But you also know the glorious feeling of being with people who support, cheer, and uplift you. 

Go get you some more of that goodness! And along the way, give back to them because you’ll set up a circle of reciprocity that will buoy and nurture you in your darker times.

Simplify your life

You’re bombarded with messages urging you to buy more, make more, and do more more more more until you feel both frantic and flattened. When you look around and see unending things to care for, places to be, and a sky-high corporate ladder to climb, stop! 

Take a deep breath. Then assess your life. Be compassionately ruthless about what is truly important to you. Can you give up stuff? Temporarily stop pursuing your next promotion? Cut back on commitments? Then do so. Simplifying your life will clear your mind, providing room for you to reconnect with your spirit.

Spend time in nature

Scientific research reveals that people who spend more time in nature experience fewer problems such as anxiety and depression – two of the hallmarks of burnout. In other words, nature cleanses you of negative thoughts and heals your soul. Take a walk in the woods or go for a hike in the hills. Whatever your preference, get outdoors among trees, flowers, and animals.

Communicate with your body

When was the last time you checked in with your body and asked it what it needs? You’ve gotten used to ignoring your body’s messages, which is why you are struggling with burnout now. Yet as you have probably already noticed, when you ignore your body it always manages to get in the last word. 

That’s why I created a self-care practice where you connect with your body and strengthen the muscle of listening to what it needs. And I would like to gift you 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

When you tap into your body and listen to its universal wisdom, you also create a connection to your spirit; the two are deeply intertwined.

So, click here now to claim your gift of my From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.” 

How To Create A Spiritual Self-Care Practice

To get you started on a spiritual self-care practice that works for you and your lifestyle, here are steps you can take:

#1 Choose an activity from the list in the previous section

Start with an activity that calls to you! You’ll be more likely to give it priority and stick with it. Start with just one activity so you don’t overwhelm yourself. As you feel more comfortable, add another activity. 

#2 Practice the activity

For example, if you choose to spend time in nature, find a nearby place that you can quickly and easily get to. Even if it’s a park near your workplace that you can walk to on your lunch break, the important thing is to do it regularly. 

#3 Make a commitment

Put your self-care practice into your calendar. Treat it as seriously as you would any other commitment since this one is for your own well-being. For instance, if you picked being with people who uplift you, schedule a get-together with someone who embodies upliftment and helps you feel good about yourself. 

#4 Adjust if necessary

You may need to adjust your emotional self-care practice over time. That’s fine! If something isn’t working for you, choose a different activity. Just be sure to keep your commitment when you make a change, so you continue to heal your burnout.

If you already have a spiritual self-care practice, what do you do? What nourishes your soul? If you could wave a magic wand and take any step to tend to your spiritual wellness, what would it be? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear.

Time To Get Serious About Burnout Recovery

I know that waking up feeling like the entire universe is conspiring against you robs you of your enthusiasm for life. You go through your days barely able to put one foot in front of the other. Your connection to your spirit was severed, and through no fault of your own you ended up bereft and burned out.

But you don’t have to stay in burnout. You can start right now to care for your spiritual well-being and heal yourself. I’ve given you the tools to get started; now, get going!

And if you want even more support and advice, sign up for my email list so you don’t miss out. I’m here for you.

Emotional Self-Care Can Help You Overcome Burnout

You know those days when your emotions make you feel like you’re playing Crack The Whip? 

You’re at the mercy of anger, despair, and frustration that fling you around in all directions. 

Yet other times helplessness and apathy flatten you like one of those cartoon characters run over by a steamroller.

What the heck is going on?

Being at the utter mercy of negative emotions is one of the signs of burnout that can lead you straight into the depths of full-blown burnout, with all of its dire consequences for your health and happiness.

Fortunately, though, you can take steps to care for your emotional well-being – and help prevent or even heal burnout.

I’ll show you.

What Is Emotional Self-Care?

At its core, emotional self-care is tending to and nurturing your emotional well-being. Sounds simple, right? But many of us neglect our emotional health. We’re simply not taught to be concerned about it while we pursue personal and professional success.

Many of us neglect our emotional health. We’re simply not taught to be concerned about it while we pursue personal and professional success. Click To Tweet

Then, through neglect, your emotional health erodes, setting you on the path toward full burnout.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I’m a dedicated proponent of self-care. It’s an essential part of cultivating your health and well-being. And emotional self-care is a specific set of practices such as:

  • Check in daily with your emotions as they arise. Often, simply acknowledging them will take away their power, freeing you from their grip and helping to heal you from the emotional lawlessness of burnout.
  • Journal about your feelings. Name them. What comes up? What was happening at the time that, for example, your anger spiked? You can make valuable insights from the association of external events and your feelings, allowing you to make more beneficial decisions which will help keep you from burning out.
  • Allow yourself to have a good cry, to access the healing power of tears. Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration, which, when they become chronic, are emotions associated with burnout.
  • Cultivate gratitude. There’s a reason why the phrase “an attitude of gratitude” resonates so powerfully with us. Gratitude has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including support for your emotional well-being and to help prevent or even heal burnout.
  • Set boundaries in a skillful way. Noted author and speaker Brene Brown defines boundaries as “What is and isn’t okay with me”. Setting a boundary can be as simple as “that’s not okay for me”, a phrase that will keep you from overcommitting yourself and burning out.

Now that you see how many ways there are to care for your emotional health, let’s dive in to how to create a practice.

How To Create An Emotional Self-Care Practice

To create a daily self-care routine that works for you and your lifestyle, here are steps you can take:

#1 Choose an activity from the list in the previous section

Start with an activity that lights you up! You’ll be more likely to give it priority and stick to your practice. Start with just one so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

#2 Practice the activity

For example, if you choose “setting boundaries”, practice saying out loud, “That doesn’t work for me,” or something similar until you feel comfortable saying it out loud. You may find it helpful to practice saying it to an accountability partner.

#3 Make a commitment

Put your self-care routine into your calendar. Treat it as seriously as you would any other commitment since this one is to your own well-being. For instance, if you picked journaling as an activity, schedule 10 minutes for this each day in your calendar.

#4 Tweak if necessary

You may need to adjust your emotional self-care routine over time. That’s fine! If something isn’t working for you, choose a different practice. Just be sure to keep your commitment when you make a change, so you continue to prevent or even heal your burnout.

If you feel like you want more support, or are having trouble creating your own routine, I’ve got you covered 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 sign up for my “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice. 

Start Caring For Yourself Right Now

There’s no reason to keep letting your emotions toss you around and push you further down the burnout path.

You can take charge of your emotional health right now. Create an emotional self-care routine that supports you best. Make a commitment to yourself to prevent or even heal your burnout. You now have the tools you need to get started.

And I’m here for you! To receive regular support for burnout prevention and recovery, sign up for my email list so you don’t miss out.

I can’t wait for you to get started!

Practice Mental Self-Care To Prevent (Or Heal From) Burnout

If you’re showing signs of burnout – or even if burnout has already reduced you to ashes – there’s a powerful antidote that may surprise you.

Ready?

Practice mental self-care.

Most of us know about physical, spiritual, and emotional self-care. They’ll all nurture you, and help prevent – or even heal – burnout. But we tend to lump in mental self-care with emotional self-care, even though they’re distinct from each other.

Emotional self-care focuses more on checking in with yourself about how you’re feeling, and taking action in response to your feelings. By contrast, mental self-care is much more about you being discerning of what you allow into your mind, and how you care for it. 

Emotional self-care focuses on how you’re feeling. By contrast, mental self-care is being discerning of what you allow into your mind. Click To Tweet

When you’re not discerning about your mind’s contents, you can push yourself toward burnout by, for example, judging yourself more harshly than you do anyone else. Your inner critic leaps to belittle you at the slightest perceived lapse on your part. No matter what you do, it’s never quite up to your exacting standards; and so, you burn yourself out in a doomed pursuit of perfection.

Here’s what will help.

How To Practice Mental Self-Care 

When you practice mental self-care, you choose activities to declutter your mind and reduce your stress levels. Caring for your mental health is best if tailored to what’s most relevant to you. As well, your mind needs to be exercised to protect it from cognitive decline and chemical imbalance that can cause depression or anxiety that will make burnout worse.

Ideally, your mental self-care practice will:

  • Support your emotional needs: for example, this could involve practicing positive thinking and avoiding catastrophic thinking so you can feel happy and optimistic. Practicing self-compassion and acceptance, for example, helps you maintain a healthier inner dialogue.
  • Engage your creativity: for example, you may want to draw, paint, or write. Allowing your creativity to run wild is a great way to exercise your mind and de-stress. Find an activity you enjoy such as painting, drawing, or writing that allows for creative self-expression. Let go of shame, regret, and caution, and let your artistic sessions get as weird as you want them to be. And don’t be concerned about whether you are any good at it; that’s why you practice it!
  • Challenge your brain in constructive ways, such as crossword puzzles or sudoku, or learning about a subject that fascinates you. You might find reading books or watching movies that inspire you fuels your mind, which in turn causes your body to release “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Plus, you get the satisfaction of completing a challenge. 

You can see how the outlooks you choose and the information you’re filling your mind with greatly influence your mental well-being. This is why I encourage you to be choosy about what you allow into your mind and the thoughts and beliefs you hang on to.

Now let’s take a look at how you can prevent or even heal burnout by practicing mental self-care.

How Mental Self-Care Helps With Burnout

Let’s think about burnout for a minute. When you’re burned out, your problems seem insurmountable. Life is bleak. Your ongoing unhappiness and detachment caused by being burned out can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health. 

When you’re heading into burnout, your mental outlook is highly pessimistic. Your mind is filled with thoughts and beliefs that trap you in a downward spiral of negativity…

“I can’t.”

“It’s not worth it.”

“I don’t care.”

These are the kinds of thoughts that fill your mind when you’re burned out, and which are essential to counter with a mental self-care routine.

Because burnout could be accurately described as a type of mental malady, can you see how practicing mental self-care can bring you back from burnout and into wellness?

Some Questions To Understand The Current State Of Your Mental Self-Care 

You may not know where to begin to think about the current state of your mental self-care. I’ve got you covered – here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are you making enough time for activities that mentally stimulate you?
  • Are you doing proactive things to help you stay mentally healthy?
  • Do you spend more time feeling positive or more dwelling in negativity?
  • What could you do right now to feel more optimistic?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments below. And use your answers to start creating your own routine. 

Get Started On Your Own Mental Self-Care Practice

There’s no reason for you to spend one more moment sliding toward burnout. Now that I’ve given you these practices you can base an effective mental self-care routine on, I encourage you to take some time to figure out what type of care would best support your mental wellness.

Though many people do overlook caring for themselves mentally, you now understand how important it is. Add mental self-care into your other self-care practices, if you already have them. Or start with a mental care routine that you can then add onto.

Just get started! That’s the most important thing.

In my next article, I’ll be talking about emotional self-care and will give you suggestions for how to start or enhance your own practices. You can get notified when the next article is available, plus get more tips and advice for overcoming burnout, when you click here to sign up for my email list. 

Instead of staying mired in burnout and feeling bleak about the future, you owe it to yourself to be well and happy. Time to get going.

How Physical Self-Care Can Break Your Burnout Cycle

You go flat out all the time.

You pride yourself on handling everything. No matter what’s thrown at you, you catch it and, seemingly without effort, add it to all the other plates you’re spinning.

A last-minute assignment at work?

No problem.

Making goodies for the school fund raiser?

You’re on it.

Carpooling kids sports teams, extra laundry from game day, boning up for a big career promotion – it’s all good.

Until your body crumbles under the burden of too much stress, too little sleep, and sporadic self-care, at best. You feel exhausted; utterly spent, lucky if you can drag yourself through each day. 

Whoa, now. These signs of burnout are serious. I urge you to commit yourself to practicing physical self-care or you’ll be too burned out to enjoy your life at all.

What Exactly Is Physical Self-Care Anyway?

A good physical self-care routine incorporates diet, exercise, and the quality of your sleep.

A good physical self-care routine incorporates diet, exercise, and the quality of your sleep. Click To Tweet

Here’s why they’re important not only to general physical self-care but also for the prevention and healing of burnout:

A poor diet can profoundly impact your immune system, mental health, and risk for chronic disease. When you rely mostly on fast foods, you can further compound the risks of dietary issues and amplify the effects of stress on yourself.

Exercise is also an important part of self-care, especially if your job requires you to do a lot of sitting. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends healthy adults get at least 75 to 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each week. Take a walk, go for a run, or dance. Do something you enjoy and move your body!

Curiously, getting enough high-quality sleep often gets overlooked. And how often have we sacrificed sleep in order to keep over-taxing ourselves? 

However, a recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience points out that lack of sleep may actually cause irreversible damage to brain cells. I don’t mean to scare you – but I do want you to be aware of the risks of lack of sleep.

As well, sleep is also important for healing, weight loss, and maintaining healthy stress and hormone levels. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults to remain healthy. I know what you’re thinking…

“Okay, great, but how the heck do I sleep better?”

Click here for tips on how to get restful sleep.

Last but certainly not least, take charge of your medical health. Make sure you get an annual physical check-up and a women’s wellness appointment to check your reproductive health, including breast and pelvic exams, and a Pap test.  Also, schedule any other tests that are recommended for your age group. So many of my clients neglect this important part of their physical self-care that I wanted to be sure to mention this.

How To Create A Supportive Routine

First, ask yourself what your goal is for a physical self-care routine. Getting specific will help you tailor one to your particular needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you:

#1 Identify how you want to feel

A great way to start is to ask yourself how you want to feel. Perhaps you’d like to feel energized, optimistic, or cheerful.

  • If you like to journal, write out your goal as clearly and vividly as you can.
  • If you’re a visual person, you may want to sketch your goal with colored pencils, or create a vision board that represents what you are working towards.

#2  Create action items to accomplish your goal

Next, include specific actions that will support you. They may be things like:

  • Wake up earlier
  • Go dancing
  • Take a warm bath
  • Get a massage
  • Learn about healthy eating

#3 Set yourself up for success

I encourage you to set yourself up for success! As highly-accomplished women, I know how we like to dive wholeheartedly into something new. Which, in this case, can be a recipe for failure. So I want you to take baby steps with your routine.

  • Add physical self-care gradually so you aren’t overwhelmed – this will help you break free from the burnout cycle.
  • Also, consider asking someone you trust to hold you accountable. If you have someone who’ll check on you, it’s easier to stick to the commitment you made and to remember your reasons why.
  • Another helpful tip is to put everything into your calendar. Every night, plan out your schedule or review it for the next day. 

But remember – baby steps, please!

What To Do If Your Routine Needs Tweaking

Even with the best of intentions, and a wonderful accountability partner, there may still come a day when you realize you’ve let your physical self-care slip.

One of the most important parts of self-care is being able to recognize when you need to tweak it. Because, as you know, if you neglect your own self-care, even a little, you can experience burnout.

If you find yourself feeling worn down, and you’d swear your routine isn’t working, I’d like you to pause and reflect. Perhaps you’ve been letting your physical self-care go little by little, until the cumulative effect has snuck up on you.

Or maybe you just need to tweak the activities in your routine so they’re more in line with your goal.

Please don’t just convince yourself that it’s not working, then abandon it. You deserve nurturing. You likely just need to fine-tune your self-care to feel better and bring yourself back from burnout.

You can also sign up for my mailing list to receive regular tips and advice for getting out of burnout and back into balance.

Share Your Favorite Physical Self-Care Ideas

Even if you don’t already have a physical self-care routine, you already know what sounds enticing to you. 

You may be someone who would adore going for a walk alone in the woods. Or luxuriating in a spa day with a massage and pedicure.

What would feel best to you? If you could wave a magic wand, what kind of self-care would you get?

Given your current commitments, what one pleasurable self-care action could you take right now?

You get the idea! Share in the comments below.

Burnout Recovery Requires Consistent Self-Care

“What’s up with you? It’s as though you don’t even like yourself anymore.”

If you’ve heard this recently, pay attention. Someone who cares about you has noticed that you haven’t been showing yourself the love you need. 

 And here’s the thing. You may genuinely believe you love yourself. But your actions speak louder than words. 

For instance, when I had all the signs of burnout, I would have sworn to you that I loved myself, yet my actions said otherwise.

I didn’t make time to look after myself.  I felt worn out; overwhelmed; burned out. And it took me a while to figure out what I needed to do to recover.

I was slow to realize that it was important for me to change my perspective in order to kick my burnout recovery into gear. Deep down, I knew I had to stop neglecting myself. The remedy had to be self-care. But first, I had to understand what self-care is… and what it isn’t. 

What Self-Care Is 

Self-care is the way you express your love through your daily interactions with yourself: how you eat; how tenderly you bathe yourself; the clothes you choose; and, how you talk to yourself. This is all self-care, and reflects how much you love yourself. 

Self-care is the way you express your love through your daily interactions with yourself: how you eat; how tenderly you bathe yourself; the clothes you choose; and, how you talk to yourself. Click To Tweet

Having a daily practice of caring for yourself – during which you listen to your body, tend to your needs and desires, and treat yourself like you would a beloved child – cultivates self-love and balance.

Because self-care is so crucial for burnout recovery and your overall well-being, in my next blog posts I’ll be covering the 6 essential self-care areas: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, sensory, and adventurous. You know I’m passionate about self-care, and I can’t wait to share with you.

What Self-Care Isn’t

Knowing what self-care is not might be even more important. It is not something that you force yourself to do, nor is it something you don’t enjoy doing. As noted psychologist and burnout expert Agnes Wainman explained, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”

More importantly, self-care isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering your needs; it is knowing what you need to do in order to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others as well. 

This is really important to understand: if you don’t take good enough care of yourself, you won’t be able to give to your loved ones either.

Yet you can also have too much of a good thing. 

One Self-Care Mistake to Avoid

I’m clearly a huge proponent of self-care. Yet I urge you not to schedule too much self-care at once. Anything you do in excess will cause overwhelm. That includes self-care. And when you’re overwhelmed, you’ll find it hard to consistently care for yourself.

Take one of my clients, who decided to create two self-care processes, one for the morning and one for bedtime. 

She chose to implement 6 items into the morning routine and the same for bedtime. When I asked if she felt comfortable with this, she said yes. 

After a week, I checked in with her. She had not yet incorporated her self-care processes into her schedule, and she was beating herself up over it. 

We talked about how she could make this new venture more fun and more manageable, and she decided to focus primarily on her bedtime process at first. The plan was that once this process became a habit, it would be easier to implement a morning process too.  

She chose 2 or 3 self-care items for bedtime, which allowed her to relax into and enjoy her new routine. Instead of feeling pressured to add self-care into her schedule, she was able to have fun with her new practices and build them gradually into her daily routine. Over time, her days began to flow with greater joy and ease.

How To Create An Effective Self-Care Routine 

A great starting point is addressing your relationship with your body. We women tend to push our bodies as though they’re machines. I’m aware that’s what I did. Because you may have been neglecting your body and what it needs, my suggestion is to start a self-care practice where you connect with your body. As you have probably noticed already, when you ignore your body’s messages your body always manages to get in the last word. 

Start with baby steps. For example, add one new self-care item to your routine every 1-3 weeks or as each item becomes a habit. 

Or, alternatively, consider a time limit. Begin with your entire list of items but only give 5 minutes for each one. Then increase these time frames as desired every 1-3 weeks until your routine is flowing and feels effective. 

Yet if you’re not sure how to get started or if you still have questions, here’s a practice of mine you can use. 

My Simple Self-Care Practice 

My From Burnout to Balance Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice was essential to my burnout recovery. 

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

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Click here to get My From Burnout to Balance Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice, where I walk you through it step by step…

With this practice, you can can start right away to deepen your self-care and start your recovery from burnout. 

But that’s not all I have for you. Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll receive regular tips and advice on burnout recovery, self-care, special events, and more. 

 

How Healthy Personal Boundaries Can Help You Overcome Burnout 

“Why did they ask me to do that? I don’t have time! Don’t they know how busy I am…and did I really just say YES?!”

If this sounds like some of your internal monologue, I want to offer you support with setting personal boundaries both as a way of self-care and to overcome burnout.

Personal What, Now?!

Many of us women were never taught about personal boundaries or, if we were, we inferred that setting a boundary meant putting up a wall between ourselves and others. Like when you’ve had all you can take, you snap, “That’s it! I’ve had enough!” in your frustration and resentment.

By then, of course, it’s too late. Snapping a protective wall into place is the antithesis of a healthy boundary; it’s reactive rather than proactive, and is a protective measure rather than a thoughtful means of caring for yourself.

But why is it so difficult to figure out and set healthy boundaries? 

You weren’t taught to. Most of us weren’t.

Let me explain.

Healthy Personal Boundaries Fly In The Face Of Conventional Wisdom

At its core, a healthy boundary is a principle that you live by. Brene Brown defines boundaries as simply what is and isn’t okay for you.

Sounds simple, right?

Except you’ve probably received a lifetime of confusing messages about what is or isn’t personally acceptable for you. We women get a lot of “shoulds” – we should feel a certain way, choose certain professions, behave in specific ways in order to please others and be rewarded. Which sets up a vicious circle:

You push yourself to conform to society’s conventional wisdom of how you should be. Yet you feel like you perpetually fall short, leading you to push yourself harder. You wind up feeling like you’re never quite up to standard…which stresses you out and leads you down the path to full blown burnout.

To top it off, we’re also given strong messages that self-care – which is essential to setting boundaries and overcoming burnout – is selfish and self-indulgent.

In other words, if you’re uncertain about your true principles, and confused about your boundaries, it’s not your fault!

How To Skillfully Set A Personal Boundary

Since your personal boundaries rest on the foundation of your life principles, I encourage you to take some quiet time to identify your most cherished ones.

For example, let’s say upon reflection you’ve realized that quality time with your family is something you deeply value. Yet over and over again, you’re asked to take on volunteer work that cuts into your family time. You agree because, well, they’re good causes. Yet even as you agree, you feel resentful, which is a sign your boundary was just violated.

I want you to practice saying out loud, “Thanks for thinking of me, but I don’t have room in my schedule to take that on.” Practice it by yourself, or role play with a person you trust. Practice saying this until you can do it calmly. Be prepared to repeat yourself. And, if you can, smile while you say it.

There’s no need to explain or justify your response. 

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s something you deeply value?
  2. What personal boundary might you set now to honor that more fully?

Send A Powerful Signal Of Self-Care With Healthy Personal Boundaries (And Bring Yourself Back From Burnout)

The simple action of setting a healthy personal boundary will make you feel freer. You’ll be caring for yourself in a powerful way when you demonstrate your commitment to your boundary and its accompanying principle.

And can you intuit how graciously setting a boundary will help you overcome burnout? You will have taken a step toward lessening your overwhelm and stress, both signs of burnout. And you’re sending a signal to the Universe that you’re important. You matter. Your principles matter.

Can you intuit how graciously setting a boundary will help you overcome burnout? You will have taken a step toward lessening your overwhelm and stress, both signs of burnout. Click To Tweet

While this may in theory sound like a simple step to take, I know how scary it feels to move past years of heavy social conditioning. You don’t have to do this alone. When you sign up for my email list, you’ll receive regular support and advice including:

  • Why self-care and self-love are essential for health and well-being
  • Powerful practices to love and care for yourself
  • Opportunities to join group events

And more!

Plus, I’m here to support you. Comment below and share your responses to these two questions from above: 

  • What’s something you deeply value?
  • What personal boundary might you set now to honor that more fully?

Let’s inspire each other to set healthy personal boundaries for ourselves.

 

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