Emotional exhaustion is at the heart of Burnout. When we are depleted, it is difficult to face the prospect of change.
Change requires committed action
You are a smart person and no doubt you have tried many ways of better managing your suffering. Your experience of past perceived failures in your well-intentioned historical efforts to “fix” your Burnout leaves you emotionally bankrupt and cognitively weary.
Assess and refine your mindset
The trick with squeezing the more juice from the optimism fruit is re-evaluating your definition of success. Positive re-evaluation means focusing your expectations on the deeper learning available to you in moments of despair, even while acknowledging your current distress.
It’s about developing a growth mindset. This is the perspective that our abilities, such as wisdom and intelligence, are mutable and can be developed and improved. It is the belief in the possibility of change which helps us move through the ‘stuck’.
Your positive mindset
Are you an optimist expecting the best of a situation and accepting set-backs as temporary, or are you more pessimistic, viewing obstacles as harbingers of bigger problems ahead? Pessimism can be unlearned, but not through telling yourself to “be happy”. That’s not specific – it doesn’t tell you what to DO. Martin Seligman’s book The Hope Circuit offers practical evidence-based strategies to help you change your wiring to a more optimistic (and productive) mindset.
Hope is at the heart of a positive mindset and gives you the strength to carry on. It comes from understanding where things are now and where you need them to be. Think about how you might introduce optimism and hope more often in your perspective. Focus on having better problems to solve and making small changes in your routine which positively impact your life.
Dr Bek is a Burnout Recovery (and Prevention) Coach with a special knack for working with professionals in the medical, nursing, and veterinary fields. She helps individuals and groups in developing sustainable, practical solutions to burnout that don’t take a lot of time or require you to wear leggings (unless you want to).
There is no easy way to say this – a big aspect of Burnout Recovery is often about re-evaluating the basics in your daily routine and ensuring you are attending to those parts which are most likely to give you best bang for your buck.
The science behind habit formation suggests 66 days is the median time it takes to form a sustainable routine. Habits take a while to form, but they stick faster when you attend to them regularly.
Re-establish healthy habits
Sometimes the best place to start Burnout Recovery is the most obvious – re-establishing healthy habits gives you the zest you need to persevere when the going is tough.
Prioritising sleep, nutrition, and moving your body in ways that expends energy and makes you breathe deeply, sends a signal to your internal stress-response mechanisms that all is well. It offers your mind a place of peace and rest, even when chaos is all around.
Your destination is about committing to a series of small steps, in the generally right direction – spend 5, 10, 30, 60 minutes a day forming healthy habits.
What good health habits do you need to foster specifically to support your resilience?
Pick one habit that you can commit to for two weeks, and then, just do that.
Learn more in our free, downloadable BURNOUT RECOVERY (AND PREVENTION) – TIPS FOR BUSY PROFESSIONALS.
Dr Bek is a Burnout Recovery (and Prevention) Coach who helps busy people create workable plans for managing the immutable stressors in their life. She has a special interest in working with professionals in the veterinary, nursing, and medical fields.
Rebekah Doley BA(Hons) GradDipPsyPrac MSc(Inv Psy) MJur(Law) MPsy(Clin)/ PhD
Clinical & Forensic Psychologist
Registered Psychologist (AHPRA) | Chartered Psychologist (BPS) | Mediator