Hi, lovely ones. Thank you for joining me in this final episode on our discussion of burnout. It’s a big topic, and in this episode, I want to talk about how to prevent burnout from occurring in the first place. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to listen to episodes 22, 23 and 24.
As this is the final episode in a four-part series on burnout. In the previous episodes, I’ve talked about signs and symptoms, causes and recovery.
This episode is all about prevention.
To start with, I want a shout out Tim who left a review after listening to the podcast. Tim says:
“Listen to this. I’ve been a fan of Dr Rebecca’s for a while now. And it’s so exciting to see she can now be heard in this podcast. If you’re looking for sage advice for self-love and compassion, then subscribe right now”
Thank you so much, Tim. I’m so grateful for all of you that take a couple of minutes out of your day to leave reviews, they really make a difference.
And if you’re feeling burnt out right now, I just want to start by saying please go gently as you listen to this series of episodes.
As we talk about burnout. In my experience, it can go either way, you can either breathe a sigh of relief and feeling recognised and acknowledged. Or you may feel tense and overwhelmed because you really love an answer to it all right now. I get it.
And I hope that throughout these four episodes, we have gotten to all your questions, and we’ll get to all your questions, but in a measured way so as not to overwhelm you further. And to honour the fact that burnout is complex.
And that develops over a long period of time. And I think one of the reasons it’s so difficult to prevent burnout is because we spend so much time attaching our productivity to our self worth and shifting that mindset is key to being able to develop good habits like rest and self care.
And that can be very helpful in preventing burnout. So preventing burnout then becomes like a series of psychological and physical changes, as well as behavioural and environmental changes that act to cushion us against draining our personal resources so much that they are completely exhausted taking us out with them.
So I want to talk about each set of changes that need to happen in order to be able to prevent burnout from showing up.
If you’re lucky to have never been burnt out before then now’s the time to relisting to ways that you can prevent yourself from getting burnt out in the future.
And these are also the changes that I want you to work through if you’re preventing yourself from getting burnt out. Again, if burnout has shown up for you. In psychological changes, we need to change our expectations.
And that means changing your expectations around how much energy you have in a day, how much time things take to do and how much time you actually have available to do them.
And your expectations around your general workload. So one of the things I really needed to work on was to accurately anticipate how much energy I have.
And when my energy occurs and honouring that, as well as getting really smart around not overloading my to do list on my schedule with how much I think I could get done, and then getting disappointed as a result of never reaching the end of my to do list since being burnt out and my workload still is quite full but in a different way.
So I don’t expect myself to do a whole heap of brain-draining tasks in a day there might be one brain-draining task, and the rest are mindless tasks so that I use my work hours in a more considered and constructive way.
Other psychological changes that you need in order to be able to prevent burnout is to get really good at offering yourself compassion, to go gently with yourself.
To be able to not tie yourself worth to your productivity and to get especially good at giving yourself permission to rest and permission to just be without having to do a million things in order to be able to justify your relaxation is one of the things I want you to ask to your burnout prevention kit is to choose mentors who tell you the truth.
And by that, I mean, if you’re following someone on Instagram or you’re listening to their podcast, and they’re making out like they’ve got it all together, and like they do all the things, and they’re totally fine, it’s probably bullshit.
I want you to listen to the mentors who tell you the truth. Because no one who is successful does all the things. I promise you, they don’t. I don’t cook, my wife cooks.
And sometimes neither of us cook and we get takeout. Because it’s easier because we’ve got so much on our plate.
Our son goes to daycare multiple times in the week. Sometimes our floors don’t get vacuumed. Sometimes our lawn goes on mowed. Sometimes we have people come and do those things for us.
I certainly don’t do all the things in my business. I have a team around me, I have someone who does a whole heap of the nitty-gritty stuff behind the scenes, someone who runs my Facebook ads.
Someone else who does copywriting for me, someone else who does graphic design for me, someone else who does my bookkeeping and someone else who does my accounting.
It takes a village. And it takes a village to prevent burnout as well. None of those things means that you’re awake.
In fact, all of those things mean that you’re getting smarter about prioritising your time, and being able to use your time according to your values so that you can stay in your zone of genius.
And the final psychological change I want you to consider in preventing burnout is to stop assuming that you won’t be supported.
Stop assuming that the people around you won’t help you and instead actually ask for the help.
Stop assuming that there’s no one to delegate to and instead create a place for a role that someone can come and work with you even just for a couple of hours in a week that you can delegate to.
I think sometimes we fall into saying no to ourselves before we stop and look at the possibilities.
If you actually gave yourself permission to investigate what’s possible for delegation, what would show up.
And then there’s physical changes for preventing burnout, good nutrition and regular movement, especially if you’re a desk worker, knowing your limits in terms of energy output, this is really important.
Now that I’m in my 40s, early 40s, this seems to be the decade and this is my favourite decade of them all. By the way, I really love being in my 40s, there’s something about just getting so comfortable in your own skin and so clear about who you are, that you just don’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks.
It’s really fraying. I highly, highly, highly recommend ageing. I think it’s a great thing. And I think it’s a huge privilege.
There are many people out there that don’t get to experience life into their 40s and beyond. And I’m really grateful for it. But what it’s also taught me is that I just don’t have the energy that I used to have in my 20s.
But I also don’t want to, I don’t want to work. Now like I did when I’m in my 20s I have a toddler and I have a wife. And I want to be able to spend time with those two people. Because I love them the most in the world.
I want to be able to spend time with my friends. I want to be able to spend time going for a walk and listening to the whip birds in the morning sing. I want to go exploring and I want to go travelling when we’re allowed to travel again. And to do all those things, I need energy.
To be able to get down and play blocks on the floor with my toddler, I need energy. I don’t want to be wiped out from work that is not consistent with my values.
And so in order to be able to prevent burnout in the future, but also honour my priorities for how I want to split my time now, I need to acknowledge that I only have so much energy in a day and get smart about where that energy is going to be distributed. And the way I do that is to work out how to work to my own circadian rhythms.
And what this means is I work to when my energy is best. So if I’m writing a book, which I currently am now, it’s not unusual to see me up at 5 am and at the computer straight away, I grab a cup of tea and I go straight into my office.
Even when my toddler would much prefer that I snuggled on the couch with him watching some cartoon. I’m in my office writing because that’s when my brainpower is strongest.
I don’t write anything after about 2 pm in the day, because I simply can’t I’m done by then my circadian rhythms are such that I have no brain power after that time. So I no longer expect myself to be able to do those things.
Instead, I work to my capacity. And I work with my body, not against it. And I would strongly encourage you to do the same. If you’re a night owl, do your hard stuff in the evening when you feel brightest.
If you’re a morning person like me, then make sure that you spend your mornings doing the most productive things, the things that are going to drain your brainpower most because that’s the way that you’re going to get most out of yourself.
And don’t expect that if you’ve had a big morning, doing brain-draining stuff that you can just continue on throughout the day, you need to have time for a break. Otherwise, that’s how burnout starts.
And make sure to prevent burnout, but you’re really insistent about your sleep and your nutrition and your movement needs.
It’s really important to go to bed at the time, you know, you need to go to bed set limits with yourself so that you’re getting adequate sleep, eat well.
And make sure that you schedule in time to move otherwise it will never happen.
There are behavioural changes that I want you to take into account for preventing burnout as well as set boundaries around your work-life balance.
Now, I don’t really believe in the word balance when it comes to work-life balance, I don’t think that’s a theme.
Because there’s so many different seasons and phases of life. But instead, I would say, work out your work-life rhythm.
So sometimes the rhythm might be a little quicker. Sometimes it might slow down, and stop doing all the things that ask for help. Please stop doing all the things. Especially if you’re in business.
If you’re in business, lovely ones, I strongly encourage you to build a team and to start delegating as soon as you possibly can.
That is the surest way to prevent yourself from burning out in business is to understand that you will continually hit a ceiling over and over again, for as long as you feel like you’re doing all the things once you start staying in your zone of genius, and delegating tasks that you can’t or won’t do.
And then all of a sudden your capacity to scale grows. Make sure that you take holidays, make sure that you rest properly.
Not just with productive housework type things is housework keyword it is now we’re going to take it this is laughing we’re going to roll with it.
Make sure that you create time for joy and hobbies in your life so that there’s a greater balance of things that you’re actually offering your creativity and your heart and your inspiration.
And make sure that you leave a little whitespace in your schedule, just to do nothing or to do whatever you feel like in that whitespace not everything has to be planned and scheduled.
And the environmental changes that I want you to consider for preventing burnout are to change your geographical view that could just be going for a country drive one day, or it could be going on a holiday overseas somewhere. Again, when we’re allowed to do that.
Changing a geographical view can have a great impact on increasing your sense of curiosity and wonder in the world, which then feeds creativity. And it feeds your sense of motivation to come back and act on that inspiration.
Consider changing your role at work or your position or together if you’re if you feel like you’re done in the role that you’re in.
And if you’re in business, consider changing the audience that you serve, or changing the way you serve your audience.
So I’ve come from a business model where I was doing a lot of live launching and very quickly, I burnt out from that.
Now I’m not talking about a level of burnout like I had from clinical practice. I’m just talking that very quickly, I hit a wall knowing that I didn’t have much energy for live launching. And I certainly couldn’t do it multiple times in a year.
So I’ve had to find another way to be able to serve my audience in a way that doesn’t drain my energy but still gives the same impact in a way that I can help as many people as I possibly can, without having to show up in that way.
I’m an introvert and I need to honour that I’m an introvert. So showing up on camera over and over again is not great for me and I love it.
So I want you to consider those things, lovely ones.
What can you take for this that you can implement into your own life to prevent burnout from showing up?
I hope this episode in this series have been helpful as you navigate burnout or prevent yourself from getting to a place where you get burnout. Please make sure that you listen to episodes 22, 23 and 24 so that you have the full picture of signs and symptoms, causes and recovery.
There are no perfect answers. And I strongly encourage you to talk with your doctor or mental health professional if you see yourself showing any signs of burnout.
And if this is a topic that you need more of next week, I’m hosting a live webinar, which is all about burnout and how to move through it.
You can register for free if you go to Rebeccaray.com.au/free And if you can’t attend live, don’t panic.
You’ll be sent a replay as long as you’re registered, and I’ll catch you next week when our next episode drops on Tuesday morning. Lovely ones, thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray.
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