In today's world, our personal wellbeing often takes a backseat to our professional pursuits. We find ourselves immersed in work, believing that success necessitates sacrificing our own happiness and health.
However, this notion is far from the truth. Investing in our personal wellbeing is not only crucial for our own growth and fulfillment but also for our overall success.
Photo Credit: Liza Summers
The Battle Within
I used to believe that putting my job before myself was the only path to success. See I had convinced myself that working through the stress was normal, given the generous wage I was received and fact that this was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".
Although everyone around me applauded my achievements, deep down, I felt lost and questioned my purpose daily. I often wondered why I struggled while others seemed to thrive effortlessly. What I later discovered was that I was not alone in this struggle, nor are you.
A study conducted prior to 2020 revealed that a staggering 70% of all employees experience burnout. This figure increased by 6% from 2020 to 2021, with millennial burnout rising from 53% to 59%. These statistics highlight the pervasive nature of burnout and its detrimental impact on our lives.
Burnout not only affects our work but also our personal relationships, negatively impacting 83% of workers. Furthermore, burned-out employees are 23% more likely to seek medical assistance in the emergency room.
My Journey with Burnout
Regrettably, I found myself fitting into every single one of these statistics. As a millennial, I experienced burnout both before and during the pandemic. These experiences took a toll on my long-term relationship, straining it to the point of breaking.
Moreover, I suffered from stress-induced asthma, leading to multiple hospitalizations. My personal journey serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the urgent need to address burnout before it takes over our lives.
Preventing Burnout: Education and Action
Recognizing the importance of preventing burnout, I have developed a proven framework to help individuals identify the warning signs and proactively address chronic stress. Education is key to understanding the early indicators of burnout, and it empowers us to take action.
By implementing strategies and making conscious choices to prioritize our wellbeing, we can break free from the burnout cycle and create a more fulfilling life.
Activity: Wellness First Aid
Step 1: Self-Assessment and Awareness
Take a moment to reflect on your current state of wellbeing. Are you experiencing chronic stress or burnout symptoms? Acknowledge any signs of fatigue, irritability, or reduced motivation. This step is essential to gain awareness of your mental and physical state.
Step 2: Create a Wellbeing Plan
Identify specific actions you can take to prioritize your personal wellbeing. This plan should encompass various aspects of your life, such as physical health, mental health, relationships, and leisure activities. Ensure that these actions are feasible, manageable, and tailored to your unique needs.
Step 3: Set Boundaries and Prioritize Self-Care
Establish clear boundaries between your work and personal life. Allocate time for self-care activities, hobbies, and spending quality time with loved ones. Prioritize self-care as an essential part of your daily routine.
Step 4: Seek Social Support
Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your experiences and feelings. Having someone to talk to can provide emotional support and understanding during challenging times.
Step 5: Mindfulness and Stress Management
Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to manage stress effectively. These practices can help you stay present, reduce anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being.
Step 6: Regular Physical Activity
Incorporate regular exercise into your routine. It doesn't have to be intensive; even simple activities like walking, stretching, or dancing can have significant benefits for both physical and mental health.
Step 7: Disconnect from Technology
Take breaks from screens and social media regularly. Engage in activities that don't involve technology, allowing your mind to relax and recharge.
Step 8: Gratitude Practice
Practice gratitude by writing down or mentally acknowledging things you are grateful for daily. Focusing on positive aspects can shift your perspective and enhance overall happiness.
Step 9: Sleep Hygiene
Ensure you get enough restful sleep each night. Create a bedtime routine, avoid screens before sleep, and create a calming environment to improve sleep quality.
Step 10: Reflect and Adjust
Regularly review your wellbeing plan and assess its effectiveness. Make adjustments as needed based on your progress and changing circumstances.
Our personal wellbeing should always remain a top priority. Ignoring it in the pursuit of professional success is a recipe for burnout and unhappiness. By acknowledging the prevalence of burnout, understanding its impact, and taking proactive steps to prevent it, we can pave the way for a more fulfilling and sustainable life.
Let us break free from the burnout cycle and embark on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and wellbeing. Together, we can create a world where personal fulfillment and success go hand in hand.
Follow me on Instagram @iam.heatherh for inspiring content and practical tips on prioritizing your well-being!