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5 Ways Self-Care Can Prevent Work Burnout

A person looking for tips on self-care to prevent burnout in life.

You’ve heard of self-care. You’ve heard the term “burnout”. Maybe you’ve heard them in contexts that don’t feel realistic. Sure, you need to engage in self-care, but how do you do it when you’re so busy? Sometimes, it might feel like work is consuming your life.

Self-care is more than getting treats for yourself! It’s a way you can prevent burnout, find more balance in your life, and feel more connected to who you are. Let’s dive into some other ways self-care can help us and prevent burnout. Keep reading for some unconventional self-care tips, too!

What are the Signs of Burnout?

Burnout is much more than just feeling tired. It’s a state in which you’re totally exhausted. You’re feeling worn out emotionally and physically. You might even feel detached from your work or the important relationships in your life. Everyday things that used to bring enjoyment or relaxation rarely do when you’re feeling burnt out.

Some other burnout symptoms to watch out for:

  • Physical health symptoms, feeling “off” or sick regularly

  • Feeling chronically irritable, even small things are enough to set you off

  • Numbness

  • Feeling ineffective or powerless

  • Always feeling stressed, even when away from work

How can Self-Care Prevent Work Burnout?

More than anything, self-care is a way you can find balance in your life. It doesn’t have to be a fancy bubble bath or a day packed with activities. So, how can self-care help restore that everyday balance in your life?

Self-Care Can Help You Stay Present

A person looking for tips for self-care to prevent burnout in life.

How often are you at work and you notice the day is flying by? Do you ever skip breaks without even realizing it? Do you notice even with activities that are supposed to be fun, you are done before you know it and back to work?

Research tells us that mindfulness practices and staying present contribute to more happiness and less stress. Having a meaningful self-care practice can make you feel more present! Being more present at home and at work can help you start to feel less exhausted and more satisfied with your life.

Self-Care Can Reduce Stress in Your Life

Maybe you know someone whose entire life is their work and their achievements. Maybe that someone is you! Engaging in a meaningful self-care practice can give you much-needed time away from work. It can serve as a reminder that work isn’t everything, and there is the “life” part of your work-life balance.

Self-Care Can Create Stronger, Healthier Boundaries

Do you find it hard to turn off your “work” brain? Do you catch yourself thinking about work even after you’ve left for the day? Are you checking your work emails before you go to sleep?

Burnout can often stem from looser boundaries around your work life. It’s easy to keep thinking about work, especially in this day and age when your cell phone is always by your side! A solid everyday self-care ritual can help you separate work and life by creating healthy boundaries around work, play, and rest. The word “boundaries” might seem scary and harsh, but they are quite powerful tools in preventing burnout!

Self-Care Can Strengthen Relationships in Your Life

Often, burnout affects more than just you. It affects the people around you, as your exhaustion doesn’t allow you to be present and engaged in connection. Your loved ones might have noticed that you seem tired and checked out.

Your social network is one of the most important things in your life! Research shows that close relationships with others can improve your health, reduce your stress, and overall make you happier. When you prioritize self-care, you are prioritizing others in your life, too. The more you take care of yourself, the more you can stay connected with the people you care about.

Self-Care Can Help You Reconnect to Yourself

A person looking to understand more about self-care to prevent burnout in life.

Burnout can make you feel lost and even confused. You may have arrived in this exhausted state without even realizing how you got here.

Self-care can reconnect you to who you are at your core. You are not your work. You are not your achievements. You are not your productivity! You deserve rest and meaningful joy.

Have you ever been so busy that you feel a flood of things come on, once you give yourself a minute to rest? It may be a sign you need to reconnect with yourself and check-in. What has been going well? What have you been happy about? What’s been challenging for you? When you set aside time for yourself, you are giving yourself a chance to reconnect with yourself.

Some Unconventional Ways to Engage in Self-Care

All this talk about self-care – so how do you do it? You don’t have to do big, grand things to take care of yourself! Let’s dive into some powerful tools you can use for self-care.

  • Don’t make self-care a to-do list item. Have it be something you look forward to, instead of another work item!

  • Set aside time in your calendar for “you time”.

  • Add 10 extra minutes to driving times. This will give you some much-needed space. Take a breather in your car, and check in with yourself!

  • Turn off work email notifications. Scary, I know. But your emails will be there for you when you wake up, there’s no need to check them before bed.

There’s No Shame in Dealing with Burnout

It’s easy to feel like your experiences of burnout are some sort of character flaw. The reality is we need a good balance of work, play, and rest! It can feel hard to achieve this balance when work and achieving are something you value greatly.

It’s normal to need extra support. At Catalyss Counseling, we have therapists who understand the challenges of burnout. Individual counseling can help you find balance again and feel happy. And, joining group counseling for support can be a powerful tool and reminder that you’re not alone in dealing with these struggles. The best form of self-care is finding the support you need!

How We Can Help

If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation

  2. Or, you can book directly online with the therapist of your choice

  3. Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life

Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:

Author Biography

An therapist at Catalyss Counseling

Frankie Washofsky is a master’s-level intern therapist and a provider for the Affordable Counseling Program with Catalyss Counseling. She works with highly sensitive adults (HSPs) experiencing anxiety, depression, SAD, and ADHD. Frankie is also an avid reader and a blog author. She specializes in working with HSPs, perfectionists, and people-pleasers. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

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