5 Tips to Avoid Burning Out

I was 18 the first time I experienced burnout, and I did not know what was happening or how to stop. It was a less common term in 2013, and in the years that followed it has become a regular part of my vocabulary. Burnout is when you become mentally fatigued, overwhelmed, and feel unable to keep up with responsibilities. After seeing several therapists, doing a lot of reading, and applying these techniques to myself (I have a stress disorder, so low stress is very important to my health) I have my own five-step plan to avoiding burnout when I have a lot going on. In a whirlwind of despair year like 2020, it's very easy to burnout, so hopefully, these tips help you too!

Designate Time Off


We should never feel bad about taking time to ourselves. For years now I have blocked off Friday nights as "Morgan Time". And the only events interrupting Morgan Time have to be either mandatory or super stinkin' fun. I chose Friday nights because I'm 1) usually exhausted by the end of the workweek and 2) it's a night I can go to bed early and sleep in late. I use this time to indulge in my guilty pleasures (read: carbs, British comedies, blankets) and let go of everything weighing on me.


Of course, not every Friday night is available for Morgan Time. So in addition I find small pockets throughout my week to recharge. Sometimes it's early in the morning, drinking a latte while writing in my journal and listening to Hatchie. Sometimes it's an extra-long walk at lunch. Reserve time in your life to stop checking e-mails and worrying about your to-do list and you'll feel less like the world is burning.


Communicate With Your Support System


My mom says this all the time, so I'm giving her credit. "People want to help other people." So whether it be your best friends, family members, co-workers, staff, etc. communicate when you need a little more help than usual. Burn out comes from feeling like you cannot meet the demands required of you. Communicate when you can't take on as much and see how people step up. Even if it's as simple as them doing the meal plan, or picking up the flyers from the printer. When the situation is reversed, you'd do the same. When we all help each other, humanity is restored.


Delegate When Possible


Just as communicating with your support system is important, don't forget you can always delegate. I struggle with this (seriously, it's my answer when I'm asked my biggest weakness in job interviews) and with this crazy year I have learned that delegation is the only way to remain sane. Whether it be with automatic applications to make paying bills easier or telling friends I can't plan the virtual happy hour because I am emotionally drained from job applications, the ball does not always have to be in your court. Look at your responsibilities and see where you can delegate to others.


Unless it's vacation planning. I will never give up my stake as the sole vacation planner on my trips. (jokes, but not really.)


Laugh Every Day


Laugh! You can go on 30 vacations and still not relax. But one really quality 5-minute YouTube gag reel? Relaxation is my middle name. Find time in your day to laugh and notice how everything doesn't feel so daunting. The other week I talked about my love of the show Letterkenny - it makes me belly laugh. So does watching videos of my dog and dancing to One Direction. Feel light and free with a laugh a day to keep the burn out away.


Give Yourself Grace


Just as communicating with your support system is important, don't forget you can always delegate. I struggle with this (seriously, it's my answer when I'm asked my biggest weakness in job interviews), and with this crazy year, I have learned that delegation is the only way to remain sane. Whether it be with automatic applications to make paying bills easier or telling friends I can't plan the virtual happy hour because I am emotionally drained from job applications, the ball does not always have to be in your court. Look at your responsibilities and see where you can delegate to others.

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