3 Things You Can Do To Avoid Burnout & Overwhelm
I can’t be the only one who is still recovering from 2020. Let’s just be honest, no one made it through last year without feeling burned out or overwhelmed at least once or twice. I personally experienced burnout for the first time in 2018 a few months after giving birth to my daughter, Eleanor, and have spent the last few years focusing on how to optimize my life for happiness.
I have found a few things to keep my overwhelm at bay and today I’m so excited to share my not so secret secrets with you all! Let’s dive in...
Turn Off Notifications -
For me personally, my phone can be a source of great stress. I get dozens of notifications each hour and it can be incredibly overwhelming to feel pulled in different directions all the time. I didn’t realize how much of a negative impact these simple notifications were having on my life until I SHUT. IT. DOWN. Haha
Okay, but seriously, I keep my phone locked down like Fort Knox. I don’t get any push notifications or text messages except for the few that I allow. I get text messages from Brandon, my Mother, Sister, and our Production & Customer Service Managers at Ivory Paper Co. That’s it!
Those would be the only people texting me in case of an emergency and they are the people I’m closest too. I review all my other text messages during a few set time frames each day and use that time to respond. I also only get email notifications from my attorney, IPC managers and a few other key business partners. All other emails will get sorted through during my set email hour each day.
Having this structure in place really helps me to stay focused throughout the work day and ultimately greatly reduces my stress. You don’t have to go to my level of extreme but if you’re feeling overwhelmed or on the verge of burning out, try to see where you can cut back on the notifications you receive each day!
Limit Excess Decisions -
When I experienced burnout for the first time about three years ago, I decided to keep a log for a whole day. I wrote down each decision I had to make and everything that brought me stress throughout this 24 hour time period.
No matter how big or small. After reviewing this log, I realized that I was spending a lot of time thinking and making food related decisions. It got to the point where instead of addressing this stressor directly, I began avoiding food decisions all together and skipped meals consistently for weeks.
I remember very clearly one day I was in my office and had just gotten out of a Zoom meeting. It was 1pm and I was so hungry. I didn’t have a packed lunch so I opened up my DoorDash app and just immediately burst into tears. I was so exhausted and completely stressed and couldn’t get myself to scroll through the app and order food. Until you have been in that position, it sounds a bit crazy, but I was too burnt out to decide what to eat.
I ended up calling Daniel, who was working on the production floor and he came into my office and saw me crying and just took my phone and ordered DoorDash for me. I am forever grateful for his kindness that day and everyday that he showed me at the Pink House. He didn’t make me feel crazy and really helped me get through what was just a stressful period.
Anyways, circling back to limiting excess decisions. I realized that I made a lot of decisions that were overwhelming me and contributed to my feelings of burnout. Ultimately, I needed to cut back and eliminate as many decisions as possible from my day. After my mid-day meltdown back in December, first on my list was tackling food decisions!
Now I have a staple list of groceries that I get delivered twice a week through Shipt and I have three meals I rotate between each morning for breakfast and I let go of the responsibility of making dinner each night. Another decision I limited was choosing what to wear.
If you follow us on Instagram then you probably see me alternating the same 5 sweaters, leggings and jeans in all the posts I appear in and that’s because I don’t allow excess in my life in the form of clothing anymore. I wear clothes that I feel comfortable in and I rotate them on repeat.
My friends lovingly tease me for always wearing the same things but hey, we are all just trying to stay afloat here. I would recommend starting a log where you write down all the decisions you make throughout a day or even a week. Use that log to identify what doesn’t bring you joy and work to reduce or delegate those decisions as much as possible.
Whenever I find myself in moments where my thoughts are swirling and I can’t seem to find clarity, my journal, and more specifically my planner are my best friends. Taking even just a few minutes to sit down and write out my thoughts, set intentions and plan out my day has been so helpful for as long as I can remember.
For my birthday back in April, I received this guided journal from Target and I sit down with it each night before I turn on Netflix and zone out for the day.. I love how it helps me focus on intentional living. I also have my eyes on this gratitude journal because gratefulness is something I try to live by each day.
One journal entry I have been doing a lot is answering this prompt “I don’t have control of… (fill in the blank)... but I can control… (fill in the blank).”
I make a list of the things I can and can not control when I am feeling burnt out and then I chose to focus exclusively on only the things I can control. For example, I can’t control if the printer goes down during the first shift today, but I can control the production workflow and make sure we get the most out of the printer before it needs to be serviced again.
I hope you guys found some value in this post. These are just three things that have fundamentally changed how often I find myself experiencing burnout or feeling overwhelmed and remain positive and pushing forward in life.
If you are on the verge of burnout or are simply exhausted, I would encourage you to focus on loving and caring for yourself and making sure you take the time to give your mind, body and soul everything you need to keep being your best self.
Much love! xx