The Executive Women’s Guide to Avoiding Burn Out

At sometime or another, we all have moments in our lives that we may experience burn out or be close to burn out. Generally this may be a result of poor time management in our lives, overcommitting and for women especially its feeling like we have to do it all, ALL THE TIME!

Psychologist Christina Masalach, PH.D, has studied burnout since the 1980’s and her findings suggest that burnout occurs when certain areas or our lives are chronically mismatched with our belief systems, these are workload, sense of control, reward, community, fairness and values.

As a busy Executive woman I am constantly ‘ON’ and I call upon the below  strategies to keep me grounded and emotionally balanced  so I can switch off when its time for more significant things in my life like my health and my family. Here are some strategies that I use to help me manage avoiding burn out and to help me stop thinking I have to do it all and just try to succeed at one component of my life at a time;

1. Reconnect with yourself: some self-care practices and rituals here go a long way (breathing, exercising, practicing mindfulness hydration and downtime)

Start paying more attention to your body’s whispers, if you keep having the same thought over and over like “I really need a massage”  or “I really need a break” start listening  to those whispers because she knows and your subconscious mind seldomly fails you on what it needs from you.

Breathing is especially important as it calms your sympathetic nervous system (SNS)- which is the ‘ON’ switch for your body’s fight mode.  When you don’t calm your SNS it can lead to pro-longed stress and break-down. Protect your nervous system  and immune system by taking deep belly breaths often or at particular times of stress, this helps get your body out of ‘fight’ mode and into ‘calm, rest and relaxation’ mode.

2. Social Media Rules and Boundaries  – Step away from your phone and PC of an evening.  Every night 1 hour before I go to bed I switch off my phone and then I reflect on my day, I quietly focus and think of the next day ahead visualising exactly how I want it to play out.

3. The Art Of Delegation: Delegate, Delegate, Delegate, sometimes we need to place our ego aside, and simply ask for help and generally speaking most people are more than obliging to want to help out. The power of words usually helps calm down our nervous system, instead of saying “I’m drowning with workload, but I don’t want to ask XX   because they may think “I am weak or can’t handle it or so forth”, let’s reframe this for our ego “xx Would you mind handling this task, I think your strength in this area will really compliment  this project” – nothing wrong with still holding your own power and help build your team or loved ones confidence too. You’ll  find a connection in team work when you start delegating to people’s strengths and dropping the ego of thinking we need to do it all.

4.. Push Back: It’s ok to say no to your boss, partner, family or friends. If you overcommit you can’t complete the task which  leads to disappointing them anyway. Be authentic to your true self and know your limits and take on tasks that you will excel in and feel satisfied with yourself.

5. Stop Comparing yourself: Simply quit comparing yourself to others, not only does this shatter  your own confidence it creates unhealthy thoughts, those negative thoughts are neuropeptides (chemical messengers) that travel though and weaken your body,  depress your immune system leading you to illness and disease. You have your own strengths and weaknesses embrace projects and tasks that bring out your strengths and show patience for those tasks that are your weakness. If you find yourself constantly comparing to others, perhaps protect yourself around social media i.e un-follow people on Facebook or LinkedIn who you compare to and start backing yourself up at work and in your life with positive chatter and love for yourself.

 6. Watch your language

Assertive communication and language  involves the use of “I” statements, such as “I need some help preparing dinner for our guests this evening.” or “I am struggling for time today, do you think you could help me finish this task?”

Assertiveness is a way of making sure your needs are met while still considering the needs of others. Being assertive and holding your personal power in doing so goes along way with your team and people connection.

Remember to always  think of your self-care and well-being first and fill up your cup because  when your cup is filled you have so much more goodness to share.

Stay Happy and Healthy

Sonia Petersen

Wellness Coach for Executive Women, Kinesiologist and Speaker.

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