Ten Ways To Save Yourself If You're Suffering From Burn-Out

Vernon Coleman

1. Be prepared to admit when you're feeling tired. Accept that if you keep on trying to work when you're exhausted you'll not only make yourself worse but you'll also let yourself - and the people around you - down. You can't do your best work when you're suffering from burn out.

2. Learn to manage your time as efficiently as possible. Plan your day. Keep a diary so that important engagements and commitments don't suddenly creep up on you.

3. Beware of stimulants such as caffeine, tobacco or alcohol. You may think that they help you get through the day but all can damage your health and make you MORE not less susceptible to stress and pressure.

4. If you feel ill take time off. Don't think that you're indispensable and must carry on. the cemeteries are full of people who thought they were indispensable. Life goes on without them. If you feel ill your body is telling you that it needs to rest. Remember that regular holidays are important - and make sure that the holiday you choose is relaxing!

5. If your life is full of battles and arguments make sure that you take time out to relax and enjoy yourself.

6. Physical exercise is a great way to get rid of frustrations, angers and disappointments. But always make sure you obtain your doctor's approval before starting an exercise programme.

7. Make sure that you get enough sleep. If you have difficulty in relaxing at night try having a hot bath before you go to bed. Don't do any work for at least an hour before you try to get to sleep. Watch a relaxing video or read an amusing or entertaining book. Poor sleep is a symptom of burn out - and it makes things steadily worse.

8. Learn to say "NO". Don't let yourself be tricked into taking on too many responsibilities by people who know how to make you feel guilty! Get your priorities sorted out and remember that you - and your family and friends - need some of your life.

9. Try to forget when things go wrong. Remember that you can't get anywhere in life without taking risks or without making mistakes. Try not to brood but try to learn from your mistakes. Otherwise your bad days will smoulder and add to your burn out.

10. Stand up for yourself when it's important but be prepared to walk away from arguments when it isn't important. People who never stick up for themselves often burn up with indignation. But people who are always complaining burn themselves out with anger. Think carefully before allowing yourself to get heated up. If it's important then do what you think is right. If it isn't important then try to shrug your shoulders and walk away.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2005