I’ve never been great at continuously doing stuff. In school, if I’d had a really good day and focused well, the next day would be one filled with day dreaming and getting told off. Once I got into college I thought I had to put 100% in all the time, and of course I eventually burnt out and stopped going in.
Now that I’m a ‘real adult’, things don’t stop. I can’t drop out of this. I have to go to work and pay bills and keep up with blogging and social media and look after the cats and the house and see my friends and it’s all just constant. It’s still not easy, but I’m at a point where I very rarely feel like I’m going to burn out or breakdown.
Whether it’s an hour of silence in the bath, going to the gym, or ranting about everything to friends, making sure I have time to relax and let go is a big part of how I keep going without feeling like it’s all too much. Self care is different for everyone, but it’s something I practice everyday to keep myself in a good place physically and mentally.
Sometimes it means choosing to make myself a salad rather than ordering pizza, and other times it means saying fuck the salad! I’m getting pizza!! Whatever it is, every single day I do things that keep me feeling good mentally, and if I’m keeping myself healthy physically too I feel a lot better.
All too often, my main cause of burn out was that my organisational skills were so poor I didn’t know if I was coming or going. What could have been one thing I had to do a week for a few months became dozens of things I had to do as soon as possible, purely because I had forgotten all about it.
Bills, shopping, days out, activities I want to do, I stay organised with absolutely everything now. Everything is always laid out for me in manageable time frames, so I don’t have to stress. I just have to get it done.
There are thousands of ways to motivate yourself, but chances are only a couple of them will work for you individually. Personally I do two things to motivate myself. The first is pep talks, ‘if I do X thing now, I can do much more enjoyable thing X later instead. If I don’t do it now, I have to do it later and won’t have time to do X’. Of course it changes depending on the context, but that’s basically it.
Secondly, I count down from 10 and then do the thing. It’s just enough time that I’m starting to get bored of counting and almost want to do whatever it is I need to do, and a countdown like that is just so motivating on it’s own. Look at some different ways to motivate yourself and try them out, something will work for you and then you can just stick with it. It gets easier!
By being motivated to do things, it doesn’t feel like it’s quite so boring and difficult, and I don’t feel like everything is as likely to make me burn out!
If someone offers to help out with something, take them up on it. If you’ve got friends you can rant with to get everything out of your system, rant with them! Any help or support people offer you, accept it. Everything is easier with other people helping, and they wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to.
All too often, my burn outs came from trying to do everything myself, even when help and support were offered to me. It’s pointless self sacrifice! People want to help, it makes all parties involved feel good and it makes your life easier. It’s a hurdle a lot of people have to jump, but it’s well worth it.
There ya go! That’s how I’ve been keeping myself from burning out without just pushing an inevitable burn out further back. If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments!