Many years ago during a group coaching call I was asked the question, “How can I avoid being consumed by what I do to the point of burnout?” All ears were on me, waiting for pieces of wisdom to be imparted.
That didn’t happen.
Instead I sputtered and fired back my own question…something along the lines of, “What ways have you thought to combat burnout?”
Holy wake-up call! Here I was supposedly walking my talk when in all actuality I was the poster child for burnout. I was going to school for my Masters, going through coach training, starting a business, working another job, and raising a son. I was taking very little time for me and I was becoming one fried and crispy critter.
FRIED AND CRISPY IS FOR CHICKEN
With pressure circling like a pack of vultures; pressure to excel, get the job done yesterday, meet demands, and make deadlines it’s easy to feel consumed and to become fried and crispy. Let’s face it, many of us are trying to be superhuman, taking care of it all without even so much as a blink or murmur of “Help me, please.”
Not to mention, many of us fall prey to the fallacy that if we take just a bit of time for ourselves we’re being selfish. How dare we afford ourselves the luxury of sitting quietly for 10 minutes to catch our breath or recharge!
The reality is, and this was something I had to learn the hard way, if we DO NOT take care of ourselves, we can’t expect to keep going at breakneck speed, be creative, produce, avoid burnout, be a good partner, or a present parent.
We can’t give something we don’t have. It’s true. Try using a battery that has no energy left in it.
HOW TO AVOID THE FRIED AND CRISPY
Being good to ourselves does not have to cost a fortune, cost us our jobs or cut into our family time. Here are just a few suggestions to help avoid becoming fried to the point of crispiness…
1) If you’re confined to your office, make it a point to get out of your chair, stretch your legs a bit and take a few deep breaths. Stretching and breathing helps get the blood flowing and is a great way to re-energize
2) Try to get in some time for exercise a few times a week. A quick walk around the block will do wonders!
3) Get present, taking a moment to really pay close attention to what is happening around you. For example, if you are washing your hands, take notice of how the water feels and what the soap smells like. Being aware of what is going on around you even for a minute will help you to relax.
4) Schedule an appointment with yourself in your calendar each and every day. Make that YOUR time. Time that you will commit to yourself with no distractions. Just 10 minutes a day wards off the fried and crispy.
5) Make it a point to unplug from the outside world for a bit. Turn off your phone, your computer, or your tablet particularly when you’re heading to bed.
6) Speaking of bed, be sure to get a good night’s sleep.
My friends, this is my challenge to you; for the next 21 days pick something you can do everyday that will leave the fried and crispy to the chickens.
Until next time, here’s to re-energizing!
Originally published at medium.com