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The Truth About Burnout

Why working long hours isn't always the reason for burnout...

I was handed down amazing genes for aging with ease and for working long hours. My grandparents made the trip from then Yugoslavia to the United States in the early 1900’s for a new life. They raised over a dozen children and sadly lost a few. They learned English and sent their children walking long distances to a one room schoolhouse.

All of this took place in a small house on a road called Coal Hill. 

My dad, being next to youngest, started working at age 8. He trekked the hills of the Ohio Valley delivering newspapers and Nehi “pop”. He worked till the day he entered the hospital at age 81 and never came home.

He knew life could be hard by watching his own mother sweep the dirt floor of their house to a point where it was packed down and shining. The illusion of shiny wax from a broom.

That’s some pretty interesting heritage and I never knew my dad nor his siblings to “burnout”. They understood and experienced intense work and that led to intense rest and intensely good times.

Life was meant to be lived, not burned.

In today’s workspace and entrepreneurial plane, burnout becomes almost a badge of honor. It shows up in the human personality as fatigue, crankiness, lack of focus and sleep. It often results in despondency or depression, not to mention physical health issues and possible addictions.

Burnout doesn’t always happen from working long hours. Often times it’s our attitude towards that work that makes or breaks us.

  Arianna Huffington and Elon Musk are now pen pals via the New York Times over their views of what healthy work ethics are. 

-The New York Times

Though long work hours, lack of sleep and insufficient nutrients will contribute to stress and burnout, there’s another villain at play, the emotional roller coaster of life. 

The burnout that sidelines our health, wealth and connections actually occur when we cannot manage our emotions. 

This can especially occur with entrepreneurs.  Building a business puts you on the super climbs and the mega drops, and if a person doesn’t have the tools to handle the coaster, burnout follows. 

Here’s a recipe to wipe out and prevent burnout, no matter what you do or who you are…

#1) Don’t give your day away. You need a minimum of 15 minutes (preferably 30)  to be yours and yours alone. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that a morning routine that avoids decision fatigue is essential for a more energized day.

A routine may consist of simplicity. Set an intention for your day. Move your body, meditate or pray. Avoid opening social media, texts and emails for the first hour of your day. 

Once everyone else’s energy is in your mind and being, you’ve lost momentum and stamina.

#2) Hydrate before caffeinating in the morning. Tossing a cup of java into your system before you hydrate with water will set up your nervous system to burn. Our bodies’ fuel is water not coffee. Start with the natural fuel and add in your organic brew later. 

#3) Move your body. If you’re in front of a computer for hours each day, set your alarm to get up and stretch, walk or do some jumping jacks every 50 minutes. 

Seriously…

Your lower chakra system can get congested when sitting. The brain energy needs fuel from your entire being. Stretching, squatting or jumping a bit will move that creative energy up into your mind. 

A peaceful, healthy mind is a content mind. A content mind repels burnout.

#5) Close the day with gratitude. Gratitude is a soothing emotion. Even if every deal of the day went south, refocusing on what is working and what you do have, eases the human nervous system. 

And, gratitude will mean the absence of drama, one of the fastest burnout triggers.

Five minutes of joy and refocusing your intentions for the next day will be worth $5,000 to your business, and your mental and emotional health will thank you. 

That’s a lot of value for a bit of thanks. 

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