Journaling is a wonderful tool for capturing thoughts, exploring gratitude, and expressing our inner feelings - but did you know it can be a valuable research tool as well? Sometimes our fatigue and sense of burnout can be so all-encompassing that we don't have the perspective we need to see the root causes. Journaling can help.
Journaling over time can expose elements of our fatigue and burnout that may go unseen day-to-day. Let's look at some ways to use journaling to spot root causes of fatigue and burnout.
Bullet journals - Bullet journals are formed from snippets of information that are easy to capture. Creating a system of symbols or short phrases that correspond with various feelings is one way to track your day.
Handwritten journals - Blank-page journals that have no set structure are perfect for expressing free-flowing thoughts and writing whatever comes to mind. Having no set structure for this process allows creative and subconscious-driven content to flow.
We all have things we need to do. Some tasks cause you to get excited and give you energy, while some tasks are draining. Paying attention to your tasks and how they affect your energy and mood will help you set a routine and schedule that maximises your energy and gets those things checked off your to-do list.
Have you ever thought about how different tasks affect your energy? Are light bulbs going off in your head and you're finding yourself nodding in agreement?
When we love to do something, it can give us energy and motivate us. When we don't love it, we can become resistant and start to feel tired and avoidant. Despite how we feel, our necessary tasks must be completed - so it's best to find ways to set ourselves up for success!
Spend some time observing how your tasks affect your energy levels and consider one of these helpful philosophies when tackling your to-do list. There are three main ways to approach tasks, depending on your natural energy flow: Incremental, descending,...
It doesn't take a rocket scientist or psychiatrist to tell you that there are physical symptoms that come along with fatigue. You may be experiencing both obvious and not-so-obvious symptoms. Feeling tired is common even in the healthiest of people, but burnout tired is magnified by multiple issues co-mingling together.
Let's look at two lists: obvious physical side effects of burnout and fatigue, and some not-so-obvious signs.
Not so obvious:
Did you recognise any of your symptoms on either list? Truth is, there are even more items that could be listed and attributed to burnout. By the time your body is reflecting the symptoms of burnout, you are at a point where you will need to take significant action to get things back in order.
Be honest with yourself about your level of fatigue and...
The busier your life is, the less time seems available to set aside for things you love to do. Whether you are an overachiever or simply overbooked, your pastimes and hobbies are usually the first to go when time is a scarce commodity.
Believe it or not, adding to your list of things to do can alleviate and prevent burnout - provided you are adding an activity you like and enjoy.
Giving yourself permission to do the things you enjoy replenishes your happiness and restores your sense of self. Being able to engage in an activity that you love builds confidence, centres your focus, and reminds you that your life isn't just about work, family, or [insert-obligation-here].
How do you find time to do more of what you love when you feel like every minute of your day is booked solid?
Multi-task: Find a way to incorporate your hobbies into the activities you are already responsible for.
Here are some examples:
Activity you love:
Reading - Sync Audible and Kindle and listen to the newest...
Our families are busier than they have been in any previous generation. It is typical for many families to have two working parents, or a single working parent with no backup source of income. Families generally have children who attend school either within or outside of the home, and piggy-back school hours with extracurricular activities designed to "enhance" their childhood experience. Additionally, families often attend some form of church and engage in social activities that stretch their time even further.
The pressure that children face to do well in school, sports, and other activities is magnified by the nature of their goals. Kids who want to compete in sports, ensure their enrolment in college, and build skills relevant to an ever-evolving world often find themselves overwhelmed with studies, practices, and participation requirements with demands equivalent to those of a full-time job.
Under so much stress and with everyone being pulled in many different directions,...
Are you a "yes man (or woman)"? Do you confuse "saying yes" with being a good person? Do you locate your worth and value in the qualities of being dependable, easy to work with, and accommodating?
If you are always saying yes regardless of the toll it takes on you to keep those commitments, you may be setting yourself up for fatigue that could lead to burnout.
No one wants to let others down, but it is a misconception to think that saying no is selfish or irresponsible. Being asked to take on a task by someone else is a request, not and order. If you are truly unable to help them, then there will be another solution out there for them to find.
There is an art to saying no and staying in a state of peace as you do it. Learning to gently say no and remain unharmed by the fallout of another's disappointment will ultimately keep your energy, sanity, and schedule protected for the important things you need to be able to say "yes" to.
Here are some Pro-Tips for the art of saying no and...
There was a time not so long ago when using essential oils was very unusual. Not only rare, they were expensive and frequently conjured a stereotype of being a hippie-mum who would deny their children modern medical care in favour of oiling up their families. Today, essential oils are much more mainstream and relatively affordable. More people than ever are sharing their home-remedies for everything from allergies, migraines, and digestive issues to preventing burnout.
Can essential oils help prevent burnout?
Looks like they can!
A review of the nature of essential oils indicates that when used correctly, they can help reduce or prevent certain types of stress and alleviate many symptoms of physical distress. Essential oil use can reduce symptoms of physical stress as well as quell side-effects or distressing symptoms of many illnesses. All this reduction in stress and pain will undoubtedly help reduce the occurrence of many forms of burnout.
Depending on the type of stress or the...
Are you a fan of caffeine? Caffeine is a source of energy that many people rely on to start off their mornings and get them through their day. Light to moderate doses of caffeine on an occasional basis can be very effective for uses ranging from bumping up wakefulness to fighting off migraine headaches - but what happens when someone overuses caffeine?
A Google search can produce countless hits discussing the positive and negative effects of caffeine on the mind and body. A case could be made both to support or discourage caffeine use. Your own bottom line is drawn by taking a personal inventory and assessing how caffeine use is affecting you personally.
Here are some warning signs that caffeine may be a culprit for your fatigue:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms,...
Overwhelm is the gateway to fatigue and burnout. Being in a constant state of overwhelm is a surefire way to cause fatigue and ultimately burn you out. Being overwhelmed can affect your adrenal system which is responsible for producing hormones that help manage mood, stress, and other aspects of living. While adrenal fatigue is currently not a recognised medical condition, adrenal insufficiency is and can be very serious.
Adrenal insufficiency is the inability to produce one of more of the hormones needed to manage fight or flight responses. Adrenal fatigue is thought to be the result of adrenal glands being overworked by a body in a constant state of fight or flight or overwhelm. Whether or not adrenal fatigue is recognised as a legitimate medical condition, there is mounting evidence that there is a toll taken on the body caused my chronic overwhelm.
Some symptoms of adrenal insufficiency and adrenal fatigue are:
Are you a creature of habit? Depending on those habits, your behavioural patterns may be contributing to your burnout. Maintaining behavioural patterns that set you up for overwhelm and failure will lead to burnout - if you don't get a handle on them and learn to correct their impact.
Some typical burnout-inducing behaviours:
Procrastination - Putting things off is the biggest contributing factor to burnout. All due dates come eventually. Procrastinating leads to last-minute chaos and frenzy trying to make up for lost time. What once could have been an easy task with plenty of time to complete becomes a looming disaster with no time to spare.
Passive-aggression - Avoiding necessary conflict and refusing to address important issues leads to burnout. Resentments and anger flare up even when suppressed, and while we may not intentionally take harmful action, oftentimes some passive-aggressive behaviours start to emerge.
Not saying "no" - Saying "yes" to everything really means saying...