How to ... avoid burnout

Feb 06, 2009 By Alison Johnson

Burnout - a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion -- leaves people feeling hopeless about the future. Here are tips from therapists on staying healthy.

Burnout - a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion -- leaves people feeling hopeless about the future. Here are tips from therapists on staying healthy:

• Lean on others. One symptom of burnout is thinking that no one else can do a job but you. Trust that work or chores will get done even if you don't do it all.

• Learn to say no. Instead of feeling guilty, realize that you'll be better able to say yes to things that are important to you.

• Reduce your load. Look at your everyday tasks and figure out what you could drop. A co-worker, child, spouse or neighborhood teenager may be able to pick up some work.

• Take a daily technology break. Turn off everything, including your cell phone, laptop and pager, even if it's just for a few minutes at a time.

• Set a schedule. Map out your weekdays with the goal of having a chunk of the weekend to rest and have fun. You'll be less likely to procrastinate.

• Take vacations. Being a workaholic isn't something to be proud of.

• Reward yourself. Remember why you work and what you like about your job or home life. Spend time with a loved one or buy something you want and can afford.

• Nurture your spirit. Do something just for yourself, whether it's listening to music, exercising, getting a massage, reading or writing in a journal.

• Don't isolate yourself. Share problems with family and friends.

• Take care of yourself. Healthy eating, regular exercise and plenty of sleep will give you the energy to deal with life's demands.

• Consider professional help. If you constantly feel hopeless, unmotivated and isolated from others, talk to a doctor, therapist or pastor.

___

(c) 2009, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).
Visit dailypress.com, the World Wide Web site of the Daily Press at dailypress.com and on America Online at keyword "dailypress."
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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