Professional Burnout (Part III)
The following can be strategies to manage your boundaries:
- When you reach home, BE HOME.
Sometimes it is necessary to catch up on some work at home. Deadlines and urgent priorities are part of working life. The danger is however that we tend to get into the habit of thinking about work all the time, even when we do not have an important deadline. Think about it this way…when we are at work, we usually try to focus on our daily tasks and do not spend most of our time engaged in home-related activities. Why would we then not apply the same principles when we are at home? When you are home, BE HOME. You have no need to feel guilty for not thinking about work all the time.
- You are allowed to say NO once in a while.
It’s not wrong to go the extra mile for your work and for other people. Going the extra mile can however become an issue when work and other people are ALWAYS your first priority. Before you say yes, really think why you are doing so and what the impact will be on your private time.
- Make the most of your downtime
Do a mini-assessment of your needs and wants every Friday on the way home, and then come up with a mental list of things that you want to do over the weekend. Select activities which can enhance your mood and which could get you out of your routine. Examples are:
- Learn something new by enrolling in a class, attending a workshop or an exhibit.
- Visit a place that you never considered visiting before.
- Get your heart pumping by walking or taking part in sports.
- Feel the sun on your face for at least 5 minutes each day.
- Ensure that some of your social activities are with people who do not work in the same industry as you.
- Stop being so hard on yourself
Nobody’s perfect, and being tired does not mean you are weak or lazy. Listen to your body, and don’t ignore the warning signs. Regular check-ups to monitor your blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol is recommended when you function under a lot of stress.