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3 Quick Ways to Shut Down a Burnout

By Sandy Schroeder

We all know the feeling. After a really long day, or a longer week, it may be a supreme effort not to snap at everyone in sight. Burnout takes awhile to reach its full potential, but when it does, everybody knows. Those black clouds are rolling in and it’s about to pour!

When a burnout approaches, you may not feel like yourself, or sound like yourself. Suddenly, all of the things that seemed great, no longer do.  Actually, almost everything is the same as it was, but you have just strayed into the burnout zone. has some good things to say about burning out that could help to keep you in the safety zone.

Take Time to Work on a Special Project

Most people have one area that they enjoy the most, and usually find time to pursue. But this may be a good time to swing over to work on that favored project, settling in and enjoying the process. Set aside a morning, or an afternoon, and lose yourself in the work. Often that’s all it takes to regain your balance and step back to normal as you relax and accept the ups and downs of life.

Exercise Your Options to Feel Better

Building in some extra workouts early in the morning, or right after work, can blow away the clouds and make the world look a lot better.  If the burnout really looms large, consider taking a weekend away to do some hiking, camping or wilderness walks. Choose a setting you like, that has nothing to do with your work, and just disappear for a day or two whle unplugging as much as you can.

Let Meditation Help You Refocus

If you have work to finish but you can feel the burnout vibrations approaching, try meditating for just 10 minutes to help you refocus and return to the task at hand. Experts say meditating just 10 minutes daily can help rewire the brain and make it easier to stay focused.

A simple form of mindfulness meditation usually works for me. I sit on my patio and watch the breeze move through the leaves as I let my mind rumble through my thoughts, with each one streaming by, seen but unjudged, simply accepted as it is. Later my mind feels clearer. Often I can see my thoughts more objectively, and sometimes find answers to my questions.

Everybody has moments of burnout, but how they are handled can make all of the difference. If you have a few quick tricks in your pocket, ready to steer you around the burnout, you can avoid all of the messy fallout and cleanup that usually follows.

When the burnout vibrations start, take a deep breath and make your escape. You will be back before you know it, feeling a lot better.


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