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So you’ve decided that you’re burned out (Start here to catch up!). Great, I’m glad you’re here! You’ve diagnosed it, and that’s a good start. But now, what do you DO about it?
First, we want to acknowledge that some part of your life is out of alignment with your values, or is outside of your natural skill set, or is outside of your ability to continue at your current pace. Which, this is fine! It happens all the time because life is challenging, and sometimes we have to push through complicated situations for longer than we’d like to.
But, you’ve now arrived at burnout because your body and your brain have indicated they’ve had enough.
Any Realistic Solution to Burnout Has Six Components
Any solution that’s going to fix a problem in your life will be a solution that has several components to it. Think of each solution as six parts that each fix 15% of the problem. So, it would help if you had several small actions to make up one solid solution.
What, specifically, has happened in burnout is (1) you are highly stressed, (2) your level of physical and mental health is low, (3) your level of hope is low, (4) you have no strategy to change things, (5) you have a lack of support, and (6) a lack of forward movement. Things are unhealthy and stagnant. So as we start thinking about getting out of burnout, we should see it as a multilayered solution.
We have several things we need to do to help change your situation.
(1) Lower your stress
(2) Raise your level of physical and mental health
(3) Increase your level of hope
(4) Find support
(5) Create and engage in helpful strategy
(6) Start creating movement and energy.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed Just Yet!
Before that sounds overwhelming, I want to say that we'll be doing this in small steps that are very manageable. The only way anyone ever changed their life was one small step at a time. There's popular self-help advice out there about "taking massive action," which is the idea that you're going to give something everything you've got to get to a new place.
I have to say, whoever came up with that concept wasn't a therapist and didn't work closely with people. It's a nice idea and one we wish we could do, but not realistic or accurate to how changes are made. How things are actually done is one small step by small step.
Let's get started with step 1...