Beat the stress

Burnout is caused by excessive stress for a prolonged period of time that drains your energy so that you are no longer capable of taking care of yourself. It often disrupts your job, relationships and rocks your emotional state. It is described as a crippling exhaustion that leads to a loss of motivation and depression.  Burnout is difficult to detect before it occurs and it affects far too many people. The good news is, burnout is very preventable. Other’s may not experience burnout with all of the extremity; but thoughts and feelings of being overwhelmed can also be distressing. 

Have you ever looked at your to do list and thought, how on earth am I supposed to do all that today?

Truth is, it happens a lot. With good intentions you write a list and prioritize it as you have been taught in time management workshops. However, when you prioritize the list it doesn’t get any shorter, the least important tasks still appear.

Looking at the sheer length and some of the complexities of the events, meetings or actions is enough to make you overwhelmed. This mindset can encourage your adrenal glands to activate and push you into a fight or flight mode. Once in this headspace, you tend to  procrastinate and have certain cravings to distract you from your work ahead. Some of these cravings are food related, specifically hyper palpable foods which are high in calories and fat and low in nutrients and vitamins. You can see how the stress response can push you off-track in many areas of your life from weight management, career progression and spiritual enlightenment. 

After speaking with health coaches and various inspirational people, I was gifted with the recommendation to remove any tasks that did not serve my purpose or advance me towards my ultimate goal. This means that I had to start saying “no” which is no small feat. The story that I grew-up telling myself was that I am a people pleaser and people pleasers always say “yes”, even when it’s inconvenient. This is not because I am a wonderful person (which I am). I did this because I didn’t want to be wrong by not showing up or helping out. It made me feel good to say “yes”.

As you can imagine, this story and belief I had about myself did not serve me and so I made the conscious decision to change. Not change who I am at my core; just change my actions so that I could keep growing.

“N.O.” There is a lot of power in saying those two small letters.

The conundrum when responding with a “no” is that you believe you are hurting or offending someone. The word “no” is by nature a negative word but it can also be positive. Think about all those times when you were a kid that your guardians said “no” to you. For the most part they were protecting you or teaching you a lesson which is a very positive experience. When you spin it like that, “no” becomes a word filled with good intention and positivity. 

Before saying “no” or removing an item from your list, give yourself some time to re-align with your values and purpose. What is it that you are trying to achieve?

Now, looking back at your list, do the tasks serve you? If you find some to be a distraction from your goal you have two options as I see it. 

1.  Ask a loved one or colleague if they can help you by taking it on as their responsibility.

2.  Remove it entirely. 

This method might not come naturally to you at first but, practice, practice, practice and you will get better and quicker at recognizing errands and tasks that you don’t need to do. You will regain some calm and time in your day to focus on the real work that will catapult you further. 

Aside from preventing feelings of stress; making time in your day to connect with those you care about, relaxing and increasing your sleep will help you live a more joyful life.

Light and Love,

Dalya Green

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