Relax, don’t do it.

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This impromptu blog post has come about because of recent personal reflections and conversations I’ve had with others in similar situations.

Workplace burnout symptoms increased by 24% in the UK in 2020, with many business owners and employees stressed out working all hours, whilst trying to manage and balance their business with personal lives, along with the added challenges that life inevitably throws at us, its clear to see that everyone has a busy, full and hectic schedule these days.

The pace of the world, in every area, industry and landscape, even since I was a child in the late 1990s, is now totally different and almost unrecognisable. Majority of the time we don’t take note of this and are just ‘too busy’ to reflect upon the staggering changes and developments.

Ok, so onto the issue that made me want to write this blog! At this current moment I’m involved in two fairly new ventures and the initial stages of launch are underway. It’s been stressful, involved extremely late nights, 4am wakeups and some sleepless nights so far. It was about two weeks ago when on Monday morning, my 5:30am alarm went off, I rolled over, and I was just in total agony. My body was aching, my head was pounding and I had a serious daze like feeling. I knew straight away – ‘I’m burnt out’, I think I even said it out loud.

I booked a Covid test for good measure, and rested up at home. It took me three days to recover and start feeling like the ‘normal me’ again…

During the three days, I felt very anxious, with many thoughts circling my head. I felt I had to work, still doing some jobs, checking emails, doing some menial house jobs among a few. But I could just not get rid of that feeling and the thought in my head, ‘I could be working on X, Y, Z, I’m getting behind’. There was even some negative self-talk such as ‘I’m being lazy’.

It’s extremely easy to let yourself get into this trap of being on the hamster wheel of life. You’ve got to step off regularly, pause, reflect and reset. Otherwise, you aren’t bringing your best self to not just your work, but your friends, family and loved ones.

So, what to do next?

  • Set yourself some CLEAR boundaries for working and relaxing. Mark off areas in your home where you don’t work. In bed for example!
  • Schedule in rest/relaxation times during the day.
  • Schedule in work time. Work for maximum of 2 hours before taking a 15-minute break. Ideally a 5-minute break every hour is something I’d recommend.
  • In conjunction with the above – schedule in blocks of time for certain types of work (creative work or admin tasks). Don’t multi-task, it’s slower.
  • Meditate for 10 minutes each morning, focusing on mindfulness and gratitude. This would put you in a better mood immediately and will help give you clear focus for the day.
  • If you do start to feel uneasy, down or anxious because you feel like you’re having a relaxing time. Grab a pen and piece of paper and write down the top 5 reasons WHAT/WHY is making you feel that way.

Hope you enjoyed this quick blog post. Please feel free to connect with me, like the post and comment if any of this has resonated with you.