Burnout Is A Thing

Do you ever feel that work or things around you seem like a drag, you’re constantly tired, may not care about the decisions you’re making, mistakes may be being made, you’re losing yourself but you think this is just you, this is life, and maybe it’ll get better. NOPE.These are signs that you need to slow it down, take a break, recognize that your routine isn’t yours anymore and burnout may possibly be around the corner.

Things To Know About Burnout 

People are in positions where they’re overwhelmed with quite a bit and are being pulled in several directions throughout the day and it can get to a point where its too much.

Burnout is not selective, it can happen to anyone in any field and recognizing the signs is essential for you to know when to take that much needed break, because work and other things in your life can truly wait if you aren’t 100% present. There are 3 dimensions of burnout described by Christina Maslach, a leading researcher on this topic.

  • Exhaustion measures feelings of being overextended and exhausted by one’s work.
  • Cynicism measures an indifference or a distant attitude towards your work.
  • Professional Efficacy measures satisfaction with past and present accomplishments, and it explicitly assesses an individual’s expectations of continued effectiveness at work.

Also, noticing the following may mean its time to get some help in some way.

  • Not sleeping well
  • Lack energy
  • Not thinking straight
  • Not really care anymore about things
  • Feel tired
  • Inattentive
  • Not being present in work, class, or tasks that you once enjoyed

This Can Contribute To Your Burnout

There are several things that can contribute to burnout, you may feel like you aren’t being used to your full potential, maybe your values aren’t matching up with your current work/school tasks, or maybe you just have too much work and not a great way to organize your time well.

Whatever the reason, recognize when you’re not yourself and identify what you can do to manage your burnout before it gets to a point where its too late.  A few red flags, if your normal routine of doing things is affected, you no longer have any hobbies in your life, if sleep has become less of a routine, and if you’re just going through the motions of life and don’t recognize who you are anymore, ding, ding ding, its times to take a step back, regroup and identify what you need.

Burnout can creep up on us if we’re not ready, so get a system together to identify if that overwhelming feeling of yours needs to be tended to before you take another step.

Things you can Do

  • Check-in with yourself daily/weekly
  • Take some control over your situations
  • Recognize ways to deal with consistent stressors
  • Make sure you’re making time for hobbies, vacations, self-care, etc
  • Have a therapist on speed dial

This is just a tip of the iceberg on what burnout is and things to look out for. If you really feel like this is a current issue, find a way to get the help you need, this is just a starting point on making you aware of the problem.

Thanks for reading

Alvina

Thoughts on Self-Care

So I don’t know about you guys but last week was just one of those weeks. With all the things going on in politics, it really is just tough hearing all the news.  I’ve mentioned before how important it is to make sure you make your mental health is a priority, especially with the state that our world is in. I’ve never been too much into politics but lately, its been something I’m focusing more on. This post isn’t necessarily about that,  just stressing the importance of taking time for yourself consistently, making your self-care a focus.

I thought about this topic early on Thursday morning when I made some time to actually eat breakfast. I usually rush in the mornings and eat my breakfast at work. Being able to take these few minutes to make my breakfast and sit was a pretty relaxing moment because I made it a self-care priority. It felt good sitting in a bit of silence, getting prepared for the day. How often do you make little moments in your life that focus on how you take care of yourself a priority? If you’re finding it hard to answer that, I need some answers on why? I can wait…

What You Need To Do

You need love and care too and shouldn’t let that be dismissed because of all that you may have going on. So, in honor of this self-care Sunday, which I think can be applied to any other day, make it a point to do things for yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s just knowing that at all times, you need to be good with you before applying yourself to other areas of your life.

What You Might Need To Get In Check

If you need to make sure your mental health is good, that may mean taking a step back from going out, gossiping, being in the mix of everything but your own business and finding out what you need to manage the feelings you have. If you have a way of how you talk to people and maybe it doesn’t come out in the nicest way,  work through ways of how you approach communicating with others, figure out where that type of communicating comes from and fix it. Maybe you still feel don’t feel fully connected in your relationships, then maybe it’s having a transparent come to Jesus moment with yourself to see what things you can work through to make you a stronger individual for yourself before you place yourself in a relationship that requires a good balance of independence and compromise.

Maybe you’re trying to upgrade your life in some way and having issues with following through. Whatever it is, focus on what you need to do to get your self-care in check.

Things I’ve Learned

I’m learning the importance of self-care, even when I feel I’ve got it down pact, something may happen that changes my focus. Our lives can really consume us to the point where we don’t look after ourselves. It can be about completing this for work, making sure you’re making this person happy, limiting exercise, holding things in, etc. These moments are ways that our environment is telling us things need to change before it’s too late and it becomes our life and any ounce of self-care gets thrown out the window.

Let your self-care become a habit.

Thanks for reading

Alvina

Finding Happiness at Work

Another pretty cool week coming our way, focusing on our happiness. Some thing I did last week, well two things, I did the power hour, and loved it. Felt so accomplished in the amount of time I did it and I actually finished earlier than an hour. Another thing I implemented is Wellness Walks for the week. I did this with my department this past week and I will be doing it every week, but it goes into what I wanted to talk about today in how we add happiness throughout the day.

The point of these walks, is getting out of the office for a few minutes to help get your mind off things, focus on anything besides work, enjoy the company of others and just be able to regroup and re-do the next half of your day.

After we walked almost everyone had a small boost of energy, our moods were elevated, people were smiling, laughing so I say all this to say, its needed.

Happiness Should Be A Priority Even At Work

Your happiness should be a priority even if its at work How do you usually take time out for yourself at work? We spend a good chunk of our time and energy at our jobs, but do we also spend time in making sure we’re implementing small things to get ourselves through the day and relaxing or do we wait until we get home?

Yes, your schedule could be jam packed but there are small moments of time that can be carved out for you to have that “me time” and create that happiness space outside of your home.

You owe it to yourself in some way to create some peace during your day instead of prolonging it until you get home. Sometimes we get home and our whole day has really passed us by and we usually repeat the same process and how we feel can just seem monotonous and tiring. The same thing, day in and day out but no time made to break that cycle and increase our happiness in some way. Some things needs to change and here are few ways to change up your work routine and build on your happiness.

Here are some ideas:

  • Take a few breaks while sitting at your desk, where you identify 3 positive things that have occurred so far.
  • Stretch at your desk, meditate, listen to a short mindfulness video.
  • Turn off  some notifications, emails are important but maybe set up times throughout your day, when you read emails and respond.
  • Take your eyes off the computer screens or phone and just take a step back, rest your eyes for a few seconds. Things can wait.
  • Find a positive quote for the day and write it on a post-it note. Place it somewhere you can look often and repeat it to yourself throughout the day.
  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of emailing them.
  • Have a nice scent at your desk and make it a point to savor that smell during the day.
  • Compliment yourself on something good you did today, big or small, its something.
  • Change up things around you, move the computer screen back, have a comfortable chair, remove some clutter and try to organize to find things a bit easier.
  • Eat outside
  • Mindfully take a walk and notice all the things going on around you as you walk.
  • Work in another area of your office, maybe theres an extra office that no one uses.
  • Have walking meetings.
  • Mind your business, office gossip only gets you dragged into wanting more, so try to focus on you and your work. Anyone bringing energy into your space, thats not needed, let them know where you’re mindset is at and its not focusing on things that don’t pertain to you.
  • Keep a few stress balls handy, have a crossword puzzle  or sudoku, just something to do in moments where you just need to take your mind off of work for a bit. Better yet have a small box full of things that can be good distractors for you.

Being at work, really doesn’t have to be that bad. Just like you create a peaceful space for yourself outside of work, having something like that at work, shouldn’t be any different. Your happiness is gained from making this a part of your work life. The only question I have for you now is When? Times a-ticking…

 

Thanks for reading

Alvina

Clearing Your Mind Of Ruminating Thoughts

So I give my clients quite a bit of techniques to manage their ruminating thoughts but I found myself at a loss yesterday. I guess it was just one of those days. My car started acting up and I could have calmly said, no big deal, I will take care of it tomorrow. Nope. I got annoyed with JW that moment for asking any questions, I went to look at YouTube for what it could possibly be, like I was really going to fix it once I figured out what it was.lol. Also, I went to bed thinking about it and I woke up with the same thoughts.  I thought out several plans on how I was going to get it to the dealership, if I should call out from work for the day, if this was the end of my car, etc..le sigh

A common mistake we can make in these situations is not knowing how much control we can have over things we repeatedly think about in our head. We create unnecessary anxiety and stress with being for ourselves in these moments.  The thing that happens is that we learn this behavior and it becomes harder to unlearn when we try to. We continue with what we know best and at times that isn’t good for our psyche.

If you ever have a similar moment, here are some options to try. You would think my daily meditations would have helped me deal with this situation a bit better but growth, is the word of the day.

  • Learn to pause, because that’s really what we need, to take a breather, calm ourselves down and think through a possible solution.
    • To find that solution, it takes coming up with several possibilities, choosing the solution that works best and giving it time to do its magic. If its not working out how you planned, switch it up again.  Give yourself an allotted amount of time to see if something works to help with solving the issue that keeps coming up in your head. Also it doesn’t have to be the end all be all.
  • There’s always room for meditation to clear your mind and adjust how you’re thinking about the situation.
  • You can listen to Weightless by Marconi Union. I learned about this anxiety hack a few weeks ago and have used it to calm my nerves,  especially while flying.  I know there are various songs out there but this one I can get with. When you hear of research conducted by Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International on ways that sound can impact our stress response, it got me intrigued and now I’m sold.
  • Remove yourself from situations that could intensify your thoughts. Also, think about removing yourself from people to get a clear mind in that moment, to minimize getting annoyed and keep you from snapping at unexpected bystanders.
  • Mindfully try to focus on one thing, whether it’s eating, walking or writing, to try to find some peace in doing one thing and being fully aware of whats going on in that moment.
  • Get a work-out in, for all the great reasons you can think of, do something you like and that can keep your attention. After a work-out, it can help you see how insignificant a thought is, could help you come up with a better solution and just may help with just overall relaxation which is what we’re going for.

You have more control than you think in these moments and if you’re ruminating thoughts are taking you away from dealing with reality, then its asking yourself why you want to cause yourself this headache. It’s ok to slow down in these moments when you’re mind wants to go everywhere but what it needs to focus on. Create peace in your mind by being present about when you’re thoughts are out of control to be able to look at the one thing that can be done to manage the problem.

When Overwhelmed Look to Use “RAIN” As A Mindfulness Technique

I found a neat mindfulness technique to use in moments where you just need a moment to collect yourself to avoid not being  overwhelmed in the moment. It’s simply remembering the acronym RAIN and it helps with just taking it easy on yourself in the moment because in the midst of being stressed out in moments we have this bad habit of labeling. To move towards a more mindful approach in being in the moment, feeling what you’re feeling and learning why it is, you do the things you do, this approach can be helpful. This technique was developed by Vipassana teacher Michele McDonald.

Lets get to it.

  • R is for being able to Recognize what’s happening in the moment.
    • Identifying what is going on with you in the moment is key. For things to become real enough to manage, you have to recognize that they’re occurring.  Being able to truly recognize what is going on in your head, how your feeling, what behaviors you’re exhibiting, is where it starts so you can acknowledge what is going one with you in the moment.
  • A is being able to Allow things to occur as they are with no judgment.
    • In this moment, you want to make sure that you’re accepting of yourself for feeling the way you are.  No need to run away from how you’re feeling, you are in this moment to just let things be as they are, don’t judge yourself for feeling or acting a certain way, don’t even label it as “good” or “bad” just be in the moment of allowing yourself to be how you are so you can learn that not every single way that you are needs to be judged.
  • I is being able to Investigate 
    • Now that you know whats going on with you and you’re accepting of how you’re feeling without judgement, it’s about investigating how you got here. This is that time once again like I have mentioned in several ways to take that step back and retrace your steps on “What got you to feeling this way?” Gather up some evidence during this step because you want to answer some questions and get more in tune with how you choose to deal with things. Questions like, What makes you feel anxiety? Why have chosen to act like this and only focus on the negative? What does anxiety do to your body? This all  helps with making sure that you become more aware of your trigger points.
  • N is Non-identifyting
    • Lastly, this last part focuses on not being defined by your feeling, behaviors and thoughts. They are a part of you and do occur in any moment but its being able to disconnect from them in some way to come to some sort of realization that when things occur it’s not about labeling and putting yourself in a box.  Its knowing that things can occur in your day-to-day routine and you naturally can be aware of what is occurring, nothing more and nothing less.

 

This is a great mindfulness technique to use in moments that require you to observe in the moment instead of reacting. Practicing it over-time in situations makes it a part of a routine response to manage stress and learn ways to take control of how you’re feeling in the moment. When it RAINs, it pours and you’re always going to have to find a way to maneuver through a situation to not get caught up in all its chaos. This is a perfect way to   just be aware of YOU and after its being able to get to a place of being with the feelings, emotions and behaviors that may arise and learning to truly observe you in the moment.

If you have any other mindfulness tips, let me know.

Thanks for reading

Alvina

 

Getting Past Our Old Way of Reacting

Our current state and how we want our future to look, starts with how we are choosing to deal with our past triggers. The breadcrumbs carefully laid out from our past, is really the driving force in how we are choosing to react, feel and think currently. I love everything about this quote because it falls along the lines of taking that step back and being aware of what you’re doing in the moment to either keep you stagnant in your past life and have that be your story or it wakes you up a bit to direct your life towards a different path. Think about how you naturally react to things that occur in your life, is it the actual moment or do you have reminders of a past event that has really triggered your behavior in that moment?

We are always tempted to react in an old way, whether its picking up a bad habit or just thinking a way we shouldn’t. That right there is because it’s much easier for us to be in this old state because it’s what we know best, it may not be the best decision but it’s what we know best and straying from our usual routine, can at times be a true challenge.

True growth in moments where you want to react in an old way is identifying where you’re trying to go and its recognizing what you want to see in yourself, its standing up to that inner critic that may not want to see you grow and change.

You are of great value and when you’re able to truly see that, you’re able to grow past the stage of old behaviors and progress towards a path of enlightenment to understand the need to react differently to achieve a better outcome in different aspects of your life.

New Do and Some Ways to Quiet Your Mind

This weekend, I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,  I got a really short hair cut. I’ve been wanting to do this but maybe because of judgment and not wanting to part with my hair, etc.., I never did. While I was in Texas, I woke up one day and I just wanted to get it done.  So, I had to come up with a plan: find the right salon since I feel like I’m still fairly new to the DMV area, research on if they could work on my natural hair and then book the appointment.  I can be indecisive at times so sometimes it really does take a plan that I write down for things to get move forward. What usually works for you when you need to get things done?

A funny thing as I was preparing for this day, I almost talked myself out of it. Do you know I went back and forth in my bathroom mirror checking out if my hair was long enough to get this cut? Another thing as I was there, I kept saying in my head, my hairstylist and shampoo people will notice this area of my hair that I’ve had breakage, so I know I can’t get this cut. Almost stopped myself from making this big change because of these ruminating thoughts.  The games we allow our mind to play on us when we are trying to progress. SMH

See How Our Mind Plays Tricks on Us

Our own mind and the thoughts we allow it to create can have us really stagnant at times. This can limit our growth and make us feel that not getting out of our comfort zone is how we should live. Sometimes we have it so wrong and its knowing how much control we really have over these thoughts. We have the power to take control but it starts with our belief system. If we don’t believe in all the great qualities about self, how can we manage the thoughts in our head because they’re part of what we believe in ourself. To believe something is for us and we are meant to change to see this, its reshaping how we think. Even though the thoughts I had were strong, I wasn’t going to let it stop my plan.

That’s how we should think about moments where we can’t quiet down our thoughts, finding a motivating factor to still move towards our plan.  We may notice that certain self-defeating thoughts arise during times when we’re overwhelmed or just trying to change something in our life. To calm these thoughts down a few things to try.

 Quieting Down our Self-Defeating Thoughts Requires a Belief In You

  • Figure out a way to talk back to these thoughts, think about a more rational thought you can come up with.
  • Find out what is triggering this self-defeating thought and work through how to deal with the core issue
  • Take a time-out for yourself and switch to a different activity for 30 minutes or so or maybe problem-solve a way to change how you’re thinking about the situation. You can only come back to the thought you’re having once you figure out some type of solution
  • Try to do the opposite in this moment, talk nicer to yourself in this moment and think about all the reasons why you should go through with something. You’ve done some great things thus far, this isn’t a time to take away the progress you have made. Look at all the new things you forced yourself to do in your life, this is another time to push through.
  • Partake in a guided imagery technique to get you out of your head and into a scene that is relaxing and hopefully can clear your mind.
  • Chew some gum, there’s been research on how doing this can be relaxing so maybe take it a bit further and I think focusing on chewing in the moment, gets you out of your head for a brief moment.

You can do this, you have it in you, so what strength will you pull out to get past these thoughts?

 

Thanks for reading

Alvie