So I let it happen again, and probably not for the last time.
I let busy-ness, stress, deadlines and obligations at work overwhelm me to the point where I let other things in my life drop. Things like: spending time with loved ones, messaging/talking to friends, wedding planning, New Year’s resolutions, and this blog. This blog is the first thing I let drop, which is unfortunate because it’s one of the things I love doing most.
Luckily, I recognized the signs before burning out. Burnout is real, and should never be minimized.
This last month I was responsible for the launch of a new product, training my colleagues on how to use it, finishing another project for senior management, prepping for job interviews, running a charity drive, and my day job. The stress started to build, my fuse got shorter, my sleep worsened, and I was unhappy.
This is a pattern. I didn’t want to write about it on the blog, since I have before, and it starts to sound old and tiresome. But this is not an “OMG, I am SO busy” post, this is a post to remind myself (and maybe others) that this pattern needs to change. It’s a reflection on how and why this happens, and what I can do to change things.
I have an internal locus of control , so when I start to feel overwhelmed at work, I tend to say: “What could I have done differently to handle this?” instead of “Why does this happen to me?”
I know I have to work on setting boundaries. This goes hand in hand with letting go of the fear that by turning down an opportunity I will appear like I can’t handle things. I can handle things! I can handle LOTS of things. But I can’t handle all the things. No one can.
In addition to setting boundaries and telling my inner overachiever to shut up, there are a couple other important tactics I like to use:
Reframing. “Reframing requires seeing something in a new way, in a context that allows us to recognize and appreciate positive aspects of our situation. Reframing helps us to use whatever life hands us as opportunities to be taken advantage of, rather than problems to be avoided.”
My best friend who lives in Australia and is a superstar business consultant uses this technique, and has helped me through some stressful situations by encouraging me to use it.
Prepping for job interviews last month really helped me put reframing into action. I realized that all the answers I had prepared for situational questions were born out of the biggest challenges I had to face at work. I felt really confident and qualified walking into and out of those interviews 🙂
Another technique I like to come back to time and time again is practicing mindfulness.
Ugh, could I sound any more like a privileged millennial? I tell ya! If my grandparents, who worked their entire lives so that I could be a mindful privileged millennial were reading this…
They’d probably be really happy! My grandpa goes for walks everyday, does tai-chi, and relishes in the routine of taking care of his plants or making Chinese tea. My grandma also enjoys things that allow her to be in the moment. They saved for the future, but I’ve learned so much about being grateful for the present from them.
Practicing mindfulness is really hard. Especially in this era of endless scrolling and FOMO. I am the first to admit that even when I’m going for walks, I need to have a podcast or audiobook playing. I need some type of sensory stimulation ALL THE TIME. But the few times I’ve actually succeeded at being mindful have been the most content I’ve ever felt.
So I’m stepping into June with a new attitude. I’ve set boundaries at work, and I’ve already rescheduled a big item to one of our less busy cycles in summer.
I took the day off today! I gave myself a long weekend to get a massage, get my nails done, do a lot of wedding planning, and recharge.
I’m looking forward to spending time with loved ones this month. My wedding shower is coming up, and I’m travelling to Stockholm to see my good friends tie the know! I am over the moon excited, and can start planning my trip with joy!
I’m starting dance lessons with Azim 🙂
And I have several blog posts planned! I’d love to hear from you – is there anything you’d like me to write about? Thank you so much for reading <3 it means a lot. xox