Okay, that title was deliberately provocative. Being a health professional myself, I am always wary of discussing “cures” with my clients – I’d prefer to explore what kind of positive behaviours and beliefs we might be able to work on to help someone create sustainable change.
The truth is that stress is unavoidable in our lives. It’s especially unavoidable if you’re navigating the tough process of becoming an allied health entrepreneur.
But this stress doesn’t have to turn to burnout.
The World Health Organisation forecasts that by 2020 Depression will be the second leading cause of years of life lost to disability. Reflect on where you want to be in five years’ time – now is the time take control of your self-care before you become another statistic in the epidemic of burnout and poor mental health.
In last week’s post I discussed the importance of recognizing the early signs of burnout. Even more importantly, I spoke about the change in mindshift that needs to occur if we want to stop feeling so damn tired all the time. Why do we keep allowing ourselves to be martyrs for our cause?
So let’s talk about the next step in beating burnout before it beats you down.
It’s all about building habits. Let’s start with the small stuff you can do every day. I promise it will make such a difference to your work and your practice.
My $2 Weapon of Mass Burnout Destruction
Get yourself a pencil and start planning your time each day! Schedule in the time for your daily self-care before your calendar gets filled up with the other stuff. I’m not saying that you need to find a large tranquil rock every day to meditate under. Start with pencilling time in for a proper lunch and posture breaks. My friend Weh Yeoh of OIC Cambodia gives himself 2 dedicated minutes every hour to pause and look out the window.
Using a diary to pencil in small blocks of self-care each day is more much more powerful than good intentions alone – it creates accountability and a sense of accomplishment when you manage to follow the schedule.
Okay, Okay. I hear you saying, “Jo, a self-care routine is important at work, I get that, but I need a VACATION! Except I can’t go on holidays because everything will fall apart with me.”
One of my first conversations with my private practice clients is always how we can put the systems in place needed so that they CAN take a break without the hardcore email and phone withdrawals. I know it feels like a proper holiday can never happen, but if we plan in advance, it can be done!
THE MIGHTY PENCIL STRIKES AGAIN!
Seriously, in the weeks leading up to your holiday, start penciling in the time you will need to feel up to date before you leave. Book in the time to get your client notes up to date, write reports, manage handovers, and let people know well in advance that you will be away and NO, the world will not end in your brief absence. Not if you put the systems in place so your business can keep chugging along with you for a little while.
Of course, all the scheduling in the world wont help if you haven’t practiced saying “no” to some of the opportunities that come your way… but that’s a post for another day.
Do you use a diary to schedule your self-care routine and bigger events like holidays? If you don’t, give it a go and let me know how it works for you. You might just be able to find the time to meditate under that big rock after all.
Here’s to your success.