Top 5 Ways to Prevent a Burnout

Top 5 Ways to Prevent a Burnout

Stop the bad before it happens
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So, last week I wrote about noticing the signs of burning out which is a threat we all face at this time of year. This week I am going to share tips on how to stop and/or prevent a burnout from happening. However, before I go into that I would like to address a common misconception.

Stress and burnout are not the same things. Stress is short term. It is an out of control feeling, but once the situation changes it lessens or goes away. Burnout extends over a longer period of time. It is the feeling meaningless and a disconnect in what you are doing. Basically, you are just going through the motions. Now that we know the difference let’s talk about how we can stop burnout:

1. Create a social contract with positive relationships

This can be done by investing more time in your closest relationships. You can become more sociable with your coworkers. This one is a biggie, limit your contact with negative people.

2. Reframe the way you look at work/school

Find the value in what you are doing. You are working for money to get something or going to school to obtain your career. Find balance in your life. If you have work and school and relationships to maintain like me than you need to find time for each and balance them all without spreading yourself too thin. Make friends at school/work to enjoy them more. Lastly, take some time off. If you simply can’t find balance, take a vacation.

3. Re-evaluate your priorities

Set boundaries in your life. Learn to say no when you know you simply don’t have the time. Nourish your creativity by trying something new or revisiting an old hobby. Take a daily break from technology and connect with the real world. Set aside some relaxation time for yoga or some mindful breathing to relax your senses. Lastly, get plenty of sleep. This is more important than we would like to admit and needs to be paid more attention to.

4. Make exercise a priority

Exercise releases chemicals in your body that can rejuvenate you to be more productive. Set aside 30 minutes a day to get in something as simple as a walk to get the blood flowing. Try rhythmic exercise, where you move both your arms and legs. It is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. To maximize stress relief, instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts, focus on your body and how it feels as you move.

5. Support your mood and energy levels by eating a healthy diet

First, you need to minimize your sugar and carb intake because these lead to the crashing feeling. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, trans fats, and foods with chemical preservatives or hormones. Eat more Omega 3-fatty acids to boost your mood. Avoid nicotine as this is a stimulant and increases your anxiety. Lastly, alcohol in moderation as this is only a temporary solution.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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