Featured Contributor

Avoid burning out with this last-minute action by @lexanesirac

by Lexane Sirac | Featured Contributor

I’ve been on the brink of a burnout these past weeks, and the only thing that got me out of it was to put everything on hold. Even the best parts of my life – everything that was time-consuming and effort-consuming needed to get out of my schedule for a few weeks.

It’s hard to disappear from everyone’s lives for a couple of weeks and not send any replies to anyone, while you take the time to focus on what matters. In my case, what mattered was sleeping as much as possible and trying to learn the basics of cooking – with remarkably bad results, but hey, that’s not the point.

Taking a break from everything is a right way to feel better, especially in the short term, if you’re not feeling too well. However, I’d like to remind you that if you feel sad or overwhelmed on a regular basis, or for a more extended period, or have negative and possibly harmful thoughts, you should seek professional assistance. Self-help has its limits 🙂

The template that will save your email

Hi!

A lot of tasks have come my way recently, and I chose to take a break in order to stay positive and charge my batteries.

Please do not expect an answer to your emails before [date]. In case of an emergency, feel free to reach out to my friends or family so they pass the message on to me, as I am trying to avoid communications as much as possible while on my break. If we are working on [Main Project 1], rest assured: I will meet my deadlines! If we are working on [Main Project 2], I will be back soon to answer your email and won’t forget about you, don’t worry.

Thank you for your patience,

XXXXX

You should only need this once in your life!

It might happen once or twice that you feel on the brink of burnout. However, this should not be recurring. If you end up using this email autoresponder on more than two different occasions, something is wrong with the way your life is organised. It’s not your fault! A lot of things can stop you from being at your best.

If this is a recurring situation, I would highly encourage you to read Laura’s guide to avoiding burnout. My main takeaways from this post were to:

  • Take full control of your work schedule to avoid overtime and extra pressure
  • Never overcommit: it’s never easy to be able to say “no” to bosses, colleagues, family, and friends, but the person who cares the most about you is you, so don’t let yourself down!
  • This next point includes what I just wrote today: lay down your phone. It’s okay not to know what’s going on, once in a while. Nobody will punish you for it. You won’t miss any considerable emergency, in 99.99% of cases – and if there is an emergency, people will find a way to reach out to you. So don’t worry, and make the most of your sweet, sweet alone time.
  • Most importantly, have fun! Do what you love and enjoy it. Spending time outdoors, taking walks, speaking to friends (in person!), reading books: everyone has their preferences, so find yours and do everything you can to make it part of your regular schedule.

What do you do to prevent burnout?

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