How to Help Yourself When You Are Burning Out

Leading a group is a rewarding experience but it can also take a lot of time and effort. For many people, volunteering is something they do alongside a career, looking after family, and running a home. If you are feeling as though you are on the edge of burnout, here is how you can regain control.

Ask for Help

When you are feeling overwhelmed reaching out and letting someone know you are finding things tough can be hard. It can seem as though you are sharing your vulnerabilities and you might be worried they will see you in a different light. However, in most cases, people will be glad that you have spoken up and be able to step in to support you. If you work as part of a team, they are the ideal people to share with and may be able to take on extra tasks to lighten your load. A regional or district manager may also be able to offer support.

Take a Step Back

When you are exhausted, stop. Pushing on through can be tempting but you are doing yourself no favors in the long run and could make yourself unwell. Take a long bath, drink a glass of wine, go for a walk with the dog… anything to remind yourself that you choose how you spend your time and that little pleasures can make a big difference. Turn off your phone so you can rest without being disturbed and have an early night to catch up on sleep. Sometimes this is all that is needed to recharge.

In some cases, you might need to take a break from your duties to focus on your own well-being. A vacation or time with friends can be beneficial, as can spending time at home without the weight of everyday tasks bearing down. Do not feel guilty about taking time to look after yourself, whether this is an hour or a year. Your health comes first.

Speak to a Healthcare Professional

If you are concerned because you are struggling to cope, talking to a healthcare professional can help. Anxiety and depression are common and can be treated with medication and/or therapy. More than thirty-seven million Americans take antidepressants so if this is the right option for you, you are not alone. Hormonal changes during the perimenopause and menopause can impact your decision-making, memory, and emotions and if you feel this is affecting you, a doctor will be able to give you advice.

More senior leaders might ask themselves ‘Am I showing signs of dementia?’ if they are becoming increasingly forgetful. Being unable to think of the right word, struggling to concentrate and general confusion can be symptoms of dementia but can also be the result of insomnia, poor mental health or simply taking on too much. Whatever is causing you to struggle with recall, a healthcare professional will be able to help.

Remember, even if it is hard right now, things can get better. Being honest with yourself and others is the first step.

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