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Coping with burnout: 4 strategies for combatting burnout

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

In this interview, Hannah Nepilova speaks to the psychotherapist, coach and burnout specialist Jacky Francis Walker, otherwise known as 'The Burnout Queen', about burnout, what it is, and ways of managing it. Here are four of her top tips:

  1. Find 5 minutes to switch your brain off A recent study revealed that 5 minutes of putting everything down is enough to start helping to cope with burnout. If you do this several times a day you're really going to help yourself turn things around. If you can do something for longer, go for a walk or get involved in a hobby then that's great too.

  2. Manage your expectations of yourself Cutting down your expectations of what you can do is really useful when your batteries are run down. You might well need to delegate some tasks. Or you might decide that they can wait, or do them less frequently. Or you might decide that they're not that essential after all. Because if you try to draw too much from your tank then you might find that you run out of steam.

  3. Cut down gradually on life's stressors If you can go cold turkey then that's great. But a lot of people feel uncomfortable about just stopping. Those who find themselves in a state of burnout tend to be there because it has become habitual to do too much, or to be on their phones or digital devices which also put an extra load on the brain and the body. So quite often I need to take them through a process for the first few months where we can match what they're physically and mentally able to do with what they're actually going to do, so that we can lead them gradually back up to full power. It's about devising a schedule that will work in that direction and if they have to carry on with work at the same time which is quite a tightrope to walk in terms of keeping the tanks boosted then they need guidance all the way along because knowing what to do isn't necessarily intuitive.

  4. Diagnose the problem It's important to look at the factors that caused the state of burnout in the first place. What needs to be changed in order to prevent sinking back down there again in six months' time? In today's very busy world we've lost the natural breather spaces that used to be around: For example if we went on a journey we might have read a book but we weren't playing games on our phone. There were many more chances at work to enjoy moments of pause in between projects. Everything was a bit slower. I think everyone would benefit from upping their game in terms of how they deal with the demands of everyday life. And this will help as they navigate their journey coping with burnout.

To find out more about Jacky Francis Walker and her work, click here.

To watch the complete interview, see below.

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