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Have you lost your passion? Sometimes, at the end of the day, do you come home from work and find that you are emotionally and even physically drained, overwhelmed and completely exhausted?
If you can answered "yes," then you might be in (or fast approaching) a state of complete burnout. Not to worry though! The following five strategies can help you to renew your energy, replenish your inner self and reclaim the joy in your life.
1. Set Boundaries
Most of us are constantly on the go from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning. Technology, such as cell phones and the Internet, makes it easy to stay in constant contact. With our busy lifestyles, it's important that we learn how to set boundaries and teach others how we wish to be treated.
Some simple steps to take to reclaim your time and energy include setting limits to how long you spend reading and answering email each day. It's also okay to say "no" when others ask too much of your time.
Boundaries are healthy and essential for our self-care. We each have to take time for ourselves before we can help others.
2. Learn What Drains You
It's important to understand what drains our energy in our life. It's different for each person, because we each have different tastes and abilities. We are all wired differently. Learn to let go of things that drain you. If it's a task, consider hiring someone to do it when possible, or delegate it to someone who is better suited to the task. (It is also okay sometimes to eliminate the task altogether!)
It may be a person or even your job itself that is draining you. Situations, people, environments and jobs that drain us are toxic to our energy and well-being. It is okay to let them go, and it's okay to ask for support if we need it in order to let go.
3. Learn Your Strengths and What Energizes You
Make a list of your strengths and make it a point to focus your energy on those things. Life will become more meaningful. You will accomplish more each day, which will re-energize you and increase your self-esteem. Find ways throughout the day to do things that leave you feeling energized and refreshed.
Taking breaks during your work day to take a walk, sip a cup of freshly-brewed tea, or eat a healthy meal can do wonders for restoring your energy. We each find energy in different ways so take the time to discover your source.
The important thing is to spend time doing something that will help to clear your mind, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, to help you to feel centered through the day. In this way, you recharge your energy so that you are constantly "refilling your cup" instead of giving and giving until you empty.
4. Make Time to Add Joy in Your Life
Even if it is only once a week at first, create ways to spend some time each week doing something you genuinely enjoy, especially that which brings laughter back into your life. Maybe you really enjoy going to the beach, hiking a nature trail, having dinner with a significant other, catching up with your best friend on the telephone, or even going to the movies.
Whatever it is that brings you joy, make time for it, schedule it in if you have to, and begin to incorporate it into your life. With our hectic schedules, it's easy to become so wrapped up in our obligations that we never look up. Make time for the things and people that leave you feeling joyful.
5. Set the Tone for Your Day
Do you find that you often arrive to work feeling rushed, frazzled and out of sorts? If so, you may need to give yourself an extra 15 minutes each morning so that you start the day without rushing. Morning routines are important.
Even if you aren't the proverbial "early bird," if you arrange your schedule so that you are getting enough rest and can begin your work day a little earlier, you will likely arrive calm and centered and get your day off to a good, energized start.
Taking the time to set the tone for the rest of your day will do wonders for your mood and energy level and your ability to deal with the day.
These five strategies will give you the time and the space to get back in touch with yourself and replenish you -- body, mind and spirit -- so you can live in your world with a sense of joy.
Nancie Vito, MPH, CHES is a transformational life coach who is on a mission to help others find joy and get out of their own way. After working in public health and seeing so many people stressed, ill or burned out from a "soul-sucking job," she feels passionately about helping people create lives they love so they can truly flourish.