To all the hard working ladies out there, I would just like to say: it's okay. That frazzled feeling, the feeling of being unproductive in your job, startup or daily routine no matter how many additional hours you've accrued or how many cups of Joe you've consumed... apparently, many of us feel it. According to a study published this year, Staples Advantage Workplace Index cited that over half of U.S. employees reported feelings of burnout.
What can we do? Eat right, sleep more, exercise, do something you love -- Of course these are great things to change in your daily life, but what I suggest for your spirit, tired girl, is to travel.
A Few Rules:
1. GO: Go to a new place. Istanbul, Myanmar, a city 30 minutes away... the point is, get away. If an Eat, Pray, Love adventure inspires you, go to Bali. But if the thought of being in a completely different culture would make you lose your sanity rather than restore it, merely journey to the next city. (Remember - new).
2. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET: More than booking the tickets or kissing your loved ones goodbye, changing your mindset can be the hardest for some us. You think you don't deserve a trip or possibly worry it could be a waste of vacation days. If you don't see the potential of this trip, then you've already defeated its purpose. Reset your mind, or keep your vacation days.
3. SEPARATE: You need a break. Journey to a space that separates you from your job, friends, family and responsibilities. Yes, I said it: SEPARATE. All of the things I just mentioned are wonderful (or at least should be in theory), but I guarantee you that one of them is the culprit behind your waning flame.
This might be surprising, but do NOT travel with your significant other (but I'll allow them to join you for the last couple of days as a reward). To be truly in tune with your body and mind, you must be alone.
Oh, and one more thing; this includes separation from technology. What you may not realize is that you are surrounded by devices that compete for your attention, all demanding that you respond NOW. This trip mandates that you don't even look at a screen. Mandate "an instruction or command from an authority". There, now you have to.
4. EXPLORE: Now this one is the one you probably expected, but let's be clear about the purpose of this exploration: to rejuvenate your spirit. Pick one to try on your trip: a new culture, a new book, or a new activity. (I dare you, pick from this list.) I recommend buying a book to read on your flight about someone working in your same field. Reading about someone's successes can help to renew your passion and possibly inspire you in way that you hadn't previously considered.
5. FACE IT: Finally, set aside the entirety of one day to face the question: why am I burnt out? I could go into a million different questions for you to ask yourselves, listing reasons for possible sources of burnout. However, I'm not you. Only you know what's actually weighing you down, and initially, only you can do something about it. So you can either wallow in the difficulty of your situation, or you can be PROACTIVE and nip the "lifesuck" in the bud. You have that ability, I promise you! While some things aren't easy, living a quality life you enjoy makes any effort to get there worthwhile. Step one - take a step away and travel to explore yourself.
Travel isn't running away, it's running to a place of clarity. Go on, pack your bags.
Eva Baczynska is a Marketing, Strategy and Branding Consultant in New York. A frequent traveler, she is the founder of Travelle, an online resource for female business and leisure travelers featuring beauty, wellness and style tips.
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