(TNS) – Do you ever feel like your life is going in a dead end? You get up every day doing a routine that requires you to push faster and harder.
The only problem is this: it takes more and more energy to manage this routine. It is a chore with little emotional gain. We’ve all been there.
If you expend too much energy to spin the wheel of life, you could be in burnout.
Even if you may feel slightly exhausted, you can change the way you manage your routine. Your goal is to feel more rewarded in the way you live and less bogged down.
Vary your routine. While the discipline is good, it can feel monotonous after a while. If possible, switch some tasks to different time slots. Or, take spontaneous walks outside to see new landscapes several times a week.
Delegate several small things to do each week. For example, have a coworker, teenager, or spouse do at least one 10-minute task every day. Feeling like you have no help will make you burn out faster.
Rest and relax before a tough week ahead. If you have pressure cooker days coming up next week, find time to go to the movies with friends this week. Or visit a park with friends or family.
Learn how to bypass certain responsibilities. If you’re too stressed out, skip a few chores this week or buy dinner to take home. Avoid cooking or other household chores to give yourself occasional breaks. The others around you will survive.
Hire help. This includes having your car washed, renting windows, having someone mow your lawn, or finding a seamstress to hem your new pants. Make a habit of looking for ways to pay someone to help you save personal energy.
“To re-energize your life, continue to focus on creative ways to renew your routine,” says a mall manager we’ll call Henry. “I sometimes feel trapped working here inside the mall. But I’m going to call my wife and ask her to drive with me to the country after work. Just seeing a few barns, cows and rolling hills renews my mind to dwell on business all the time.
He adds, “Playing old favorite songs in the car also helps make things happier. When we are driving we try not to discuss family issues or talk about anything stressful. “
Creating new routines is an inexpensive way to breathe new life into your life. Exercising at the same time every day or eating the same foods over and over can seem boring.
Going for walks with neighbors or friends after dinner can put you in a better mood. Or, inviting neighbors over for a simple picnic in your backyard can create fond memories for everyone.
“Couples should also have a date every week or so,” says a family counselor we’ll call Jordan. “Taking kids and in-laws everywhere is getting old. When couples spend time eating together or going to the movies, it feels like a real date. Taking too many people around can increase stress.
“I like to take a three-day mini-vacation every six weeks,” says a clothing designer we’ll call Sherri. “I think a short vacation is just as relaxing as a weeklong vacation because you can pack lightly and visit more places in a year. I like to visit small towns within a two hour drive from my home. It’s amazing how many interesting places there are in any given region.
To reduce burnout, simply take a break from the usual routine that you would normally follow.
“The good thing about burnout,” Sherri says, “is that it tells you loud and clear that you’re ready for a change. “
Judi Light Hopson is the author of the book on stress management, “Cooling Stress Tips”. She is also the Executive Director of USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.org.
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