Have you ever been on your way to a burnout? Or did you fear that one of your dear ones was? Here’s 7 tips how to recognise and prevent a burnout and how to preserve a proper Work/Life Balance.

YOU are the engine of your Work/Life balance
Many people think the W/L balance is a two-leg, with on one side your work and on the other side your private life. That’s not true. It’s a three-leg balance and the third leg is YOU. What’s more: YOU are the engine of your W/L balance. If you collapse, the rest will follow.

Why is it so difficult to pay attention to yourself
If you don’t perform well at work, your boss will complain. If you don’t pay enough attention to your partner or your family, they will start to complain. However, if you don’t pay attention to yourself, nobody will complain. Maybe in time your body will, but these signals can easily be ignored.

What is a burnout
Until it’s too late. Consequently, one not-so-fine day you will wake up and won’t be able to get out of bed. You feel empty and exhausted. How could this happen overnight? Every time you endeavour yourself at work, you use adrenaline. Healthy stress motivates and provides you with an extra impulse to perform well. Afterwards your body needs some time to recover and to produce new adrenaline. If you don’t hold back and stress moments begin to tack up, your body consumes all fuel and begins to burn out.

Be aware of when you cross your borders
Preventing is better than ceasing the fire. Let’s have a look at those signals, which forecast a burnout. If you keep on pondering and you can’t get certain things off your mind, you have to watch out. Especially when you can’t ease your mind before falling asleep. A lack of rest increases the chances of getting irritated or angry.

It gets even worse, if you climb the stairs and forgot where you came for. As such we speak of oblivion and lack of concentration. As a matter of fact we see a detachment of what you want and what you actually do. If this becomes chronically and you start to dislike to do the necessary things to keeping your life rolling, you are in the danger zone. Don’t let it come this far. Listen and feel. For these signals indicate that you are crossing your borders.

Decide how you want to feel
You are only able to set your borders if you know, how you do want to feel. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to be fit, healthy and energetic. Take responsibility for your own wellbeing and report to yourself about it. Acknowledge yourself when you perform well. But when you don’t take good care of yourself, admit that you do a ‘lousy job’. You are literary your own boss.

Replace guilt by responsibility
People with a family often feel guilty when they go to the sports club after a hard days work instead of going home right away. Take a critical look at your working hours and at how you feel at the moment. You might have to give yourself some priority. Discuss the wellbeing of you and your partner at home. Make an agreement that works out for the both of you. Come after your commitments and replace your feelings of guilt by a sense of responsibility.

Love yourself
Last but not least: be good to yourself. Take care of your body and mind by sports, a healthy diet and exercises to ease your mind. With all these things you reward yourself. That strengthens your self-esteem.

Annick Schoon developed her own coaching methodology, on which she has started a PhD track at the VU Amsterdam. Do you want more information or would you like to be coached by Annick? Just fill out the contact form.