The Focus On You

*Motivational & Self-Care Blog*

Tag: burnout (page 1 of 2)

Part 2: Coping Skills For Family Stress & Burnout

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Last week’s post highlighted 3 coping skills (Taking Care Of Your Body, Setting Boundaries and Getting Organized)  that can assist you if you’re struggling with family stress or burnout (or both)!

These next 3 coping skills dig a little deeper.

Create A Buffer – If you’re feeling burnout from work, put something in between you and the source of stress. What do your lunch breaks look like? Are you eating at your desk? BAD! Change that please. Labor laws entitle us to these fabulous time buffers. Use it or lose it!

I have been lucky in my previous jobs that my bosses were understanding of my workload. I was able to safely express to them when I needed a break, a person to relieve me for one day or needed a day just to focus on paperwork. Sometimes those “paperwork only” days were the solution to my stress.

If you need a buffer from a stressful family situation, pinpoint who you can safely talk to. Text or call that person and let them know you’ll need them to listen, let you scream or just be there in general. It’s hard to turn down a close confidant who asks you, “Hey can I just vent for a second?” Buffers are also boundaries.

Maybe you need to skip a certain family event or gathering for the sake of your sanity. But if you’re unable to skip an event, have a buffer person handy so you can text them in case of emergency!

If you are only attending functions to please others then you are choosing resentment. Click To Tweet

Soothing Talk – Write down what you would say to a loved one in a similar situation. It’s funny how 99% of the time we don’t take our own advice. Have you ever helped someone in a similar situation? What did you tell them? Listen to yourself!

If your self-talk is becoming harsh or over critical, speak to yourself like you would talk to a child. No curse words. Just reassurance.

Refer to my post on self-talk for mental wellness.

Notice The Source – Before you get sucked into criticism or advice, notice who’s telling it to you. In the Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about judgment like its poison. If a person is cruel to you, they spread emotional poison. When we react or plot revenge then we are using their poison within us. It’s similar to “stooping down to their level.”

Also, as you notice the source of criticism, think about that person’s story.

Is there a loss of love in their life?

Has struggle been a mainstay for them?

Are they under immense stress and are lacking in self-care? Although it may be hard to get these answers, remember this: Hurt people hurt people. Click To Tweet

Someone who is hurting from shame, abandonment, insecurities, or whatever, may feel more comfortable passing off that hurt to someone else. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “misuse of our word.” He says that when you hear a bad opinion and you believe it, you make an agreement with it.

Within these last two posts I have highlighted 6 coping skills to help with burnout or family stress. Changing our thinking patterns, focusing on our needs and actively speaking up for our needs can help minimize these issues.

Be pro-active and get comfortable with these coping skills before you are forced into reactive mode!!

Which coping skills have worked for you in the past? How have you survived burnout? 

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Part 1: Coping Skills For Family Stress & Burnout

Regardless of the source of stress in your life, having strong coping skills are the solution.

It’s not just about KNOWING what coping skills are, but actively USING them. Make them as routine as brushing your teeth or charging your phone.

In this 2-part series we’ll highlight family stress and burnout and specific examples of coping skills.

1.Take good care of your body – This means avoiding fast food or junk food, getting adequate sleep and drinking healthy fluids. If you suffer from “emotional eating” this is crucial. If a family member is criticizing you or stressing you out, it may be natural to run to the cupboard or convenience store for chips or cookies. Don’t feed into the negativity (literally).

coping skills

If you notice that you eat more at night because of loneliness, family stress or crappy eating patterns all day, then change up your routine. Stay away from the kitchen, keep busy during these trigger times and keep healthier options close by (low sodium popcorn, nuts, apples). If you need more information on eating disorders here is the National Eating Disorders website.

If you suffer from burnout you may think that “rewarding” yourself with cupcakes or wine every night is your “coping method” for surviving another day. WRONG! Wine in moderation is ok, if you don’t have a history of addiction. (If alcohol consumption becomes too much of a routine, please call 211 to seek help in your area and/or refer to the SAMHSA website.)

What helps me keep cravings at bay is refusing to keep unhealthy treats at home. If I want a snack at night its either popcorn or nuts. I don’t buy Cheetos, Oreos, pastries or my other faves. A personal trainer once told me that exercise isn’t the only key to staying in shape. Everything we put in our mouth determines our energy for the next day. I once struggled through a tough workout and we pinned the root of that struggle to Doritos. Ouch. He made me pay for that one!

2.Set a boundary – If you’re unsure about the benefit of setting boundaries please refer to my previous post on this topic.

Regardless of whether your stress is due to family issues or burnout, sit down and decide what you’re going to STOP doing. Have you signed on to do too much? Although it may be too late to completely jump out of a project/task, think of how you can either delegate it or make the task easier. For future reference, if you’re upset that you’re the only one who signed on for this project, consider how many times you say YES. Be upset with yourself, not anyone else.

In short, if you’re resentful about what you signed on to do, you are not going to perform at 100%. If you’re muttering under your breath about it, either buck up and accept it or delegate it so you don’t become overwhelmed.

This coping skill is ESSENTIAL with the holidays around the corner. Instead of showing up to make OTHER people happy, show up for yourself. Click To Tweet

Boundaries give you breathing room.

Do you need breathing room? Then you need boundaries NOW!

3.Get Organized – This coping skill may help you feel more in control. There’s nothing more powerful than an accountability list -even if that list only has 1 thing on it.

Burned out? Write down one activity you can do for yourself this week that will take your mind off your stresses, even if for one hour. Seems silly? Wrong. You just made yourself a priority.

What’s an activity that can take your mind off everything? Sitting outside, watching one of your favorite movies without browsing through your phone, using Do Not Disturb on your phone while you bathe, nap, shower or cooking a favorite home cooked meal w/ your favorite music in the background. This may sound like a self-care list (there I go name dropping again) but being in control of your life helps minimize burnout.

If you have a to-do list that’s out of control rename this list your action list or your intention list. Personally, I enjoy making lists but even I got turned off by the word “to-do.” I call mine an action list and I always include feel good tasks in there.

coping skills

What’s a coping skill you can commit to this week?

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