The Focus On You

Self-Care Is A Lifestyle

Tag: burnout (page 2 of 2)

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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My Theory On Procrastinators: Is This You?

Originally posted on September 9, 2015

Just for the record, I don’t consider myself a procrastinator. I’m an over-planner, which is its own beast!! But I have dealt with many clients who beat themselves up for procrastinating.

Mind you, we all have procrastinating tendencies but some people take this to an extreme.

Who am I NOT talking about with this post:

  • People with chronic illness or disease and people struggling with mental illness. If a person is clinically depressed, daily tasks are put aside and isolation becomes the norm. If you have chronic illness, like myself, daily tasks could get muddled down to, “should I shower or not?”

What’s my problem with procrastinators? I wouldn’t say that I have a problem with them but as a sociologist and therapist I observe behavior all day long.

The common thread I notice with most procrastinators is that they don’t know how to relax. Click To Tweet


Procrastinators don’t practice self-care with ease. Having free time can be uncomfortable for them. Operating under stress or a deadline is more comforting. Maybe they feel more valued or important if they are pressured into completing five tasks in one night. And after procrastinating on SO many aspects of their life, it’s exhausting to tackle just one task.

In college I had friends who studied for finals only on finals week. Some friends wrote their papers or exams up until the hour that class started. I saw people stress out over their printer malfunctioning at 7am! I sat quietly and watched in amazement.

Maybe my personality type isn’t cut out for that type of stress. I choose not to work in upper management for that reason. Plus, I find satisfaction in working one-on-one with mental health clients.

I have observed procrastinators during moments of downtime and they look pretty uncomfortable.


Unsure of what to do.

Maybe they’re addicted to work and routine? Days off might be unsettling for them.

With the popularity of Netflix, they’re likely to be a binge watcher. It’s uncomfortable for me to binge. I want something to look forward to tomorrow, this week, next weekend. I can’t sit that long and go nowhere. If I’m sitting that long I better be landing in New York or Cancun!

I write about procrastinators because I worry about how they may be living in extremes. (I write about the danger of living in extremes .)  Doing too much with too little time leads to burnout. Burnout CAN be avoided!

Let me say that again: Burnout CAN be avoided.

If you feel burnt out after procrastinating on something maybe this is why.

If you want to change these habits change up your schedule.

Talk to a professional. Seek advice from a trusted friend who ISN’T a procrastinator. If you’re a college student your campus’ student resource center or tutoring services may be able to help with this.

In short, if procrastinators are not good at self-care, then this blog will be popular for a long time. Unless they forget to read this!

Do you feel that procrastinating is getting in the way of accomplishing your goals?



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