Category Archives: Personal Development

5 Tips to Help Avoid Personal Burnout

For a long time, I was overweight, had high blood pressure and my doctor was concerned about my triglyceride levels.

The solution to this was simple: eat less and exercise more. However, that’s easier said than done. I’m not a Type-A personality and that’s probably the only thing that keeps my stress levels under control.

COVID-19 came along and some of life’s bus(y)ness was put on hold. My weight was at an all-time high, and it was time to do something about it. I started exercising regularly and eating less. Over the space of about six months, I was able to take off twenty-five pounds.

I still have some room to shrink and continue to maintain good habits. In addition to the weight-loss, there are other benefits. My blood pressure is under control. I’m still taking medication, but I’m not experiencing times where the numbers are high. I’m sleeping better and have more energy. And I am not stressed about things.

I’ve learn some lessons. These five behaviours are important for keeping stress under control.

1. Get enough sleep and rest.

Sleep is as important to a healthy lifestyle as eating properly and exercising. Studies have suggested that too little sleep may increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy.

2. Exercise.

Regular physical activity provides many health benefits: reducing heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases and metabolic conditions. Regular exercise is also beneficial for weight reduction and maintenance and may improve brain chemistry to reduce depression.

3. Get rid of the excess pounds.

There are many benefits to losing weight. Keeping at the ideal weight for your height will help maintain lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. You will also lower your risk of health problems such as type II diabetes and heart disease, as well as increase your life expectancy.

4. Eat a balanced diet.

A well-balanced diet is a necessary part of preserving health and reducing stress. A balanced diet includes fruit and vegetables. milk and dairy products, quantities of carbohydrates, vitamins, salts, and minerals. A resource, such as Canada’s Food Guide has all the information you need to help you eat healthy.

5. Take care when you’re ill.

Regardless of age, people are wise to undergo annual physical examinations. While annual physicals cannot ensure that a person will not become ill, the examinations often enable doctors to spot diseases in the early stages. In many cases the early detection of disease can make possible the cure or diminishing of disease.

Often, illness is the body’s way of telling you to slow down. It’s important to pay attention to the message. If you have a cold or flu, take the time to recuperate.

As I write, this is a wake-up call to me. I need to work harder to get my health and fitness under control. If you find yourself dealing with stress and burnout, look to see which of the above behaviours need adjusting.

Celebrate the Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five gold rings.

Think of the gold rings a symbolizing all that you have and share with someone in need.

  • Make a post-Christmas donation to a charity. The need is still there.
  • Go grocery shopping and donate some of your purchases to the local food bank.
  • Give some cash to a panhandler.
  • Buy a coffee for someone on the street.

As you share what you have, much more will come back to you.

Celebrate the Third Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, Three French Hens

On the church calendar, today is the feast day of St. John the Apostle (St. John the Divine). When Jesus was on the cross, he gave John the responsibility of looking after his mother, Mary.

On this day, look for ways to support, help or celebrate a mother. Perhaps a relative that was unable to make your holiday celebrations; a mother who has lost a child in the past year; or a senior who is on her own at this time of year.

  • Give them a call
  • Invite them for a meal
  • Take them out for coffee
  • Take them a gift basket
  • Volunteer to take them or run errands for them.

This can be a lonely time of year for some mothers. Look for ways to wrap them in friendship and love.

Take Time for Rest and Relaxation

It’s three days before Christmas and things are ready to go. There will be a couple of things that need to be done on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, I’m starting my day a little slower, taking time to tweak preparations for Christmas and relaxing.

You know the adage, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” You need to take a break occasionally. With Christmas around the corner, it’s a good reminder to take advantage of slow periods to step away from regular activity and recharge.

Sometimes the easiest response when you feel overloaded is to take a short break. Go for a walk. Find a quieter or a different space to work. If you’re experiencing major stress, it may be time for a vacation.

Taking a break may seem counterintuitive to getting things done, but you need energy to be productive. If you’re not eating properly; or your muscles are tight from too much time in one position; or your stress level is rising; your productivity will decrease.

You don’t have an endless supply of energy and drive. Now and again you need to take some time to re-charge your emotional and spiritual batteries.

Take a break.

Take a few minutes for lunch—away from your desk. Take a 10-minute nap or a short walk to relieve the stress. When you return to your work, you’ll have energy to tackle the job.

Take mini breaks.

If you are in a seasonal business, taking a long break at Christmas may not be practical. You can still take a few hours to hit the gym or the movies or get a facial or massage. A short weekend trip is restorative. Also, as a reminder for when things get quieter, pin up a picture of your next vacation destination.

Learn to Say No.

Often, the difference between being in control of time or time controlling us is the ability to say a simple two-letter word, no. We get caught up in a false sense of obligation: quid pro quo obligation to friends, the need to please family or performance obligations at work. In all areas of life, there are times when no is the best response.

The holiday season can put a lot of extra pressure on you. Make sure you take some time in the next couple of weeks to relax. You will be in much better shape to face the New Year.