A DIY solution to burnout ought to create a life you’re content with rather than one that drains you. The point is to include things you like and things that give you energy rather than drain you of energy and consume all your time as you’re just longing to do what you want (if there’s even enough time and energy to long for it anymore…). You want to solve the problems that consume all your time and will to live – to enable you to thrive… or simply just live in peace.
In large, it’s a lot about how you design your life, but if you’re here, I’m guessing you’ve fallen down a few notches since you peaked your life satisfaction. When that’s the case, and you’re getting closer to someone who needs therapy to get back on track, I usually first point to The Book: https://mbdolor.com/book/ to get some insight into how the heck one could get up from down there. This will point to a couple of quick things you could do where the book tries to cover a lot of things far deeper, so you get a decent enough understanding to treat yourself better.
If you don’t really have a clue, it could be helpful to get some insight into WHY we get burnout. Here’s a blog post about that:
In the earlier post about treating burnout I refer to that life-design a lot and I mainly reason about how burnout is solved by SOLVING LIFE. Life in and of itself isn’t a problem, but it sure consists of plenty of them. That is how you need to think in my opinion as you look at life in a troubleshooting manner. “Where am I troubled, and how can I solve it?”
But except for solving things and using the bird’s-eye view to do things long-term, you could, of course, add some useful short-term tools on top of that. Life consists of a lot of short-term moments that turn into the long term over time, so the short-term is not to be neglected!
Spend time on a hobby and do something you like, rather than something you’ve GOT TO DO.
Exercise with a focus on cardio is covered in one of the bigger chapters in the book because it’s so valuable. This works great to ventilate stress and blow off some steam. It won’t solve the PROBLEM if you’ve got a tangible one that stresses you, but it will help you get a more comfortable feeling afterward, or perhaps even quite soon after beginning. So, If you’re to use one thing to mitigate the stress response, rather than solving what causes it, I’d say use cardio. Run, use your old bike, swim, do any sports, whatever it might be – or lift something decently heavy a bunch of times. I try to implement this into all of my clients’ lives as soon as possible when we start. For the people I tend to who live close to me, we often move WHILE discussing things. Why not have a clear, calm mind while talking about the miseries of life? The magic of cardio works excellent for less stress and anxiety.
Me-time, being alone and being comfortable while resting or doing your thing. Always being considerate of others could take its toll, particularly if you’re an introvert. Being by yourself and doing what you want is okay.
Sauna. More and more studies show that it’s got somewhat similar effects to working out. I find this one quite cozy even though I don’t use it a lot. A good temperature mixed with cold showers, perhaps an enjoyable drink, the right company and nowhere else to be in the world for the rest of the evening could be a really relaxing time.
Cold showers might be similar to saunas. Is it the workout for the cardiovascular system that makes a difference, or is it something else? Those who practice these for a while to get to the good part seem to get a lot out of it. It does seem to be a bit like working out where you have to get used to it before you like it however…
Decrease social media and get some peace of mind.
Peace and quiet, nothing and no stimulus from the rest of the world could do wonders.
Sex has worked as a relief of stress for quite some time.
But all of this goes together with handling everything that was ruined. Life was a castle – stress ruined that – and now you’ll have to rebuild the crumbled pile. If there’s anxiety now, that might not go away just from me-time. Perhaps you could get distracted from that anxiety by having sex – but that’s just avoiding the fact that something bothers you. That’ll bite you in the ass afterward. Perhaps your relationship is horrible after “all of this”, and now you’ll have to patch it together… Or break up, move and rebuild the castle elsewhere. Perhaps there’s terrible insomnia haunting you at night. You’ll have to do something about that. This is where cognitive behavioral therapy comes in. That’s a lovely solution for trouble with sleep and anxiety. The relationship? Well, that’s a question about facing fears and getting a grip on life, taking responsibility, and going in your valued direction. What do you value, where do you want life to go, and what’s important to you? Those are significant parts of life – and something I often have to dig in quite a lot with people.
These are big things and a lot of them are uncomfortable. I guess that’s why it’s helpful to have someone by your side as you’re going through it.
Some prefer to listen to podcasts or read blogs and some people prefer to go big or go home at once – for real and in the most brutal way – where I’ve had people who’ve reached out to get coaching one on one as a last resort after feeling they’ve tried everything else – and planned to end themselves if that didn’t work either. Luckily for me, it worked when that was the case. So getting help personally is another alternative, and likely the best one, I’d say – and I don’t say that because it’s what I do, but because of the cool results I see from really changing things up.
We – or preferably you – could learn something from that. Something you could apply to both the life-design and the smaller DIY solution where you’re doing the little things to increase the quality of life. When you do try to change and it’s tricky – find someone to hold you accountable! If you’re just you and you’re tired and everything sucks it’s far harder to get things done. Kids wouldn’t do their homework without a teacher there keeping an eye out and most employees would likely take longer breaks if no one noticed. Be honest about that and accept it. That’s fine, because if you KNOW that’s how you work – and you adapt to that by having that someone, you’ve solved the problem.