Many of my clients have spent most of their lives giving to others and typically, if that’s led to burnout, then the challenge for them is learning to equally value their own needs. Many times we don’t recognize the downstream effects of the way that we fail to take care of ourselves until we hit the brick wall.
When our tank is empty that directly impacts how we feel, think and perform. Burnout leaves us feeling exhausted and unable to cope. That kind of emotional fatigue that comes from caring too much for too long about too many things can have a variety of negative impacts on our health, relationships, and work.
Often when the subject of burnout comes up with clients the solution tends to veer towards wanting to do better with diet, exercise, improving sleep, and more downtime. Those things all help but clients are often surprised to find out that from my perspective the root of overcoming burnout is setting boundaries.
This involves paying attention to your needs and saying no to people and demands so that you can say yes to your own emotional, physical, and mental well-being. A boundary can reinforce and affirm what is you. It’s a way to draw a line around who you are and what you want to focus on and prioritize in life. When we establish boundaries, we cultivate respect for ourselves—the respect to give ourselves what we need.
Setting boundaries is a key high-performance skill because it’s an area that we can control. Ultimately, when we put our own oxygen mask on first before helping others, we show love to ourselves and communicate to ourselves and others that we are valuable.