Balance vs Burnout
October 10 2019 12:25 AM
Shefa Ali
Shefa Ali

By Shefa Ali

This week on my Instagram live show Swalif (chit chat in Arabic), we talked about staying balanced so you can avoid burning yourself out. It seems we are living in crazy busy times, so much to do, so little time and not enough energy. We have more technology that is supposed to make our lives easier, but somehow it just ends up stressing us out even more.
So many of us live our lives on autopilot, out of touch with our body and soul, do we even know what burnout feels like? Is it possible to become immune to stress and its signs?
Burnout can show up in many ways; lack of interest, difficultly in sleeping, excessive worrying, low energy and exhaustion, a lack of appetite, high stress and anxiety. You may even notice yourself being more negative than usual.
It is important to recognise your breaking point. A lot of people will tell you it’s impossible to unplug, so burnout is almost inevitable. However, it’s important to know when you’re close to or at a burnout stage. Something as simple as taking a day off, or having a fun night out with friends can help to take the edge off.
Balance has been a buzzword for a while now and it’s great, it’s really important, but what I strive for is harmony. I value finding passion and harmony in my life and work by being connected to and caring for my clients, family and friends and making a difference in their lives. I would burn out way faster working five hours a day at a job that was hurting my soul than I would working 15 hours a day at a job that’s feeding my soul.
It’s also a great idea to schedule free time. I write out my weekly schedule every Saturday afternoon, these days I am very mindful about scheduling free time on my calendar, just like I would schedule a meeting and I am mindful about sticking to it. It’s crucial to take the time we need for ourselves, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. You’ll get back to work and life feeling recharged and inspired, chances are, you’ll accomplish a lot more than you would if you worked straight through the day.
I also make it a point to fill my day with joy, and that could look like laughter with a friend, talking to my nephews, yoga, meditation or simply enjoying a homemade lemon grass and ginger tea in my favourite cup.
Prioritising also is a creative strategy, when I make myself a priority; I find I function better in the other areas of my life. When you create harmony within the different areas of your life, it’s hard for burnout to creep in.

The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa,  Website:

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