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What to Do for Burnout: 3 Principles of Self-Care

You're heading toward burnout, or you know someone who is—which is why you might be reading this article. Burnout is all too common. Especially in a global society where we spend most of our time working, then trying to fall asleep, all the while, stressing about all the work that still needs to be done, and then waking back up to do it all over again 5 days in a 7-day week.

Why is it that we spend most of our lives working instead of living? Or, is it that life is to be so much as work and then die? Shouldn't we be aiming to fill our lives with meaningful, joyful experiences? I mean, doesn't just being alive have enough problems—conflict, disappointments, heartbreak, and a plethora of other responsibilities. I always urge to others the benefits of having a career that you love. It has been said, "If you find a job you love, you never work a day in your life."

Now, I understand that there are many people who are feeling stuck right now, and that is completely okay. Remember when I was talking about all the problems life has? Being stuck is a very common one. If you are feeling stuck and maybe not yet at the point of burnout, the 3 principles of self-care will still apply to you too. These three principles can help you protect yourself from and during burnout in your career. I will discuss each one individually.

The 3 Principles of Self-Care

1) Plan

The first principle is to plan. To care for yourself, you must create a space for this to happen. You must set aside a time yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, or multiple times a day if necessary to cater to your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs. We all have these needs according to renowned American psychologist Abraham Maslow who explored the human hierarchy of needs. Within this hierarchy, we all have basic needs that must be fulfilled for us to experience true fulfillment. The issue is that most people utilize so much time, energy, and resources trying to fulfill the lower level needs and unintentionally neglect the higher level needs. This creates an imbalance and leads to feelings of burnout. Planning to invest your time, energy, and resources on the higher level needs, ironically, is what helps you overcome burnout.

2) Prioritize

The second principle of self-care to avoid burnout is to prioritize. This means scheduling a time to invest in yourself and then protecting that time ferociously. To commit to yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. When you truly take your time, energy, and resources to uplift yourself and commit to that, you put yourself in the best possible position to grow. Like a plant with deeply embedded roots, committing itself to be grounded, and not be easily uprooted, when you hold firmly to your commitment to yourself, you set yourself up to continuously grow. Prioritize this commitment to yourself to the highest extent possible.

3) Prosper

The final principle is to prosper. When you practice the first two principles, you're setting yourself up for success. The final step is all about keeping the momentum going. Prospering is about moving forward, not reverting back to old habits or holding yourself back due to external factors like unhealthy relationships, substances, guilt or shame, excuses, or other distractions.

When you plan, prioritize and become prosperous in your pursuit of self-care, it becomes the solution that extinguishes your burnout. Talking about this with a therapist can help you sort out your thoughts to determine what this looks like for you. The therapist can also help you determine which elements stand in your way to fulfillment, and they can help you navigate and overcome them. Especially with burnout, sometimes it just takes another person to share their light to ignite in us a burning with passion once again.

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Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Cincinnati therapist and a Cincinnati Marriage Counselor.

Sam offers therapy in Cincinnati and Cincinnati Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety.

Sam was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English And Cornell university , Yahoo News, USA Today,,

Naya Clinics is a top-rated Marriage Counseling, therapy and Life coaching practice.

Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world.

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