Conquer burnout: recapture your joy in work and life

Are you burned out? It’s the end of the year, and you may have had a tough or challenging time. Perhaps, you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, depleted. Now, there’s a way to conquer burnout—that feeling that you have nothing more to give—and recapture your energy, joy, and motivation again. Apply these tips to your life and get back on track to a powerful new year:

*Focus on Your Don: All of us have a “Don”—a God-given gift or ability. It may be teaching, writing, business, science, the arts, working with your hands, or taking care of people. This is the activity or ability that comes natural to you and brings you joy. Focus on doing more of it at work, or find work that allows you to express your passion and talent on a daily basis. Even if you only exercise your Don as a hobby, the energy and joy that comes when you do it will fill you up and reduce any feelings of doubt and frustration.

*Say “No” to Overcommitment: Maybe you’re a people-pleaser who finds it hard to turn down assignments at work or unwelcome social invitations. If you have a hard time saying “No” to people, start by saying “No” to small requests for time, money, or energy. Say “No” to people who want to gossip and waste your time; say “No” to tasks that are better delegated to people who can do them better than you. As you do this, you will begin to liberate your time and energy for the things that really matter—your loved ones, your passions, and your health and spiritual practice.

*Practice Self-Compassion: Take time out every day to take care of yourself—mentally, physically, and spiritually. Recognize your “resistant” point—the moment when you have no more energy for a task or social encounter. When you reach that point, stop and take a break. Get a massage, facial, or go shopping. Write, read, meditate, listen to music. Exercise, engage in a spiritual or meditative practice, spend time with animals, children, or loved ones, take an excursion into nature. Tell yourself that you have done enough work for the day; you have dealt with enough problems or difficult people; now it’s time to take care of yourself and recharge your batteries.

*Take a Power Nap: One of our greatest inventors, Thomas Edison, had over 1000 patents, including the incandescent light built. His secret: Power naps. Although he only slept a few hours a night, he would take periodic 15 minute naps during the day to energize himself so he could get back to his creative and brain intensive work. You can do the same. Perhaps, you can put a cot in your office, or go to a park or quiet place where you can take a short nap during the day. Doing so will re-energize you and get your back on track for a great day.

*Give Love Without Expectations: This is one of the greatest secrets, not just to reduce burnout, but to live a fantastic and contribution-filled life. It is also a great reversal. When you’re feeling burned-out, find a burned-out person and help them feel better—give them comfort, advice, and practical help (maybe help them organize their office or house). If you’re lonely or broke, find a person who is lonelier and more broke, and help them in any way you can. By doing this, you will reverse your flow of energy from inward—tight, scared, frustrated—to outward: Loving, giving, and helpful. By extending your loving energy outward, you will replenish your own inner energy, and you will find that the Universe of people will often give you back more than you give them.

Yes, you can diminish and even eradicate the feeling of burn-out. You can have maximum energy, desire, and joy to live your best possible life. As the New Year arrives, decide that you will live with passion, purpose, and power, and you will not let anything get in your way. This is your year: Live with maximum power and absolute love.