7 Ways to Avoid Burnout & Stay Motivated


7 Ways to Avoid Burnout & Stay Motivated | You know that feeling on the edge of burnout? You can feel it creeping up on you, the motivation starting to fade, overwhelm kicking in. You’ve been going and going and you can’t remember the last time you really took a day off. I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing I learned in quarantine, it’s that I don’t slow down nearly enough.

I have what feels like a never ending to do list, and despite the fact that I know I can’t, I’m constantly trying to complete it. In the end, all I do is burn through my energy. This year, I’ve decided no more. Time to get on top of my own schedule, plan ahead, and protect my mental and emotional stability.

What I’ve discovered is that with some intentional planning and good communication, it’s entirely possible to avoid burnout. These 7 steps are easily incorporated into your daily life, and will improve your health, relationships, and motivation. Don’t wait until it’s too late to pull yourself back from the edge.

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avoid burnout stay motivated | how to motivate yourself, self motivate, stay productive

7 Ways to Avoid Burnout & Stay Motivated

Set Boundaries

First up, possibly the easiest way to avoid burning out is to simply say no to things. Overscheduling yourself, taking on too many projects, and even planning too many girls nights can be incredibly damaging. Even life giving things will become draining if you don’t set boundaries around them.

Friendships, relationships, and families all require clear boundaries. We all have different needs, and no one will anticipate yours if you don’t communicate them. If setting boundaries in a healthy way is intimidating or overwhelming, check out this how-to blog post herethis method has saved my life.

If you need a night alone, take it. Don’t be afraid to cancel plans here and there. You can’t pour out of an empty cup, and you don’t have to apologize for taking care of yourself.

Live Intentionally

Yes, this is a broad statement, but it will save you. Intentional living is choosing to put purpose into each thought, action, and moment. Working towards any goal you have, including avoiding burnout, is made much easier when you pay attention to how your small choices impact where you end up.

Trying to avoid burnout is a lot harder to do if you’re already on the edge of it. The key to staying motivated is to build healthy rhythms into your life so you don’t end up on the edge. Taking time to listen to your mind and body before they end up screaming at you.

Remove things, time sucking habits, and unhealthy areas of your life. If you don’t want to invest it, why are you doing just that? I wrote a blog post here on how to simplify you life and live intentionally that explains this a bit more.

Practice Self Care

Self care is a cornerstone of caring for your mental health. It can look like literally anything that is restorative for you, but in my experience, turning off your phone is a great way to start.

What feels peaceful for you? Are you a reader, a painter, a musician? Create space for yourself to just relax and exist. No pressure to come out with anything completed, no to do list to check off.

Read a book, take a bath, take up journalling. Let your mind process and feel and deal with everything that you’re experiencing the rest of the time.

Check out these 30+ simple self care ideas you can do at home here.

Pay Attention to Your Needs

This should be the most obvious on the list, but it’s also the one that most of us are the worst at. More often than not, we as humans tend to ignore our needs until we can’t. Rather than simply taking small breaks every day/week, most of us opt to go until we can’t… a guaranteed way to burn out.

Keep track of what seems to drain you and what lifts you up. Pay attention to what you need. Avoid burnout by looking at the little things and finding balance.

Ask for Help

Ask for help. You weren’t meant to do life alone, and putting that burden on yourself won’t help you do it effectively.

If you’ve got a crazy week, are feeling overwhelmed, or just need a hand, reach out. The people that love you will be more than happy to step up and help you out. Get a friend to drop off groceries, take a couple days off of work, have someone else pick up the kids.

It’s okay to know your limits and choose health over running into the ground. You don’t need to apologize for existing.

Start a Gratitude Journal

I will forever recommend gratitude journalling. It’s a practice that grounds your mind, heart, and perspective in one of thankfulness. There’s science to support how physically writing down what you’re thankful for can change the way you see the world around you.

Gratitude journalling itself won’t entirely prevent you from burning out, but it’ll give you a lot more energy and motivation on an everyday basis. How you approach things has a lot to do with how they affect you, so regardless of how full your calendar is, make a point to recognize the great things in your life.

(Free Gratitude Journal printables here!)

Get a Planner

Finally… get a planner. Write out your to-do list, schedule, and calendar. This provides you with some sense of control, and also gives you a physical representation of how full your calendar is. Rather than being overwhelmed, use it to adjust, alter, and make changes (if necessary).

I’m a big planner & have tried just about every one on the market — if you’re looking to pick one up, I highly recommend the STIL 18 month planner. I don’t have an affiliate link for them, I just really love their planner. Not only does it have space to schedule your life, but it has designated spots for goal setting, tracking, and self care. Love to see it.

It’s my hope & belief that any and all of these steps will help you immensely in avoiding burnout. Don’t waste this time in your life, unable to enjoy it because of overdoing it. Set your boundaries, be intentional, take time for yourself, and plan ahead.

For more content on intentional living, relationships, and mindset, check out the blog here or sign up for a biweekly email to catch you up on what you’ve missed!

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