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Avoiding Burnout

How to identify the source of your potential burnout—and 3 yogic ways to reenergize.

BY Dakota Sexton ON June 18, 2013

Got stress? An intensive week of work can make you feel exhausted, tired, and definitely not excited—about anyone, or anything. We all know that feeling. It doesn’t just knock out your passion to work hard for one day, it seems like it has a domino effect—on your relationships, your sense of worth, even your hobbies and your health.

If your job is stressful, take a moment and dig a little deeper: do you resent your work? does it take away from what you really love to do?

I’ve definitely learned that about my own health. I was diagnosed with a chronic pain and fatigue disorder when I was 20, and it caused me to consider doing everything from dropping out of college to quitting all the things I loved, just to avoid any additional stress. But after graduating with honors, taking an internship at a yoga magazine, and pursuing several other notable hobbies—I’ve realized the error of my ways.

Just because you think you might be stressed, doesn’t mean you have to quit.

According to Yahoo’s recently-appointed powerhouse CEO (and expectant mother) Marissa Meyer, avoiding burnout “isn’t about getting three square meals or eight hours of sleep. It’s not even necessarily about getting time at home.” What is it about? How much resentment we feel, she says. Or in other words, how we feel about and approach our own weekly schedule and our professional or personal obligations.

Attitude, they say, is everything. So here’s the deal: if your job is stressful, take a moment and dig a little deeper: do you resent your work? does it take away from what you really love to do? Try examining why you resent your job—what’s it taking you away from exactly, says Meyer, and then “protect that.” What does that mean, exactly?

In one of Meyer’s examples, she says that one employee never lets his job interfere with a weekly potluck with friends. You might have something similarly “sacred” to commit to in your own life. No matter what it is, a commitment to your outside life can be the key to helping you feel jonesed abou tcommiting to a challenging project—instead of just exhausted and angry.

Here are a few other ideas to mix it up and reenergize:

Squeeze a 10- to 15-minute yoga practice into your day (at least one or twice a week.) Try Jason Crandell’s 10-Minute Yoga Practice to get you started. (YI contributor Kate Hanley wrote that article—thanks, Kate!)

Check out yoga teacher Karina Mirsky’s favorite yoga poses and her tips on how to practice in the shower. You don’t have to carve out an hour and half to feel relaxed. But set a time—10 minutes, 20 minutes or whatever works—and stick to it.

ABOUT Dakota Sexton Dakota Sexton is a freelance writer, designer, and the former Web Director of Yoga International magazine. For more of her stories, click here.

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