How to Break the Pattern of Burn Out

Many of us in the Yellow community have a million things going on, right? Maybe you’re working a day job and a side hustle. Or you might be an entrepreneur working at a coffee shop to get by. Perhaps you’re a mom too. Plus, you’re probably involved in a community or might spend time volunteering. Not to mention, you try to exercise, stay healthy, spend time with your partner, have a social life, and find time to rest!

Sure, there are so many useful books, articles, and podcasts on building a daily schedule that will increase your productivity, help avoid stress, and prevent the dreaded burn out. However, it’s super important that we get really intentional about creating a schedule that works for us as individuals if we want to truly protect ourselves from exhaustion in both work and relationships.

Here’s why. We all know that girl, right? The one who is somehow everywhere, doing everything, all the time - and we don’t know how she does it. She might have some valuable tips for us on how to increase productivity and success, but we know we simply cannot have a schedule modeled after her’s. We are all different. We cannot compare ourselves to each other this way. Each of us have our own circumstances and strengths, and those are deserving of a tailored routine. To begin forming a schedule that works best for you, start here:

Take Control

It’s easy for us as women to let others determine how we spend our days. Bosses, husbands, children, in-laws, friends - they all require attention and care. Of course, to a certain extent, this is normal and good (you have to show up at work when your boss needs you, just like you must pick your kids up before daycare closes).  But stop for a moment and ask yourself this: how many non-required parts of your day are still under the control of someone else? How often are you saying yes when you should be saying no?

It’s not always easy at first, but give yourself permission to take control of your schedule. After all, how we spend our days is how we spend our life. And this is YOUR life, so make it what you want it to be and give yourself what you need.

Know Your Personality Type

This is one of the most powerful, but often overlooked, factors to consider when creating your schedule.  For the longest time, I could have sworn to you I was 99% extroverted. But, I also burned myself out over and over again during this time. It took me years to realize that part of the reason I was so severely exhausted was because I never took any alone time to recharge. After realizing how introverted I am in this way, it completely changed the way I view and spend my time!

When I began to implement more alone time into my schedule instead of cramming it full with meeting after meeting, the burnout cycles (and stress) eased up.  The Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram are two of the most helpful personality tests you can take. Knowing your personality type, digging into what motivates you, and really getting to know yourself is crucial for living a balanced life.


Define What Success Means to You

Another cause of burn out can be that we’re working toward someone else’s version of success. If you’re constantly around a team of people who work their butts off to become rich but money isn’t important to you, then you’re likely going to lose steam really quickly.

So, what does success mean to you? Optimum physical health? A happy marriage? A certain amount of money and stability? A particular role at work? While it’s likely that all of these things are important to us at once, we have to prioritize what is most important at the time. Your definition can certainly combine multiple aspects, but try to keep your focus on 2-3 things so you can work on them effectively. Remember that your definition will change with the seasons, so feel the freedom to change your commitments along the way.

By being confident in how you define success, it will be easier to determine your priorities on a smaller scale. The clarity you have will help create the most effective schedule, and the healthiest balance in your life. For example, say your coworker asks you to grab a drink after work. If you’ve already decided that physical health is your most important focus right now, it is okay to say you can’t make happy hour today and get to your exercise class instead.

Don’t Do It Alone

Whether with a friend, sister, coach, or partner, communicate your needs and have someone to keep you accountable and cheer you on. When push comes to shove and real life hits, it’s easy to give up our priorities at the demand of others. There will surely be necessary sacrifices here and there, but remember that not honoring your desires begins to wear on us. So, don’t be afraid to get help and encouragement along the way!

Are you experiencing emotional or physical burnout from an out-of-control schedule? How can you better honor who you are and get more balance in your life by adjusting it?

Photos by: Valerie Moreno


Abigail Davidson

Life & Wellness Coach at The School of Wellbeing

Abigail Davidson is a life and wellness coach at The School of Wellbeing and loves helping others become their happiest and healthiest selves. She is also the Co-Founder of Seven Seeds, an online marketplace connecting conscious consumers with social impact businesses. In her free time, you can find her riding her bike, practicing yoga, and reading way too many books at one time. She hails from Cincinnati, OH and currently lives in Sacramento, CA.