Top 5 Tips For Preventing Burnout - The Spirit Stock Network

Co-Authors: Tumaini & Fonna (@tulymaimouna & @fonnatasha on instagram)

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burn·out noun

1. a fire that is totally destructive of something.

2. Also, burn-out. fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.


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Danger. Danger.

Bad habits that feel like home.


When I read the following poem by Yrsa Daley-Ward, I interpret the words as behaviors that I used to cling to that were unhealthy for me.


In my experience of engaging in community work (in previous years, working in the youth arts sector has been my way of healing the world), I've been pushed to the brim and added countless tasks onto my plate. After having many emotional breakdowns and feeling insufficient, unsuccessful, unworthy, and a plethora of other feelings, I started changing my priorities and forcing self-care towards the top of my to-do list. 


Tumaini and I are "accountability buddies". After swimming on Sunday afternoons we will have work dates with snacks and lots of body breaks. We wanted to share our top tips for preventing burnout. 


5) Batch Tasking

Don't mistake this for multi-tasking! Multi-tasking looks like trying to balance an emotionally intense phone call with a friend who just broke up with their partner, scrolling through Facebook, and cooking a large meal for a potluck - all at one time. Your attention is scattered and when all is done, your food dish may taste amazing but your friend may have not felt fully supported or heard during the call. We are fans of having you unplug in order to get your tasks done. We challenge you to put on a timer for 25 minutes and work on ONE thing without distractions (no music either), preferably something on your to-do list that you've been putting off such as updating your website or drafting an application to a grant due next month. 


4) Know Your Body

If you are around me when I'm tired and hungry, heed caution. I am grumpy, will read you to filth (which is very different than throwing shade), and feel no remorse about the pain I inflicted. My secret weapon is to have a sugary snack at all times, such as a lollipop or gum, to temporarily decrease my hunger. I will also shamelessly fall asleep anywhere. I've fallen asleep in the middle of a club with music blaring, in the middle of a group conversation, on public transportation, and more. It took years to acknowledge and learn my bodily needs, but once I got them down (in my early 20's) I know how to take care of them properly.


3) Moments of Meditation

There are countless types of meditation (outside of seated meditation). Whether it is moving meditation such as tai-chi, or mantra meditation/prayer, or giving your full attention to food as you chew it. As long as you give yourself moments of quiet time, we applaud your effort.


2) Have Fun

In the past, have you felt guilty for prioritizing pleasure, leisure, and/or fun? Me too. After an intense day, balancing laughter and joy is a major key to reducing burnout. Some days pleasure and leisure looked like having great sex, indulging in a delicious glass of wine, going clubbing, taking nudes, going for a walk in the nearest park, stretching your body, etc. I recently felt guilty for watching a comedy on Netflix when I knew I had tons of items on my to-do list and looming deadlines. But after the full hour of non-stop laughter, I felt ready to get back into grind mode.


1) Say "No"

Try not to give into the fear of missing out (FOMO) and instead live within your limit. If you do not want something, it is always okay to say no. It can look like: nope, no thank you, not right now, maybe another time, thanks but I'd rather not, I currently don't have the capacity, apologies I have to go wash and moisturize my hair, connect with me when I'm back in town, it's not my strong point but I can connect you to other folks, I'm not able to commit right now, naw. We hope these suggestions are included in your self-care regimen. Learn from our mistakes and take care of all parts of your body. And remember, it is okay if you need to take things slow. Changes are not meant to happen quickly and easily, it takes


We hope these suggestions are included in your self-care regimen. Learn from our mistakes and take care of all parts of your body. And remember, it is okay if you need to take things slow. Changes are not meant to happen quickly and easily, it takes time to adjust to a radically different routine. If you want to read more about self-care and avoiding burnout, we recommend this amazing toolkit by ArtReach!


If you want to read more about self-care and avoiding burnout, we recommend this amazing toolkit by ArtReach!

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