Preventing Burnout

This article is really interesting to read about preventing burnout. The Mindfulness MBSR course has been proven to help with this, and after the course, when people feel challenged, they have the resources to bounce back at a quicker rate and to potentially be less reactive to a situation or person and more responsive. Mindfulness can help to build resilience.

Self Care

Self-care is something that most of us forget about. Our focus and attention tends to goes on other people; our children, friends, family members. Perhaps we have the belief that that other people are in need of our support more than us, or perhaps we find it easier to focus on another person’s problems than to pay attention to our own problems? Unless we take care of ourselves, how can we expect to have the capacity to look after and to help others? We cannot run on an empty fuel tank and we are not invincible, we are human. This can be easy to understand, but difficult to do. So how can we look after ourselves? Taking breaks, taking time out for ourselves, even for a few minutes throughout the day can really help to reset our minds and bodies, allowing us to continue for longer. Do you remember the adverts with the Duracell bunny?  Recharging can be useful and can be done by simply going for a walk, talking to a friend, reading a few pages of a book, whatever healthy and positive activity that you enjoy.



A lot of us find ourselves worrying about things, and if we’re not worrying about something, then we worry about the fact that we’re not worrying about something! Does this sound familiar? You are are not alone! Jon Kabat-Zinn says that “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you”. Perhaps take a moment now, to stop whatever it is you are doing and guide your focus onto your breath, taking three breaths in and out. Allow yourself to gently notice the breath as it enters the body through the nasal passages, follow the breath as it travels down through the body to the abdominal or ‘belly’, and follow the breath back up through the body and out through the nasal passages. Perhaps than ask yourself, “What’s wrong with this moment?”.  “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you”.



Self-Doubt and Confidence

Many of us suffer from self-doubt, which can lead to a lack in confidence. It’s like the monkey or devil on our shoulder that incessantly tells us “You can’t do that”, “You’re rubbish at that”, “It might not work”, “It’s too risky”. The element of questioning, if used wisely, can give us clarity of thinking, but when the negativity drowns out the positivity, it can be detrimental to our self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.

It will probably come as no surprise that, if in childhood, we are given negative messages by our parents, we begin to question ourselves. This might come in the simple form of not being allowed to question a parent and that the parent is always right, or from continuous nagging and put-downs. Turning the doubt around can be tremendously difficult, but it is possible. If we are gentle and kind to ourselves, we can make space to replace the self-doubt with confidence, so that the things we tell ourselves are positive; “You can do this!”, “You’ve got this!”, “It’s worth a try!”, “You have nothing to lose!”, “Go for it!”

This simple breathing exercise can help us to focus on the positive. When you breathe in, allow your mind to think of all the things you are good at, and when you breathe out, let go of all the self-doubt and negativity. If this feels difficult, try for 5 days, to write down 5 pleasant experiences you’ve had each day. For example, it could be that you went for a coffee with a colleague at lunchtime, or you ate a delicious chocolate bar. If we choose to focus on the pleasant, joyful things in life,  we can learn or re-learn how to feel confident.



Perseverance can help us to overcome the fear of failure. The act of continuing and trying again can increase our resistance to the word fail, or the feeling of failure. As Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers once sang “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!” We may need to change our thought process from “I can’t” or “There’s no point, it will only fail” to “At least I tried” or “There’s no harm in giving it a go. You never know what might happen”. It may seem like a small change but if we are feeling particularly negative or low, it’s a gentle way of re-wiring. We can unlearn our unhelpful habits in the same way that we learn them, by using positive self-talk. By repeating positive words and thoughts like those above, we can alter and embed a new way of thinking and this can have a positive affect on our state of mind.