Did you ever read an article discussing “how to avoid burnout?” I am confident that I have. I always click, save, and share articles from the Harvard Business Review blog or Fast Company.

According to recent studies, a shocking number of people are living in a state of semi-permanent burnout. Though it’s common to believe that sleeping in on weekends will balance out our missed sleep during the week, this unfortunately is not the case. The fact of the matter is, if you want to be successful in your life and career, you’re going to experience stress, and you’ll need to work hard at managing it.

What do you do when the workload at your new job is exceeding expectations, you get a new boss, and your dating life becomes busier than expected? It can be tough to get out of bed in the morning when you’re feeling exhausted, and sometimes it’s hard not to snap at your loved ones over small things. I’m certainly not perfect, but here are a few tips that help me stay motivated and keep my cool.

1. Create a Burnout Indication Catalog

Fatigue and exhaustion can sometimes sneak up on you, and the next thing you know, you’re arguing with the cashier over the price of a box of cereal. If you’re like me, leading up to a burnout moment, there are usually warning signs that even your loved ones can pick up on. For example, When I’m no longer amused by the jokes of cab drivers and instead feel my anger boil up, it’s time for me to take a break. Be sure to jot down the warning signs that you’re headed toward burnout. Are you skipping your weekly catch-up session with your best pal? Or have you been neglecting your gym time? Do you find yourself eating Snickers not only at 3 p.m. but also at 10 a.m.? To make sure your self-care routine doesn’t slip, create a list of the tools you need and refer to it often.

2. Establish a “Life Well Made” Routine

If you want to know what it takes for you to lead a fulfilling life, look no further. For me, I need more than just daily trips to the gym and eating healthier food–I also need mental stimulation regularly. I require stimulation whether it comes from an intelligent friend or a fascinating book; I need to feel like I’m constantly learning. What is something you couldn’t live without? A 10:30 p.m. bedtime is a must if you’re usually in a bad mood when trying to sleep after 11 p.m. Having a daily routine makes it simpler to get back on track when you make a mistake. If you aren’t even aware of what your goals are, it’s no surprise that you feel lost.

3. Always Have a Spare Set of Tools on Hand

To know what symptoms to watch out for in your burnout zone, as well as what type of lifestyle will best support your holistic wellness, you need a few tools at the ready. In other words, you need a plan that says, “Whenever I feel X, I will do Y.” For example, when fatigue washes over me at the end of a long day and all I can think about is someone taking my contacts out for me. The moment I walk in the door, I know that I need to turn off my phone, brush my teeth, put on some Deepak Chopra, and lay in the bathtub. End of story. Exhaustion is something that gradually gets worse over time, and once it reaches a certain point, it becomes very difficult to fix. I’ve learned from experience that when exhaustion has had a chance to build up, it often requires more extreme methods to get back to my normal state of being.

4. Learn Compassionate Detachment

After ensuring you have the strategies and tools in place, if you continue to find difficulty, the next step is compassionate detachment. My father once shared a beautiful quote with me that has stayed with me throughout the years. It goes, “Be in the world, but not of the world.” Regardless of your faith or religion, I think this is a concept we can all apply to our lives. Right before we reach our breaking point, we make a decision. Emotions are something that we choose to feel. If you want to tap into your true potential, focus on mastering compassionate detachment.

In other words, try being more understanding with yourself and aware of your surroundings so you can handle burnout better.

What are some ways you can stave off burnout?

If you want to know how Shala Burroughs avoids feeling burnt out in her career, simply ask her!

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