Beat The Burnout

April 30, 2021

Beat The Burnout

Have you felt you needed a moment to yourself recently? A moment to wind-down, or take a breather? How do all these successful multimedia giants get everything done, and still keep their sanity?

Truth be told, busy CEOs are pushed to high stress levels, and often feel they lack the time they need to get everything done. They would tell you that leadership demands hard work, creativity, and long hours. On the other hand, science shows us that lack of rest and relaxation leads to diminished focus and productivity as well as the likelihood of burnout.

A growing number of executive leaders and business owners are prioritizing self-care habits. Successful people know that rejuvenation is paramount for maintaining their performance and overall well-being. There are a variety of ways to replenish your energy—it could be 30 minutes of exercise a day, reading for pleasure, spending time outdoors or a meditation practice!

To get a glimpse into the self-care habits of highly successful people, read how five business leaders with broad and deep experience in the business take the time to recharge:


#1 – Keep a journal to reflect on your true purpose.

Keep a daily gratitude journal. Brian Davis, business and talent management leader, Vistage executive coach. recommends The Five-Minute Journal from Paper Source. Each day, start with an inspirational quote. For example, today’s quote is:

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.” Goethe

It then asks three questions to be answered as soon as you get out of bed:

3 things I am grateful for…

3 things that would make today great…

Daily affirmations, which is some application of my personal Purpose Statement: “Listening, Learning, Loving, Leading from Abundance.

Creating a gratitude journal is known to create positive changes in the brain that help you to see life completely different. If you want to maintain your level of success along with your happiness start your day off by asking yourself these questions 

#2 – Switch up your activities to enjoy the spice of life.

At Elite Online Publishing, some of our favorite ways to recharge include reading novels and participating in a book club, road biking, skiing, swimming, Pilates, meditation, spending time with family, listening to my favorite music, travel and outdoor hiking.

“I read all kinds of novels and biographies,” explains Jan Salisbury, 30 years as president of Salisbury Consulting. “Lately, I would recommend “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and “Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin, a Nebula Award-winning science fiction novel exploring a world where we become the other gender on a regular basis.”

Travel is another great outlet to get the creative juices flowing, and let your mind relax. Other cultures can bring perspective and expand the possibilities of the world. All of this makes us more humble, and better human beings, as we continue to discover how little we really know.

Hobbies are an extremely important part of any lifestyle but in order to keep things fun and exciting it’s necessary to diversify your activities. Picking up a new hobby or learning something new is challenging at first but it opens up a whole new world of opportunity and experience. If you typically love to enjoy a good book at home try joining a book club and meet new people.

#3 – Unplug from technology and reconnect with nature.

Recharging is an important part of a daily practice. Something that works for many growing adults is being in nature, and more specifically, bird watching. To go out with binoculars and just BE in nature observing our flying friends grounds us like no tomorrow. And just about anywhere is a good spot!

“In California, I was involved in rescuing Hawk Owls and falcons (Ojai Raptor Center) and administering first aid for birds before bringing them to the rehabilitation center. My favorite birds are the raptors, and I love ocean birds and getting on a boat to travel far offshore to watch albatrosses and petrels. In North Carolina, I watch the cardinals, bluebirds and barred owls in our backyard—such a magical place!” – From Niels J. Lameijer, former CEO, executive consultant and senate lobbyist in the Netherlands

We love our devices but sometimes we put a little too much time into scrolling and watching television that we forget about what our bodies crave. This isn’t a bashing segment on social media or phone addictions but it is a plea to go outside and spend time soaking in all the beautiful fresh air. 

#4 – For the mind-body-spirit trifecta, give more time to the needs of the body and spirit.

It’s pretty typical for successful people to feed their minds but don’t forget the body and spirit need to be fed as well. Make sure you are getting 30 minutes of exercise a day even if it is just a 30-minute walk.

“I meditate daily and swim laps during our summer months,” says Joni S. Naugle, former banking executive and executive coach. “I’ve been in a pool since I was a kid. I always loved the water. I guess being a Pisces helps that. Every day, weather permitting, I will swim 100 lengths of my 30-foot pool. It takes me about 30 to 40 minutes. It is a time when I can burn off energy, get great exercise, and it simply helps me clear my head. I am always re-energized after a swim.”

Over the years, Joni tried meditation by using some smartphone apps. He never thought he was doing it right because he couldn’t find his focus. Because of this monkey mind, he would give up in defeat, assuming meditation just wasn’t for him. Not too long after, he took a course from a local practitioner who allowed him to realize that my overactive brain was not a sign of meditation failure.

“Now, I’ve been meditating 15 minutes every morning in total silence for six months. I used to have two or three insomniac nights each week. In the past six months, I’ve had two. Is it because of the meditation? I guess I can’t be 100% positive, but for a very simple investment of time, I am going to stay the course. It gets my day off to a great start.”

#5 – Harness the power of sleep

From Giles Watkins, executive coach and speaker, author of Positive Sleep.

“Sleep is the cornerstone of how I recharge, and of my health in general. The best way I find to ensure a good night’s sleep is to bookend my night through these three ways:

First, “Let the day out” by disconnecting from all work and electronic devices by 9 p.m. and engaging in other wind-down activities before going to sleep at approximately the same time every night. 

Second, sleep for seven to eight hours. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I use mindfulness techniques or get up and read something (on paper and non-work related). 

Third, “Let the day in” through allowing my day to start calmly before it’s overtaken by events and the agendas of others.”

Great sleep can literally transform your life – and it’s free!

Burnout is a real thing and by practicing these five habits of successful people you will gain more peace, energy, and success. Self-care is definitely a practice but if you are willing to set new habits we know it will pay off.

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