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Time out to prevent burnout is the parental control I need in my life.

At one point, a physically larger human with a better vocabulary told me to lay down before my face turned redder. Now, there are adults with bigger, better vocabularies, but they don’t tell me to lay down.

I have to figure it out on my own.

Too bad. I would love a mandatory nap.

Burnout feels like a downward spiral of emotional, mental, and physical health because I’m stressed and overwhelmed. The result is lost interest in daily duties, headaches and muscle stiffness, and repetitive negative thoughts.

The Skimm has the 411 on burnout,

“Burnout is the result of unmanaged chronic stress. That’s how the WHO classified it in 2019. Made up of three parts (but you don’t need all of them to have it):

Physical or emotional exhaustion

Cynicism and detachment

Decreased sense of accomplishment or productivity”

To prevent burnout, I have to weave time outs into my routine.

Nobody wants to see a 37-year-old temper tantrum, outside of YouTube’s attendees.

Sleep is Cheap

Sleep is cheaper than medication, caffeine, or wine with fewer side effects too.

Some days, I struggle to fall asleep or return to sleep after being awakened by a Stephen King dream. When I wake up sleep deficit, my eyeballs tell me all about it because when I blink, they want to stay shut.

Along with my eyes being wake resistant, my mood is foul too.

I feel like a prickly pear was stuffed into my pocket. A slight annoyance initiates a solar flare of emotions. My temper is short, and I have to use extra energy to reign in frustrated feelings. Stress rears up as a painful pimple but with more inflation.

Sleeplessness has a slew of side effects that Harvard is happy to gossip about,

“Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted.”

My prescription for sleep scarcity is more sleep.

I try to nap during my lunch break, but if I can’t, the next option is to go to bed earlier.

As an early sleeper, I go to bed at 9. If I’m sleep-deprived that looks like 8:30, or with a particularly rough day, 8.

Along with restoring physical and mental energy, sleep conserves energy too.

No lights, electronic equipment, or bills required!

Exercise to Thrive

Exercise has layered benefits along with being a time out to prevent burnout.

There is something healing about running away from trials and tribulations. The catch is I have to run back to them.

Taking a moment to move mental energy into physical exertion is a way to turn toxic thoughts into useful insight.

For this gal, the exercise routine is frugal similar to the rest of my life.

I do yoga every morning because breathing and stretching is a gentle way to start the day. I regularly run along a scenic trail because when I have more sweat than clothes, I’ll run dry of toxic thoughts too. Occasionally, I walk with Mr. BuLL because sharing fitness is caring fitness.

Helpful Hobbies

I love hobbies.

Hobbies are a less threatening version of structured fun.

If I’m awful at drawing, it doesn’t matter because fun is proof that I’m doing it right.

No certifications, degrees, or judgment are needed to enjoy.

The only mandate is happiness. If frustration or tears are involved, then it’s not a hobby but it could be high school.

I’ve dabbled in the hobby spectrum because every year I set a goal to learn something new. When a skill sticks, it becomes a hobby.

Haphazard hobbies I’ve dabbled in are:

  • Archery
  • Knitting
  • Sewing
  • Belly dancing
  • Lock picking
  • Coding
  • Drawing
  • Writing
  • Investing
  • Star gazing
  • Juggling

Along with trying new hobbies, I enjoy practicing with standard favorites like reading library books, visiting friends, volunteering, and traveling.

The beauty of a hobby is that it’s custom-made. Few things fit as well as a hobby except a hug.

A hug is one-size-fits-all.

Time Out to Prevent Burnout

In the land before time when cute dinosaurs went on epic adventures, burnout was as mythical as energy waves cooking food.

In today’s modern era, everything is instant and demanding energy, a painful side effect is burnout. There is no off setting for work, home, and personal demands.

No matter how many times I ask Alexa.

Instead, I have to place parental controls on my life and incorporate physical, mental, and emotional timeouts.

If not, as my fictional sage (Dumbledore) says, “Consequences could be severe.”

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