Our culture seems to be experiencing an epidemic of problems such as depression and BURNOUT, with estimates of more than 10% each year being common.
In my practice as a medical doctor and now as I moved into psychological therapy exclusively, people have come to me with different levels of these problems, from depression bad enough to be actively planning suicide, to more vague thoughts of whether it is worth going on with it all.
WHAT'S GOING ON?
Sometimes it's been more about losing CONFIDENCE with what they are doing, or even having full-on panic attacks. As I've explored their situations I've found there are 3 key FACTORS to stopping their state of depression and feeling burn-out.
HAVE GOALS WITH A FIXED END-POINT
You need to turn a NEVER-ENDING series of demands on your performance into a series of 400 meter races, or at the very least a marathon of known distance. If you run full pace all the time don't be surprised when you get worn out and have to stop exhausted. Usually this won't happen at the best possible time. Call it a holiday, call it an exit strategy, call it a rest stop, call it a reward for a job well done, but the requirement is the same; you need to plan for the waxing and waning of your motivation. For example, if your goal is "more money", then the striving never ends. If you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed, you will need to CLARIFY how much is enough, or even better, define the lifestyle you want and let that define the amount of money you need to aim for.
HAVE A BIGGER PURPOSE IN MIND
Life is not just about filling your days with whatever happens to get your attention, and yet there is so much around to choose from. With a bigger purpose you can select what is IMPORTANT for you, or it can be the other way around, what is important to you can be your bigger purpose. Not that it has to be anything too over the top like ending all cancers, but it is important that it brings out your inner fire and sense of WHY it is that you would do the sometime challenging or difficult or boring tasks that you will sometimes need to in order to keep going for whatever you are after.
MAKE TOMORROW BUILD ON TODAY
Of all the 3 this is the one that I find most often MISSING for people. So often people tell me they have this sense that they just aren't getting anywhere with what they are doing, and it's amazing how often this feeling is correct! For instance with money, these people had spending habits that mean that they were financially better off yesterday than they will be tomorrow. But it's not just money. You can go to bed at night more restful when you know that your day was about putting in place habits and systems rather than half fixes or emergency bandaids, that you built lasting relationships, not just one-time encounters, and that overall you will wake up even just a little BETTER off than you were the day before.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
So there are the 3 key ways you need to address to avoid depression and burnout. Ignoring any one of them can be enough to set you back, and if you are missing all three then you are probably reading this out of desperation. They are all SOLVABLE, and you can get started on each of them immediately.
For more of Dr Martin Russell's practical tips for self help and self improvement methods you can apply right away, visit www.DrMartinRussell.com.
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