How to Transition from Exhaustion to Vitality by Anna Schaffner

In this episode of The Lifehack Show, we have invited Anna Schaffner, Exhaustion and Burnout Coach to join us.

Anna is a writer, coach and professor of cultural history. She has written books on the history of exhaustion and the art of self-development. Anna is deeply passionate about helping people transition from a state of exhaustion to a state of vitality in which they can direct their energy to what really matters in their life.

In this episode, Anna is sharing what exhaustion and burnout means in our fast-paced world today. She is also giving the audience some tips on how to prevent exhaustion and what we can do to transition from a state of exhaustion to a state of vitality.

Check out the full interview video here:


3 Ways to Transition from Exhaustion to Vitality

Anna explains in the interview that when we lose our capacity to experience joy, and when we don’t allow ourselves to engage in activities that make us happy because we feel like we should be working yet we can’t be productive, this is an obvious symptom of burnout.

She has shared 3 simple things we can do to overcome exhaustion and restore energy in the interview:

1. Know What Motivates And Energizes You

Sometimes, exhaustion drags people into a really murky zone where they lose contact with their feelings, values and their deeper aims and purpose in life. By understanding what exhausts you and what gives you energy can help you decide the habits to keep and the actions to avoid.

To know what revives you, what gives you pleasure, joy and what drains you and also what kind of patterns you are burdened with, and how they impact on you in your in your in in your present… The idea is not to let our patterns determine our future too much. — Anna Schaffner

Self-knowledge and self-awareness is important when you’re feeling exhausted because what energizes and drains someone tends to be completely different from others. For example, introverts need to regain energy by being on their own reading and withdrawing from from social interactions; whereas extroverts get energy by spending time with others.

2. Know What Is Under Your Control And What Isn’t

Do you know which of the exhaustion generators in your life can be controlled, and which can’t be controlled?

The ancient stories believe that we can only really control our inner life, our thoughts, our feelings, our responses to external events and that’s always a very good starting point. — Anna Schaffner

When you stop trying to control external circumstances that you can’t control, you will feel less anxious. What you can do is to focus on how you react to external circumstances. The Circles of Control is a geat mental framework to adopt if you want to take better charge of your energy. To learn more about this mental framework, read What Is the Circle of Control (And How to Use It to Stop Feeling Powerless)

3. Remember What Gives You Joy

This is a good exercise but isn’t easy especially when you’re burned out. When we are exhausted, we tend to lose contact with the feeling of joy.

Connect with past memories in which we felt very alive and very joyful and full of vitality… We need to actively remember and envisage how we want to feel, what we want to feel in the future. — Anna Schaffner

If you focus on only how bad you’re feeling when you’re burned out, you only worsen your negative energy. Instead of focusing on what you don’t want to experience, recall the happy memories so you can feel positive again — which is essential to recharging positive energy.

Anna also shared a quick tip on how to diffuse negative thoughts that drain your energy. This quick tip is to start with any negative statement in your head with “I think.”

For example, instead of saying “I’m not good at my job,” say “I think I’m not really good at my job.” Now there’s an element of doubt so the negative statement is not as strong anymore.

You can even add one more layer with “I notice.” For instance, “I notice that I think that I’m not particularly good at my job…” This way, you actually notice what is happening in your brain and you’re just looking at the thought saying it’s not reality and it’s just a thought that isn’t helpful; that it’s a bad habit of thinking that doesn’t doesn’t get us anywhere.

Bottom Line

If you experience any signs of burnout and always feel a lack of energy, stop what you’re doing and take some time to do reflection: What is draining your energy? What can you do now to feel positive again?

To learn all the burnout signs and effective ways to deal with exhaustion, don’t forget to check out the full interview with Anna!

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