People often think that they are immune to burnout because they love their job. However, burnout does not make that distinction, and it affects anyone who undergoes constant stress. Burnout is a serious condition that can lead to other problems. It’s important to know how to avoid burnout and thrive at work instead.
What Is Burnout?
People who are under excessive and prolonged stress tend to experience physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Those who experience burnout feel constantly overwhelmed and overly tired because of their responsibilities at work, even if it’s a job they are passionate about. Burnout leads people to lose interest and motivation to get up in the morning. If they continue feeling stressed, this could lead to more complicated issues in the long run.
Recovery from burnout could take weeks to years, depending on the gravity of the situation. That is why it’s important to prevent burnout before it even begins.
Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
The first step toward preventing burnout at work is to identify it. Burnout does not happen in a snap—it takes time to develop. It is fairly easy to identify, and it can be prevented early on.
People who are experiencing burnout constantly feel physically and emotionally drained. Some of the most telling signs are physical discomfort, drastic changes in sleep schedules, and changes in appetite.
As a result of their exhaustion, people with burnout may stop socializing with or confiding in their friends and loved ones.
Dissatisfaction and exhaustion may lead a person with burnout to fantasize about leaving their jobs. In the worst cases, escape fantasies can manifest as dependence on alcohol, food, or illegal substances.
People with burnout may easily snap at others for no reason. This is because of the burden they feel from being stressed and exhausted all the time.
Burnout can make a person weak and vulnerable to certain health risks. This is especially true if they have trouble sleeping and follow an unhealthy lifestyle.
How To Prevent Burnout
Know Your Boundaries
Burnout starts when you bite off more than you can chew. This means accepting requests and tasks even when your hands are full for the sake of pleasing your boss or co-workers. It is not a crime to say “no” every now and then so you can have time for yourself and other important things.
Unplug During Days Off
Weekends are meant to give you time to breathe and unwind, so take this opportunity to rest completely. Disconnecting from work is necessary to maintain work-life balance. When you have time to spend with family and friends or for hobbies, you will feel rejuvenated enough to return to work come Monday.
Take A Vacation
If you feel that the symptoms of burnout are worsening, you may need a longer time away from work. Use up your leaves and go on vacation so you can completely relax and stop thinking about work. Use this time to recharge your batteries and rediscover why you love what you do.
Schedule Social Activities
Spending time with friends and family is a great stress buster. When burnout starts to creep in, people tend to feel that they need to work longer hours, so they stop spending time with people they love. That leads to isolation and further worsening of burnout. You can prevent burnout by regularly doing activities you enjoy with people who matter most to you. Schedule them so you don’t push them to the sidelines.
Working out is another activity that people with burnout forgo in favor of working. This choice comes with even more negative effects. However, sticking to a workout schedule can help you fight off burnout. It keeps you physically healthy and mentally strong.
Burnout pushes people toward unhealthy habits, such as excessive caffeine consumption. Burnout can make you feel like you’re not at your best, so you grab another cup of coffee to keep your mind sharp. But drinking coffee is not the only way to stay on top. You can easily recharge your mind with a 20-minute power nap. It’s healthier and more effective.
Get 7 To 8 Hours Of Sleep
Lack of sleep only exacerbates the symptoms of burnout. It also doesn’t do your work performance any good because lack of sleep negatively affects mental clarity. Unfortunately, most people with burnout also suffer from sleeping problems. You can manage them by relaxing a few hours before your bedtime. Try unplugging from technology, meditating, or taking a bath at night to make it easier for you to sleep.
Make Time For Relaxation
People who are experiencing burnout often find it hard to stop working. The key to avoiding this is by scheduling a time in your day or week solely for relaxation. Don’t just watch TV during this time—engage in relaxing activities that have a positive impact on your mind. You can meditate or have a warm muscle soak using our Deep Relaxation Bath Soak.
Minimize Intake Of Sugar And Refined Carbs
People with burnout often turn to comfort food during times of distress. However, this habit only exacerbates the situation because comfort food does not offer any nutrients. They are often made of sugar and refined carbs, which contribute to mood swings, poor concentration, forgetfulness, fatigue, and irritability. Minimizing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates is a great way to make symptoms of burnout more manageable.
Find A Hobby
A hobby that nourishes your creative side is a powerful way to prevent burnout. A hobby can keep you immersed for hours without thinking about work. Regardless of the type of hobby you take up, it will help you recharge your batteries in no time at all.