Burnout is serious and can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. Read on to find 8 simple tips you can use to nip burnout in the bud.
How do you know when you’re feeling burned out? First coined by American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s, burnout is defined as a “state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by one’s professional life”. If you constantly find yourself feeling stressed to the point that it interferes with your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, you may be experiencing burnout. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat this – we’ve rounded up 8 of the best tips to help you recharge and find balance.
Begin Each Day With Purpose
It’s easier to navigate your day when you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. A good way to set yourself up for success and minimise the risk of getting overwhelmed is by writing down your action plan the night before; studies show that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Having a structured, tangible framework for the next day ensures that you’re starting each day with a purpose, making it more likely that you’ll fill it with productive work. Set 3 main goals you aim to achieve and prioritise essential tasks in the early hours; the first hour of the day is crucial in setting the tone for a productive workday, and the momentum of the morning will likely carry over into the rest of the day.
Need some help staying organised when working from home? Discover 6 of our favourite productivity tips here.
Focus On The Fundamentals
Burnout doesn’t just affect your work-life; it can also have an impact on your physical well-being and quality of life, making it crucial that you pay attention to your physical needs. On top of that, physical health plays an integral role in our mental and emotional wellness, which is why it’s important to maintain healthy habits like daily exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. Exercise helps your body to release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals, while a nutritious diet can reduce symptoms of depression. Studies have also linked better sleep to improvements in mental health. Studies show that the average adult needs 30 minutes of exercise and between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.
Pinpoint The Cause Of Your Burnout
It’s easy to feel burned out when there’s so much going on in your life. Rather than trying to cram everything into your busy schedule, take a moment to slow down and pinpoint the cause of your burnout. The first step to managing your stress is to find out exactly what is causing it; learn to recognise your triggers by recording your reactions and the events leading up to it. After coming up with a list of problem areas, you can start coming up with solutions to eliminate these stresses from your life – such as restructuring your workday or alleviating your workload – or learning to change your reactions to them entirely.
Learn To Say “No”
When we undervalue our own time, we can quickly fall into a pattern of overcommitting to others and saving little to no time to focus on ourselves. A crucial part of mental wellbeing is work-life balance, which is why it’s important to prevent your professional life from spilling into your personal life. Setting healthy boundaries plays a crucial role in your mental wellbeing by letting you focus on your own needs rather than the needs of others. Try saying “yes” only to things that align with your priorities, and learn to decline requests to do things that don’t serve your best interests – learning to leave time for yourself can help treat burnout by reducing your workload, helping you to manage your time more efficiently and allowing you to pay attention to your own goals.
Create A Shutdown Ritual
When the line between your home and work-life begins to blur, it can start to feel like we’re always on the clock. This makes it easy to slip into patterns of overwork, leading to feelings of mental and emotional exhaustion. Rather than allowing yourself to drown in endless work, try allocating hours for focused work and establish strict rules with yourself to ensure that you’re giving yourself enough time to rest and recharge. At the end of the day, perform a ‘shutdown ritual’ to signal yourself that the workday is over. This might include decluttering your desk at the end of each day to prepare for a fresh start each day, or reflecting on your accomplishments for the day and setting goals for tomorrow. Regardless of what you choose to do, the most important thing is to remember that the day is over – no more work!
Tune Out The Noise
We are often surrounded by negativity, whether that be in the form of toxic relationships, negative media coverage or simply our own destructive thoughts. Sometimes, the best way to protect your peace and eliminate unnecessary stress is simply by cutting out the root of toxicity from your life. Take an honest look at your priorities and ask yourself whether what you’re choosing to focus on is really worth your time – removing things that are contributing to your stress can help you achieve peace and introduce positivity into your life. Stay focused on the things that matter most to you and tune out the rest. After all, our attention is limited; it’s not worth it to spend time on things that don’t contribute to your wellbeing.
Sometimes, our ambition can get the best of us, and we may end up feeling defeated when we don’t meet the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves. During this time, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself. Recognise that everyone has limits and resist the urge to beat yourself up over small setbacks; failure and rejection are unavoidable aspects of life, but how we choose to respond to these obstacles can make all the difference. Avoid being too hard on yourself – your self-worth is not dependent on the negative situations you face. Remember to give yourself credit where credit is due; every small victory counts. Taking the time to appreciate your successes and recognise your strengths can help you bounce back by boosting your self-confidence and motivating you to continue pursuing your goals.
Reach Out For Help
If you’re constantly juggling several important tasks at once, you’re bound to drop the ball every once in a while. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, acknowledge that it’s okay to ask for help. Burnout can be an incredibly isolating experience and having the support of a friend can make all the difference. If possible, approach your manager about your situation and try coming up with a solution together. Whether you’re delegating your tasks to others or simply asking someone to lend an ear, having someone to help shoulder the load can lessen your stress considerably and help to curb burnout. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help – everyone needs a break sometimes.