Steps to avoid burnout - especially during this time of year
Burnout used to be like an old wild and disruptive friend who would show up in my life at the most unlikely times. One summer in particular when I was on a vacation with my family, I was a wreck. I couldn’t enjoy my time with my husband and daughter who were soaking up the sun, swimming, and enjoying their free time. I, however, could only see life through a very negative lens and spent more time brooding than playing. In the weeks and months leading up to that vacation, I had worked myself to the bone, was feeling under pressure on some personal family matters, and hit the proverbial wall. I had nothing left in my engine for myself or anyone else.Danielle Droitsch
When you're under excessive amounts of pressure you become prone to burnout. The human body can sustain bursts of extreme pressure, but when it is carried out over a prolonged period of time it becomes very strenuous on the body.
There's a very big difference between stress and burnout.
We often think “burnout” looks like someone who is so incapacitated they are unable to work. Burnout doesn’t have to look so extreme. You can continue to work when you have burnout but instead feel every day at work is a bad day. You could be feeling disinterested in your work or maybe even depressed by it. You could feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and turn to distracting activities like drinking or social media.Danielle Droitsch
The most common sign of burnout is when your stress is so high you start to see diminishing returns at work and you are lacking interest in work or life.
Common signs of burnout:
- lack of energy
- lack of sleep
- lack of appetite
- inability to focus
- physically and emotionally exhausted
- drained and depleted
- low or no motivation
- physical stress (e.g. chest pain)
- getting chronically sick
Burnout does not have an official diagnosis - like depression, for instance. The signs of burnout can be very similar to that of depression, which is why it's important to get professional help.
People most prone to burnout:
- people who face heavy workloads or high-stress positions
- high achievers
- caregivers, including healthcare professionals at the front line of care
- working parents
Ways to prevent burnout:
Burnout may not simply come because of excessive work
Keep in mind that burnout doesn’t just happen because of significant demands on people lives. It can happen if our mindset shifts.
Create ‘margin’ in your reschedule
Avoid scheduling meetings back to back in your day. Schedule out time on your schedule to do some important catch-up.
Adopt resilience tools at work
Productivity hacks suggest dedicating specific chunks of uninterrupted time (read: no email or social media) and then taking solid breaks around 10 or 15 minutes to clear your mind.
Adopt the strategy of “no”
People feeling burnout often feel that they must “do it all.” Stepping back from burnout means finding ways to lessen the stress which means saying the powerful two-letter word NO.
Find regular times to unplug yourself
Don’t be under the illusion you always need to be moving to make progress. Sometimes, doing nothing is exactly what your body and mind are looking for.
Good luck and we hope that you find the information useful.