They say avoid burnout, but what is it really?
The society we’re living in is becoming more demanding and competitive each day. From our education system to workplaces, we’re groomed to be creative and productive at the same time.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But then again, there’s only so much one can handle.
Excessive and unnecessary workloads ,with too many deadlines, can cause long-term physical and mental exhaustion. Stressors in your personal life can also contribute to burnout. Health challenges, trauma , near death experiences, unjust situations, and so many other experiences can lead to burnout.
The next thing you know, you’re annoyed all the time, you easily get stressed with the smallest things; or just thinking about going to work either irritates or depresses you.
These are classic signs of burnout. Not too long ago, I was there. I was empty and I had no more fight in me. I’m one of the happiest, most positive people you will ever meet. You could typically hear me from far away, whether it’s my infectious laughter or the mischievous look on my face. However, when I hit my point of no return, the laughter was replaced with tears, sadness and frustration. I had given and given , for over a decade of working as a physician, and I was mentally and emotionally spent.
There is hope- just because you’re suffering from burnout doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever!
There are actionable ways you can reinforce into your life to defeat burnout.
Read on to find out!
10 Actionable Ways To Overcome Burnout
Anticipating and preparing for your tasks ,ahead of time, has been shown to decrease levels of stress and burnout in most workplaces. Research says that being proactive allows you to adapt to your work environment or workload. This way, it prevents draining your energy while performing challenging tasks. Planning your day and week , ahead of time, helps you to be able to be more prepared when challenges come your way.
Take a minute to meditate
When you’re burned out, you’re experiencing all kinds of stress and anxiety. This causes you to lose concentration and gets easily distracted. This is where meditation comes in. Doing meditation for a few minutes daily can help you shift your thoughts and calm your mind. And so, you’ll be more focused and attentive.
Plan your meals
Of course, eating healthy foods is essential. But you can also plan your meals and include foods that can help you with burnout. Throw in some foods rich in fiber, dark leafy vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods fortify your body and improve your mood.
In a research study on healthcare professionals, tuning in to their feelings helped reduce their stress levels, thus avoiding burnout. Being mindful helped them recognize the signs of burnout. They can take early action to manage it and no longer wait for it to get worse.
Learn to say no
One of the most effective ways to reduce stress, and prevent burnout, is to say no. For some people, this might be easy, but some find this a challenge. But learning how to say no could be a lifesaver! It’ll save you time and help you concentrate more on your tasks. Just remember to do it politely and if you could, offer an alternative.
Be selective of the company you keep
The people you surround yourself with are also an important factor in fighting off burnout. If they make you feel drained all the time, give you an extreme amount of workload, or are highly critical , you will need to reevaluate your relationship with them. You might want to talk to them and tell them how you feel and try to find a resolution. If there’s no effective communication between you and the people you work with; the people who are in your social networks, your burnout will only get worse.
Limit your screen time
Research has proven that too much screen time can cause harmful effects like increased levels of anxiety, poor sleep quality, vision problems, and a whole lot more. Instead of spending time scrolling down on your phone, reach out for a book, or try writing in a journal. You’ll be surprised at how productive you can get if you don’t touch your phone.
Ask for help
Like saying no, sometimes asking for help is a tough task for some people. But knowing your limitations is a sign of strength. Reaching out for some helping hand can make you more efficient in finishing your tasks. This will allow you to have more time to spend relaxing.
Effective time management can ease your stress levels because if you prioritize your tasks, you’ll feel less burdened. You could also do the most difficult tasks when you have the most energy. And you can also delegate some of your tasks to efficiently use your time and effort.
Press the pause button
Performing the same tasks every single day can make you feel like you’re in a boring mill. Taking a vacation for a couple of days or a week will rid you of pressure at work. Also, it will allow your mind to relax and reset. This way when you get back to work, you’ll feel motivated and ready to take on new tasks.
For burned-out people, it’s not easy to just let go of their tasks and relax. Overcoming burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and consistency. Also, initially, you might feel guilty when you start to put yourself first. I sure did initially. However, I quickly pushed aside that guilt after I realized how much better I felt , after prioritizing my health.