Learning how to avoid burnout is one of the best skills you can have.
is this relevant for you right now? Is life catching up with you a lot faster than you want it to?
This is so common in today’s day and age. We are under enormous pressure to DO more than ever. This is true for men and women, but I am a bit biased in thinking it is especially true for women. We have to be moms, wives, employees (either outside the home or within the home), chauffeurs, attractive, in shape…
Even just typing that made my head spin.
My friend Jess was gracious enough to share her thoughts on a sadly too common issue: burnout. What it is, and what you can do about it.
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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.
Let’s start with the obvious!
What is burn out?
So many people define it differently, however according to Help Guide “burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.“
The definition makes total sense, as you do the same thing day in and out and expect to never get fatigued.
As self care becomes so prevalent in discussion nowadays, there is a curiosity I have as to how we continue to burn out. Whether it is at work, within relationships, blogging, you name it and it happens. The dark cloud sneaks up and takes hold and, of course, everything negative follows suit.
Your outlook is negative, your energy is low and your mood is the worse!
Effects of burnout
The bad thing about burnout-besides the obvious- is that you may be mentally drained from working however it begins to affect your physical health.
You begin to notice that you have aches and pains. Your body begins to listen to your mind telling it “not today” and “I don’t want to get up.”
Related Post: How To Reduce Stress
That is common, to keep going through the motions and hope something will change though you aren’t changing anything. That is where I come in or rather these tips.
As I have stated before we have all gotten to the point of burnout and unsure of how to come out of it or how we got there in the first place. This is why I have compiled a list of things you can do to avoid burnout altogether.
5 Simple ways to avoid burnout
Tip 1: Know Your Warning Signs
By knowing your warning signs, you can prevent yourself from burning out. If you begin to notice that you are becoming frequently irritable, impatient, isolating, lacking in motivation or any positive moods, you may be able to burn out.
Be sure to recognize the difference between stress and burnout as stress is having multiple task or pressures placed upon you, where burnout causes despair and poor world outlook. It is likely however that stress can lead to burnout, so it is important to be mindful and vigilant.
Tip 2: Take A Mental Health Day
Though we have been conditioned for many years (if not all of our life) to work until we drop; it is SO wrong. If we want to actually do what we love and love what we do, we cannot allow ourselves to get to the point where we are unable to love our jobs.
Why would we allow ourselves to work until we drop instead of working at optimal precision each day?
Taking a mental health day can be covered under PTO or sick leave, if your job offers these days. So why not use them? We allow days to rack up and will even let them pay us out of our leave time instead of taking the days!! There are individuals who negotiate more paid time off while you continue to work through your days.
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Tip 3: Redefine your purpose
Whether it be work or schoolwork, it is important to remind yourself why you are there. What are your goals? Why do you continue to come in each day?
Being able to answer these questions and redefine why you are showing up each day, you will develop a sense of meaning. A need to show up each day and look for the good and expect better than the day before.
Tip 4: Exercise
Though cliche, exercise has amazing benefits for your mental and physical health. I acknowledge that it is difficult to make adjustments in your schedule to fit in exercise. This is why it is beneficial to choose exercises that may not take a long time to complete.
One of my favorites is Yoga, because you can set a time frame (such as 10 minutes or more) to stretch, tone and clear your mind. It can also be done at home! I pull out my yoga mat in my office and go to work.
When taking the time to center yourself you will decrease the likelihood of burnout as you are able to identify tension and stress in many areas of your body. As you align your body and mind, you will be able to identify the “why” behind your mood, body aches and short temper.
Related post: Starting over with fitness
Tip 5: Seek Help
Do not hesitate to reach out for help! Seek help from your friends, spouse, or even co workers who you know will offer the help you need.
Also just to plant a bug in your ear, have an idea as to what it is you need. Do you need to be let off of the hook at home from normal responsibilities? Do you need co workers to help with a project or to not give you any new responsibilities for a bit? Or rather, do you need a night out with the girls or guys to remind you of the good in life?
Whatever it is that you need, make it known. It is often surprising how supportive and willing our support system is especially when they know what you need. Do not deter from the support due to your pride as I am sure you would be among the first to help others in need.
Use These Tips
With these tips it would be sure to improve your mood and ability to cope with each thing that may be thrown at you.
Please note that if these tips do not work and you find yourself in a rut that you cannot get out of, you may need to re-evaluate your job, your relationship or your work to see if you are really where you should be.
You may need to determine if you are willing to change how or what you are doing to achieve mental clarity and peace.
About The Author
Jess is a licensed social worker working as an adult mental health and addictions counselor. Her goal on her blog, Just Call Me Jess, is to help you reach mental stability by using the tips and information she provides. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest on her blog!
Thanks again, Jess! You always have such great insight into all things mental health. For anyone reading this, definitely give her blog a follow, and follow her on social media.
In the mean time, share your burnout story in the comments! What do you do to cope? And don’t forget to share this post if you found it helpful!