Most demanding careers practically guarantee stress, but if you’re feeling completely exhausted, unable to concentrate, or as though you’re neglecting your own well-being, you may be suffering from burnout. The American Psychological Association’s David Ballard, PsyD describes job burnout as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.”
It’s a very real condition that’s easy to ignore, but you can detect and fix the problem if you know what to do. We often use the term “burnout” as a vague label for an exhausting day or week of hard work, but actual burnout is quite a bit more serious. Burnout can be bad, but you can definitely overcome it. You simply need to recognize the symptoms, identify the causes, and take action—both in the short and long term. Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on your health, happiness, relationships and job performance. If you recognize the warning signs of impending burnout in yourself, remember that it will only get worse if you don’t do something about it. But if you take steps to get your life back into balance, you can prevent burnout from becoming a full-blown breakdown.
Here are some Burnout prevention tips:
- Start the day with a relaxing ritual. Rather than jumping out of bed as soon as you wake up, spend at least fifteen minutes meditating, writing in your journal, doing gentle stretches, or reading something that inspires you.
- Adopt healthy eating, exercising and sleeping habits. When you eat right, engage in regular physical activity and get plenty of rest, you have the energy and resilience to deal with life’s hassles and demands.
- Set boundaries – be assertive. Don’t overextend yourself. Learn how to say “no” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the things that you truly want to do.
- Take a daily break from technology. Set a time each day when you completely disconnect. Put away your laptop, turn off your phone and stop checking email.
- Nourish your creative side. Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favourite hobby.
- Break away from the normal routine. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work.
- Learn how to manage stress. When you’re on the road to burnout, you may feel helpless. But you have a lot more control over stress than you may think. Learning how to manage stress can help you regain your balance.
- Remember that you have the ability to choose. Not all external forces in life can be controlled. However, one can control your own response to these. Regardless of the circumstances, the choice is either to be a victor or a victim and every individual chooses which one it will be. Not to choose is also a choice!