What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of exhaustion - a combination of emotional, physical and mental fatigue. It is caused by extreme or prolonged stress. When you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, or unable to meet demands you may be experiencing burnout.
‘Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful.’
Read up on the signs, symptoms, and treatments of burnout from Help Guide.
Here is our trusty checklist to help you prevent burnout and create a healthy work-life balance.
Keep Your Hours
Make sure you stick to your schedule for the day and work no longer than your allotted hours. This is especially important if you work or study from home. Working overtime can burn through your mental and physical energy, meaning you have none left for chores, leisure activities, and socialising.
Take Your Lunch Break
Make sure you take your lunch break at a reasonable hour and never skip it. You must eat to keep your energy up. Your lunch break is not only essential to fuel your body, but also to recharge your brain.
Don’t eat and work at the same time! If you are very busy, this might be tempting, but this distracts your brain and can interrupt your focus. You must take some time to rest so you can return to your tasks with a clear head and a fresh set of eyes.
Taking short breaks throughout the day is also very important. Regular breaks of 5-20 mins will renew your motivation, boost creativity, increase attention, and prevent decision fatigue.
Do Something Just for You
This will give you something to look forward to and inspire motivation. You can plan small rewards for your breaks, like a chocolate bar, a YouTube video, or 15 mins scrolling on social media.
Give yourself a larger reward for the evening when the work is done. This could be watching your favourite TV show, using a cleansing face mask, or drinking a glass of wine after a long day. Do whatever makes you feel calm and happy!
Take a Walk in Nature
Fresh air can invigorate you when you're feeling tired or overwhelmed. Visit a stream, a nearby park, a garden centre, or simply enjoy your own garden. Spending time in nature has many physical and mental health benefits: like improving mood, boosting self esteem, and reducing feelings of stress and anger.
Read more about the benefits of being in nature from the mental health charity Mind.
Even if it is just for 10 minutes every day, a little self-care can go a long way. If you're unsure about what self-care is, this Beginners Guide will get you started. There are many different
techniques for self-care that you can read about in this Self-Care Love Language post.
Some examples include: journaling, guided meditation, working out, skin care, candles,
cleaning, and planning your week.
Reflect on Your Achievements
When the day is done, take a few moments to reflect on everything you have achieved. Maybe you completed a long list of tasks, or made good progress on a large project. Maybe all you did was a load of laundry. Whatever the case, however big or small, you need to congratulate yourself. This will increase your confidence and bring you a sense of accomplishment.
You did it! It’s done and tomorrow you can move on to the next thing.
What causes burnout for you - and how do you cope with them? Let us know in the
The Calming Club