Little Ways to Keep Burnout At Bay
It’s not easy to admit, but burnout gets the best of us
Light bulbs and printers are designed to function only for a certain period of time. After hitting a number of months, years or pages printed, their effectiveness begins to dwindle. The equipment overall begins to become less productive, less powerful, less happy.
Wait, are we still talking about appliances?
Humans are no different. While objects have burning points, we have burnout points. The World Health Organization has recently recognized burnout as a legitimate medical condition, too, so yes—it’s real. And it might be happening to you.
If you find yourself highly stressed and unmotivated, ask yourself these questions: Do you constantly feel disengaged and helpless? Do you lack sleep or feel exhausted even after a full night of rest? Is numbness a regular stop in your emotional spectrum?
If you uttered a couple or more yeses to answer those questions, you may be well on your way to burnout. Thankfully, it’s never too late to unlearn toxic habits and pick up better ones in their place. Sometimes, all we need is a break—but if even that thought is daunting, consider these little ways to keep the burnout at bay.
Remember: harmony is relative
There’s a strange obsession with attaining the perfect work-life balance when really, there’s no standard formula for having it all figured out. More than managing your time to fit a strict “balanced” schedule, dial back to your priorities and see how work, play, family life, and just as importantly, time for a little self-care, can piece together harmoniously.
Prioritize a ritual
In the midst of a burnout, you need to keep your roots firmly planted. Plan a daily, weekly, or monthly ritual to keep yourself sane. Whether it’s a night of self-care, a social media break or even something as simple as a mid-day stroll, make time for your little window of peace of mind.
No to negativity
The last thing you need is any more negativity. Common burnout symptoms extend to a constant feeling of dread and the lack of willpower to do anything much at all despite the anxiety that comes with leaving your plate empty. Don’t aggravate that by situating yourself around the wrong people.
Make a 180°
If you work in the arts, pick up a hobby that is highly theoretical or structure-driven. If you work in finance, find something outside the world of math and numbers to keep you occupied. Any more exposure to your source of burnout may just drive you nuts, so one of the best cures may be to look the other way. Find a hobby that has nothing to do with work to distract you, and who knows, the stress may very well just lift of your shoulders.
Side-stepping burnout is no easy feat. It’s an easy place to slip into without noticing, but a definite struggle to come out of. The beauty of it, though, is that it teaches us not to put ourselves second—ever. If things get too hectic, the workload a little too heavy for your capabilities, or if your eating and sleeping habits are compromised, start clocking yourself. Remember to keep yourself in check!