Burnout is not a simple result of long hours. The cynicism, depression, and lethargy of burnout can occur when you’re not in control of how you carry out your job, when you’re working toward goals that don’t resonate with you, and when you lack social support. If you don’t tailor your responsibilities to match your true calling, or at least take a break once in a while, you could face a mountain of mental and physical health problems.
Burnout is one of those road hazards in life that high-achievers really should be keeping a close eye out for, but sadly—often because of their “I can do everything” personalities—they rarely see it coming. Because high-achievers are often so passionate about what they do, they tend to ignore the fact that they’re working exceptionally long hours, taking on exceedingly heavy work loads, and putting enormous pressure on themselves to excel—all of which make them ripe for burnout. (source: Psychology Today)
“A lot of burnout really has to do with experiencing chronic stress,” says Dr. Ballard, who is the head of the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. “In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors.”
Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on your health, happiness, relationships and job performance. In order to catch burnout and combat it early, it’s important to know what to look out for. (source: Forbes)
Among burnout symptoms are insomnia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, anger, physical symptoms (dizziness, headaches, gastrointestinal pain), exhaustion, lack of motivation, ability to pay attention or concentrate. The earlier you recognize the signs, the better you will be able to avoid it.
“You don’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden ‘have burnout.’ Its nature is much more insidious, creeping up on us over time like a slow leak, which makes it much harder to recognize,” Sherrie Bourg Carter, psychologist and author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout
While our bodies are fully equipped to cope with short-term stress, they don’t react well to constant stress.
Techniques to Prevent Burnout:
Reframe the way you look at work
- Learn to SAY “NO”. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ to some activities, projects. Saying “Yes!” to everything leads to over commitment = overstress = constant stress = burnout
- Postpone some tasks! Can you negotiate some things? Are there things that can be delayed? Can certain things be delegated?
- Aim to make one thing at a time. This technique helps to avoid extra stress and several unfinished projects as a result
Live in a segment of “TODAY”.
That doesn’t mean to not plan your future and future goals. That means to stop overthinking what was yesterday and over worry about tomorrow. The main idea is to be your best version today. Best doesn’t mean overloaded and overwhelmed trying to do everything now. Important not to mix these points.
REST! We can’t be our BEST unless we are REST!
When became a mother, after a while, I realized that it became hard to relax. I had a guilty feeling for the moments of doing nothing or even taking a nap. While napping I felt that discomfort inside, I had a “you are losing a time” feeling. That is dangerous path that parents and super achievers may take. It took me a while to teach myself a guilt-free relaxation. Yoga, long outside walks and meditation are great companions in that.
Schedule a weekly down-time for yourself. It can be some during the week time blocks and blocked days off with NOTHING on your schedule. Mark them in your calendar in advance.
“Don’t drive yourself to the point of being totally spent. Try to stop while you have a few drops left in the tank, and use that fuel to build a bridge to the next day” ~The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp
Remove negative people from your life!
A simple “Everything will be fine!”, “Tomorrow is another day!” exclamations from your family members or friends can help in bringing yourself to the positive mood. And it works vice versa when you surround yourself with constantly whining and not expecting anything well from the future people.
Therefore, if you feel being in a constant stress or notice some burnout symptoms start implementing these 5 techniques in your life day by day. It will be not easy to adopt them at the beginning of your way, but you will find it way easier as the days pass. And soon, they will become your habit. If you make it a habit the change becomes REAL!
Good Luck in all your beginnings.