Practical Strategies to Conquer Burnout
It’s a sad sign of the times that there has been a significant upturn in burnout cases following COVID-19. The pandemic’s impact on work, health, and personal life has led to increased stress, fatigue, and mental health challenges among many individuals, resulting in a surge of burnout cases in the country.
Burnout refers to the state of physical and emotional exhaustion resulting from prolonged stress in one’s job or from extended periods in a physically or emotionally demanding role. Common signs include constant fatigue, a sense of helplessness or defeat, detachment or loneliness, a negative outlook, self-doubt, procrastination, and feeling overwhelmed. In a survey, 85% of UK adults correctly recognised burnout symptoms, while 68% mistakenly associated them with anxiety.
Almost 1 in 4 working women in the UK find it difficult to manage stress and pressure at work. You can read more about it here at Mental Health UK.
Overcoming work burnout requires a combination of self-care, setting boundaries, and making positive changes in your work habits.
Here are some effective strategies to help you cope with and prevent work burnout:
- Recognise the Signs: Be aware of the early signs of burnout, such as increased stress, fatigue, and decreased motivation. Acknowledging the issue is the first step in addressing it.
- Take Breaks: Prioritise regular breaks throughout the workday. Short breaks can help recharge your energy and refocus.
- Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between your work and personal life. Avoid overworking and allow yourself time for hobbies, relaxation, and spending time with loved ones.
- Practice Stress-Relief Techniques: Incorporate stress-relief practices into your routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Even indulge in a relaxing bath every now and then. These techniques can help reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
- Delegate and Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks when possible and seek support from colleagues or supervisors. Sharing the workload can alleviate stress.
- Prioritise Tasks: Focus on the most critical tasks first and break larger projects into smaller, manageable parts. Prioritisation can prevent feeling overwhelmed.
- Learn to Say No: Be assertive and say “no” to additional responsibilities when your plate is already full. Avoid overcommitting yourself and taking on tasks beyond your capacity.
- Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement can boost motivation.
- Seek Variety and Creativity: Incorporate variety and creativity into your work whenever you can. This can make tasks more engaging and enjoyable.
- Take Time Off: If you’re experiencing tell-tale symptoms, consider taking time off to rest and rejuvenate. A holiday or time away from work, seeing some stand-up comedy or enjoying a long walk in the great outdoors can all provide much-needed relief.
- Seek Professional Help: If the issues persist or significantly impacts your wellbeing, consider seeking support from a mental health professional or therapist.
Remember that overcoming work burnout is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness and proactive actions. Prioritising self-care, setting boundaries, and making positive changes in your work habits can significantly contribute to preventing and managing burnout effectively, so that you can be the best version of “you”, for yourself and those around you. You only get one life, here’s to making the most of it!
Speak to your employer and make sure they really hear what you’re saying and respond appropriately, taking steps to support you.