Burnout is defined as mental, emotional or physical exhaustion characterized by feelings of negativity, depression, anxiety and of not being sufficient enough.
It occurs when a person is constantly exposed to stress due to various factors including long working hours, multitasking and not having a work-life balance. It can also occur when one is not able to control how a particular task is done or does not relate to the task.
Even though it is called an occupational phenomenon, burnout can also occur due to other factors such as parenting responsibilities and relationships. If you tend to feel tired most of the time, get sick frequently, feel irritable, or isolate yourself from situations, chances are you may be experiencing burnout.
Fortunately, burnout can be managed. Give the following a try:
1. Focus on self-care
One of the best ways to cope with burnout is finding a sense of purpose and focusing on self-care. Whenever you feel you are exhausted, mentally or physically, and are showing signs of burnout, take a break from what you are doing and do something that makes you feel good. Take up a new hobby, include things like meditation and journaling in your schedule. Have a healthy diet, exercise every day and ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. This will help clear your head and would aid you in prioritizing work and better managing the things that are causing stress.
2. Acknowledge the issues and get a new outlook
Acknowledge the fact that you have issues with certain things, people or situations. Then examine them to note which of them are actually troubling you the most and causing you to be exhausted. Try to take a practical and unbiased approach when you assess the situation.
When you look at the situation from a different perspective, you might be able to decipher why it’s causing you stress and how you can go about things differently to alleviate some of it. Maybe it’s a small scheduling change or a larger one like asking someone to pitch in – find out exactly what will help you get things done without being overwhelmed and go about trying to make those changes.
3. Set realistic targets
One of the many phases of burnout is pushing yourself too much to reach your ambitious goals. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, you set yourself up for failure. So, if you think your targets or goals are what’s causing you to burn out, try to talk to your boss, peers or family about resetting some of these goals and responsibilities.
This is as simple as saying a no to the things you can’t manage when they’re asked of you. Focussing on one thing at a time, taking proper breaks in between and setting a time limit for every task would help you in setting (and achieving) your daily goals. If the burnout is due to work, try and maintain work-life balance and, whenever possible, avoid checking work emails or taking work calls when you sign off
4. Ask for help
Never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Either it can be a friend who you can talk to, a senior or a colleague who can help you with easing/scheduling your work or a healthcare professional that can help you work on having a positive outlook towards life – all of them can help you deal with burnout.
Maintaining good interpersonal relationships can not only help you but may prove to be a mutual support system when others in your circle are facing similar challenges.
Also, read our article on How to reduce the effects of stress and work-related burnout on the heart.
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