Burnout is a state of intense mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion brought about by prolonged excessive stress. When it happens, you’re left feeling emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and unable to keep up.
While stress is unavoidable, there are steps you can take to prevent burnout. Psychologists recommend following these steps to prevent stress from leading to a burnout situation.
Add Breaks To Your Schedule
Working eight hours straight a day or more will certainly take its toll even if the “work” is something you are passionate about. When you work all day without a break, you’ll soon be mentally exhausted, emotionally drained, and on your way to burnout. Psychologists recommend taking multiple breaks on days you have to work longer than an eight-hour shift.
This shouldn’t be spent viewing your emails or reading about the project either. It should be a time to socialize, speak with co-workers, or take a walk outside if you work from home. These breaks help you reset and ready to keep offering your 100% at work.
Keep A Light Schedule
It can be pretty easy to take on more tasks than you can comfortably handle because of the desire to get ahead or get things done quicker. However, a forever full plate at work can leave you feeling perpetual behind and working more hours to catch up, which in turn can lead to you experiencing burnout.
It can be tempting to work an extra hour or two or bring your work home; however, spending too much time working can leave you feeling less productive and at a higher risk of experiencing burnout.
The benefits of exercise go beyond just our physical health. It also gives you an emotional lift and leaves you feeling generally better. Psychologists recommend exercise as an effective method of preventing burnout. You do not have to spend hours at the gym or run several miles to experience these benefits.
You can take a short walk or a mini workout right inside the office or as soon as you wake up. You could even get a bicycle and ride to work for several days in the week rather than taking your vehicle.
Several electric options reduce the effort required to ride a bicycle and can be used by everyone, no matter your age or health status. You can also use any of the various virtual fitness apps that help you get in fitness hours from home.
Eat And Sleep Well
A healthy diet is a straightforward way to prevent burnout and comes highly recommended by various scientists. Experts have recommended a healthy diet loaded with omega-3 fatty acids as a natural antidepressant. When you add fish, walnut, flaxseed oil, and other foods rich in omega-3s to your diet, it helps give you a mood boost.
Apart from eating well, your body requires enough time to rest and recover from the stress of the day, and this is why you must have a healthy sleep habit. The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 8 hours of sleep per day if you want to wake up refreshed and be productive the next day. If you have trouble falling asleep, research recommends avoiding caffeine and switching off your smartphones when it’s near your recommended bedtime.
While it can be tempting to put in an extra hour of work before retiring to bed, a good work-life balance is necessary for preventing burnout, and science has proven that sacrificing your sleep for work does more harm than good.
Ask For Help
When you’re going through intense stress or recognize the signs of impending burnout, asking for help is an important way to prevent burnout. If you’re one of the people that find it difficult to ask for help, you can consider having a self-care check-in with your family or close friends so they can help you during stressful times.
Another recommended option is speaking to a health professional. They have the knowledge and expertise to provide authoritative advice to help you prevent burnout.