How to Cope with Burnout?
In a world filled with rivalry and struggle, people from every age strive to become the very best. Everyone from high school kids to office employees is constantly competing to perform better than their peers. As a result of constantly working while being exhausted, they start feeling burnout. Before we begin on how to cope with burnout, what exactly is it?
What is a Burnout?
The term “burnout” was introduced by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s. The term was used as a way to describe the extreme stress that people experience. We can describe burnout as a feeling of mental and physical exhaustion caused by stress. It usually occurs when we feel overwhelmed by everything and seem to have “lost the spark.”
Simply put, if you start feeling like you hate your job, think you have no creativity left, and feel exhausted and overwhelmed by everything around you, then you are showing symptoms of burnout.
But oftentimes, exhaustion or even depression is mistaken as burnout. Therefore, to know how to cope with burnout, you need to make sure that you know what you are talking about.
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout
Many of us can relate when we say that oftentimes it becomes almost impossible to simply get out of bed. However, if you constantly feel like this, you may be experiencing burnout.
Burnout is not something that happens overnight, and it builds up slowly over time. If we pay attention to the times we feel extremely stressed, and we try to reduce that stress, then it is unlikely that the stress would build up over time to such an extent that it would cause breakdowns and eventually lead to burnout.
● Physical Symptoms of Burnout:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Headaches and pain in limbs
- Change of eating routine
- Trouble falling asleep
- Frequent illnesses such as fever or stomach aches.
● Mental and Emotional Symptoms of Burnout:
- Feeling like a failure
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling like you are trapped and are helpless
- Feeling detached from everything else.
● The Behaviour of a Burnout Person:
- Taking more time to complete simple tasks
- Arriving late at work or going out early
- Taking out the anger and frustration on others
- Cutting yourself off from others.
All these signs and symptoms occur when you feel like you cannot accomplish your tasks and when you fail to meet the constant expectations of others.
Now we know what it is like, but we still need to know how to cope with burnout?
How to Cope with Burnout?
Our brain and body can only handle being overwhelmed and overworked for so long. If we constantly feel pressured to work and have no motivation to do so. Then it’s time you take a step back and educate yourself on how to cope with burnout. The answer is easy.
- Remind yourself of your strengths
- Seek help from friends and family
- Try different relaxing activities
- Get proper sleep
- Remind yourself that feeling burnout is temporary
- Engage yourself in exercises that help you relax
- Gain control over your life
- Set boundaries
- Don’t overwork yourself and ask for help when you need it
- Practice self-care and indulge in activities that make you happy
How to Treat Burnouts?
Evaluating your life and setting clear boundaries is a great way to avoid stress. Not only that, educating yourself on how to cope with burnout is also a way to know how to avoid feeling stuck. But, how to treat burnout is the real question. The answer is simple, in order to treat burnout, the first step is to
● Recognize the Signs of Burnout
- Forgetting to do simple tasks
- Feeling unmotivated
- Losing sight of your goals
- Feeling difficulty in maintaining work and relationships
- Inability to enjoy the hobbies you loved before.
Surveys suggest that up to 4 or 7 per cent of working people experience burnout. But people who work in health-related departments have a much higher percentage.
The second step is to:
● Find the Source Behind the Burnout:
Burnout is related to our work and professional triggers. Trying to do everything on your own can also cause burnout. While it is easy to manage one thing, oftentimes, people tend to take up too much work than they can handle. Which in turn causes them to snap as they start experiencing burnout. Let’s say you’re working as an employee in an office with working hours 8 am-5 pm. While this may seem a lot, you are also trying to learn a new language while having to take care of everyone around you. Doing all this makes it easier to forget about one’s own health. Subsequently, making it much easier to fall into that “unmotivated and isolating” phase causes a person to feel burnt out.
In order to treat burnout, you have to find the source behind it. To find the source, you have to evaluate your lifestyle and see what you were doing or which changes to make in order to deal with burnout.
● Immediate Changes to Make when you feel burnout:
After finding out the source of the burnout, the next step would be to make changes in your life. If you feel burnout due to the workload, then it is time to step up and ask your supervisor or boss to lessen the workload or to add new people to the team.
We should also keep in mind that we cannot do everything by ourselves. It is always easier to ask for help when needed. If you don’t have time to do the things you need to do, then adding more and more work won’t lessen the stress but elevate it even more. If you are skipping breakfast to complete the tasks and are forgetting to even eat, then it is time to stop and tell yourself that it isn’t realistic to do work to such an extent that you forget about your well-being.
The next step to knowing how to treat burnout is:
● Taking Control:
Feeling burnout may make you seem like you have lost control over your life. What do you do when you feel like you don’t have control? You take over the control, of course. You might not have the power to change things while you were beginning to feel burnout, but you do have the power now.
The first step is to prioritize yourself. Organize your work as to how important it is. Get done with the more important ones and save the lesser ones for last.
Take help from people around you when needed, and don’t do everything all by yourself. Another thing to take into account is to leave work at work, enjoy and relax when you are home in order to avoid stress.
● Setting a Routine:
Setting a routine will help in order to treat burnout. Dividing the time between work and home will give you a sense of control and arrangement. Making time for yourself after a long day at work is just as necessary as the work itself. Taking small and frequent breaks from work and things that give you stress will help you calm down so you can focus better.
● Talking to People you Love:
Burnout often leaves you feeling like a failure and makes you isolate yourself from others. What you need to do is to talk to people you trust and love. In order to retain from thinking of yourself as someone who hasn’t accomplished anything in life, the best thing to do is engage yourself with the people you love so you don’t feel alone and can remind yourself of your goals.
Now that we know how to treat burnout, how can we overcome it?
How to Overcome Burnout?
Now treating burnout and overcoming burnout are two separate things. Many people may know what to do to treat burnout, but they simply can’t overcome it. This is because they are scared and not motivated to do so. In order to learn how to overcome burnout, we need to know that feeling burnt-out doesn’t mean you hate your job or that you should quit. Burnout is just a temporary phase where you lose motivation, and it is not something that defines your self-worth.
Coming back on how to overcome burnout, the first step will be to:
- Taking Breaks: Taking frequent breaks while working is a way to refresh and rewire your mind. Going for a run or simply walking for 10-15 minutes will help you gain back the focus. So, the next time you start working, you are more motivated and focused.
- Putting Away Cell Phones: We may feel trapped because we not only work at our office but also carry around the office on our phones. Responding to emails while at breakfast, looking up the schedules and tasks for the next day before going to bed, all these little things keep our minds bound to work and don’t allow us to break free and give us time to enjoy ourselves.
- Focus on Your Goal: We may lose focus of our main goal when we indulge ourselves in work 24/7. Keeping a clear mindset on our goal will not only help us to reach it but will also help us to overcome mental slumps and rewire our minds to feel more motivated to work.
Another point to take in mind on how to overcome burnout is to know why the work matters to you. Remind yourself why you started working and focus more on the things which you enjoy while working, even if it is as simple as talking to your favourite colleague.
After overcoming burnout, the next step would be to avoid it in the future.
How to Avoid Burnout?
- Vacation: Taking a vacation every year helps in unplugging ourselves from busy days and allows us to relax and enjoy our time. Not only it helps in re-evaluating our life, but it can also help in finding more hobbies to keep yourself healthy and happy.
- Finding Peace: Finding happiness and peace in the little things you do helps in keeping your mind happy and healthy.
- Know the Breaking Point: It is easier to fall back into the burnout phase if you don’t know why it occurred in the first place. In order to avoid burnout, know when and what the breaking point occurs. If you feel yourself spiralling back to the start, then step back and allow yourself to think clearly and set up ways to cope with burnout.
- Find Something which Makes You Happy: Finding something which makes you happy and including it in your life will help you make your day seem more enjoyable and fun.
- Exercise: Exercise is also a great way to disconnect from your life and simply indulge in something which makes you feel fulfilled. Exercising allows you to put a stop to negative thoughts. Not only does it allow you to rethink with a clear and fresh mind, but it also helps in gaining back the confidence you may have lost.
A stressful and overworked lifestyle will make even the strongest crumble. In order to avoid stress and live a long, happy life, it is essential to fill your days with joy and take up work which you know you can do easily. If you don’t like the workplace you are in or simply think you are handling too much work, then step back and allow yourself to declutter the mess.
It is much better to do work little by little, allowing yourself little breaks. Therefore, you will have time to relax and practice activities which make you feel happy. Such are the ways by which you can not only work in a stress-free way but also enjoy the work you are doing.
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