Do you feel overwhelmed? Exhausted? Running on empty?
Is your brain so overloaded by the sheer everything filling it that you simply haven’t got the energy or will to do anything?
If the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes’, you might be suffering from burnout.
We touched upon this subject previously in one of our blog posts and explained what ‘burnout’ is and what its common triggers are, so if you’re not familiar with this term you might want to have a quick read of that here, but here’s a little refresher in case you need it:
‘Burnout’ is a WHO recognised occupational phenomenon caused by periods of prolonged stress, such as experiencing money worries, health issues or work pressures. Unlike typical ‘stress’, which you could almost describe as a fire which you’re constantly trying to put out, burnout is the void left behind when that fire rages out of control and obliterates everything, wreaking havoc on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Common symptoms include, but aren’t limited to: feeling tired most of the time, changes in appetite, feelings of helplessness and negativity, increased irritability, excessive procrastination and headaches.
Pretty nasty stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.
So, in a time where we’re being exposed to the excessive stresses which lead to burnout even more than ever, what can you do to help yourself and those around you get off that slippery slope before it’s too late? How do you get back up again if you’re already stuck in that void?
These tips below are a good place to start:
- Take a Break: if work is a major stressor for you or you’re really struggling to get through the work day due to burnout, it’s probably time for some time away from the office. Use up some holiday or consider taking sick leave if you need to and give yourself a break, even if it’s just for a few days. Use that time to reset, recharge, and recover – it doesn’t matter if that’s a ‘staycation’, a long weekend away, or simply some time at home, as long as you’re able to relax and breathe a little easier.
- Lean on Others: when you’re burned out (or heading that way), you’ll more than likely find yourself withdrawing from the world around you without even realising it. You might start spending more time on your phone, for example, instead of talking to colleagues or your family during your downtime, or dodging social events you normally would look forward to. Although it might seem daunting and really difficult when you’re at rock bottom, reaching out to your loved ones will be a vital step to recovery. You don’t have to discuss what’s bothering you if you don’t want to; just spending time with others and socialising in a positive way will boost your mood and combat the loneliness that’s making your symptoms worse.
- Get Outside: even though it might feel like the last thing you want to do, getting fresh air and exercise does your body and mind the world of good, so it’s really important you get regular doses of both when you’re burned out. Try to get around thirty minutes of them each day even if that’s broken down into smaller chunks, and you’ll quickly notice a difference to your mood – just a ten minute walk will boost it for around two hours!
- Be Kind to Yourself: too often, we try to put on a brave face and downplay our struggles for fear of looking ‘weak’ or because ‘others have it harder than me’. This mentality has never helped anyone and usually makes you feel even worse, so instead of hiding from what you’re going through, give yourself some grace and acknowledge what you are feeling is valid. After all, you wouldn’t criticise someone for not running a marathon with a broken leg, would you? So stop giving yourself a hard time just because you’re going through a hard time!
Recovering from burnout can take some time, so if following the steps above aren’t enough on their own or you think you or a colleague need a little extra help, we have a wide range of resources, tools and workshops to offer that will not only combat burnout but teach you how to build the resilience you need to stop it from happening again.
To speak to one of the team about what we can do for you, please contact us below and we’ll come back to you as soon as we can.