After a year of isolation, we are starting to get back to “normal”. Part of this return to “normal” is the realization we are collectively burnt out with how we have been working and living our lives. That our mental health and well-being is more important than we initially thought. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 workers indicated over 60% of the participants are suffering from burnout. This is especially true of the lower rung laborers that are most likely working longer hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Naturally, employers are scrambling to come up with more time off, better pay and more mental health benefits to combat this burnout phenomena we are experiencing, but it is a slow process. If you can feel yourself slipping into a burnout and can’t wait for help from your employer, we have a few small tips you can do on your own to get through.
Top 5 Burnout Prevention Tips
1. Get some sleep. As hard as this one can be when we are stressed and trying to make things happen, it is important to recognize when to say when. Your body needs rest so it can function at a high level. You are not doing yourself or anyone any favors by burning the candle at both ends. Make sure to avoid caffeine near bedtime and come up with a ritual that works for you that helps you relax and unwind.
2. Work it out. Exercise is not only great for stress relief but can give us an emotional boost to get through tough days. Despite what is commonly reported, you don’t have to spend hours upon hours at the gym in order to reap major burnout-preventing benefits. Simply taking short walks periodically throughout your day will be enough to uplift your spirits, however, if you have the time there is nothing more gratifying than taking out your pent-up emotions in an intense workout either.
3. Eat well. That old adage “you are what you eat” rings true here. If you are constantly eating junky, processed food you may be unwittingly contributing to your bad mood and feelings of burnout. Make sure you are getting enough fresh fruits and veggies along with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health. Just a few dietary swaps can make a big, big difference in your outlook.
4. Learn when to ask for help. If you have tried everything and you still feel funky ask for help either from friends and family, or professionally. Either way there is no shame. We are social creatures and are not meant to totally fight everything alone. Besides, you may find a solution or perspective in someone else that you had not considered before.
5. Know when you can be of help. Not only is it important for you to realize when you are or aren’t good, but when someone around you is struggling. Simply offering to listen and validate someone’s concern not only helps them but could help you too. If you are particularly close even offering up a kind gesture can go a long way. Camaraderie is powerful and can get us through most things.