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3 Tips to Avoid Burning Out

With our demanding, on-the-go lifestyles, comes the risk of burning out. Be mindful and avoid it. [TWEET]

With globalization, digitalization, dual-income households, and social media, people are experiencing job burnout now more than ever. We’re all out to achieve so much more than our ancestors did because, well it’s not just about survival anymore (thank goodness!). This wave of busyness and accelerated living is exciting, but it’s also causing a drained generation.

On the work front, mental health is a hot topic for organizations everywhere because it’s costing companies. For instance, major depression is estimated to cost $210 billion per year, and according to WHO, it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Signs of a burnout can be classified as becoming overridden by any mental health issues from depression, anxiety, and stress to deeper, more complex issues. You also don’t need to be overtaken by it to feel burnt out. In fact, emotional labor can cause the same feelings of fatigue that mimic depression.

Considering that 1 in 5 people will be affected by some form of mental health issue in their lifetime, it’s important to understand the signs of burnout and invest in your mental wellbeing today, to plan for a healthy and functional future.

1. Check yourself

Overcommitting and charging full speed ahead without minding the why behind our decisions is probably the number one error people make today. Instead of following our heart’s desire, we’re living lives that society dictates we live (marriage, house, car, job, kids) without stopping to consider what it is that we want. We say “yes” all day to functions, people, tasks, and things without stopping and asking ourselves what we want.

Don’t: Do things only because you “should” do them. Should is a dirty word.

Do: Practice regular check-in’s with yourself to avoid life and job burnout. Review the many areas of life. Do you feel the way you want to feel?

2. Practice self love

Taking time to care for yourself is critical. It’s absolutely necessary, there is no excuse. Self love will be whatever you need to recharge. For me, it’s nature, quiet, and creativity. For others, it’ll be a night out with the guys/girls. Do something regularly that helps you unwind and get grounded. Speaking of getting grounded, you should literally get grounded.

Don’t: Put yourself last. You cannot be a great partner/parent/teammate/relative/employee if you have life of job burnout.

Do: Practice self love and take a feelings inventory: how did it make you feel? Repeat.

3. Pay Attention

When and if the signs of a burnout creep up on you, the best thing is to be aware early on. This takes emotional intelligence and the ability to be conscious of your emotions. Your body will tell you something’s wrong, you just need to listen to it. Some physical symptoms of a job burnout would be exhaustion, loss of sleep, irritability, loss of interest, and more. You can stay in tune with yourself by having regular check-in’s with yourself. A journal makes the process of checking in natural and can be helpful for future references. Journalling also helps with unwinding, putting things into perspective, and releasing.

Don’t: Delay! 2 in 3 people will keep concerns about mental health to themselves for fear of being judged. Release yourself from stigma and seek help. Chances are they have felt the same way.

Do: Pay attention to your heart every day. Be mindful of how you’re feeling and if you’re noticing anything that worries you, ask a friend.

I mentioned before that mental health affects 1 in 5 of us. You may not be exempt and that’s O.K. The most important thing in my non-PHD opinion, is to build resilience now. A healthy, strong foundation can withstand the storm. By taking care of yourself now you can be better prepared when crisis strikes — because it just might! Life has a tendency to compound on us. Sometimes when it rains, it pours, so invest in a good roof today.

If you’re facing a mental health challenge or are experiencing signs of a burnout, reach out.

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