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12 April, 2021

How to avoid being burnout at work

By: Cesilia Faustina

We all have those days, the classic being burnout from work. Most people go through this, especially when it comes to work stress and falling into the cycle of a routine. Though it is a common thing most people go through nowadays, it is still not as easy for people to deal with. And this is why it is important to understand what exactly I am talking about when I say, “burnout.” People tend to take this for granted but understanding the symptoms of a burnout is the first step in getting better and realising that there may be a problem in one’s life.

What I mean by burnout here refers to the feeling of exhaustion and unmotivated desires that may lead to mental and emotional strains. WHO defined it as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that is characterized by feelings of energy depletion, feelings of negativism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy. As was stated in a BBC article, according to Siobhán Murray, a psychotherapist based in County Dublin, Ireland, pre-burnout symptoms may be very similar to depression. This may include things like feelings of tiredness that won’t go away and relying on sugar to get you through the day.

It is important to notice these symptoms in order to better understand one’s current condition. Somebody might be about to experience a burnout, or they may just be going through a challenging month. Paying attention to these little things in life will help to determine whether they actually need help, or they may just be going through a slump.

If you do have burnout though, the best advice many professionals have given is to change lifestyle choices. I know, it’s easier said than done, but you would be surprised at what simple lifestyle changes can do for your mental health. Here are a few options to think about then if you are going through a burnout.


Find your support bubble

Firstly, I would definitely recommend seeing a professional therapist to help you better understand your current situation. They can help to diagnose whether one is going through a burnout or actual depression. They can also help to give better recommendations for lifestyle choices and hey, you have somebody you can talk to and load your problems to. Obviously, therapy is not for everyone though and not everyone can afford it, so even just finding and going to your support bubble would help. Be it family or friends, find people you can talk to and feel comfortable around in order to release the stress and tension. It is surprising how just talking to somebody can help. The most important thing though is to not bottle it in; that will make things much worst.


Reach out to management

Burnouts can happen due to overwhelming workloads, but it may also occur because of the work environment itself. If you are having a difficult time with workload and work environment try talking to your manager or HR personnel to see if they can help. Having a supportive management team can help greatly and being able to open up to them and realizing they can help will make all the difference. This may include asking for time off, reducing your workload or distributing tasks, altering work hours or work locations, etc. That said, I understand that not all management may be as understanding, but you will never know until you try, and the results may actually surprise you.


Don’t try to have it all

Another reason burnout may occur is because one is putting too much pressure on themselves. Some people may have a perfectionist personality and in today’s climate, most people feel that they can have it all; be a successful hardworking employee while still having time to spend quality time with family and friends, while staying on a healthy diet. Nobody’s perfect, and it is ok to take it slow once in a while. Take some time off work to spend time with family and friends, do not take work home with you, and stop overthinking all your tasks from work. This might take some getting used to, but once you realize you don’t have to do everything perfectly (and will you look at that, the world is still spinning), you can learn to let go a bit of the work stress.


Eating right and exercise

One of the major things we need in our lives that people definitely take for granted is exercise. I’m especially talking about all those office workers out there. We are constantly working for eight to nine hours a day, tired and barely moving. It is important to do activities that will balance things out like exercising. Mind you, I understand exercising may not be for everyone, but you can easily choose a workout that works for you; be it playing sports, going on hikes, going for walks, dancing; whatever it is, it is important to do it and make it into a regular routine. It does not even have to cost you any money, you can work out from home or even walk home from work rather than take transportation. Eating right is also a part of this. Diets of unhealthy food and sugary snacks may also get your mood down, so make sure you are eating enough and properly.

You will eventually get used to having this lifestyle and it will become an easy process in the end, you just need to start at some point. Again, yes, it will be hard, but I cannot stress the importance of keeping your body moving and eating right.


Take a rest

For people who do not sleep and think they have to work all night long, just stop. This goes without any explanation, our body needs sleep and rest and if you think working all night long is going to help, it won’t. In fact, straining your body and brain will make them less effective for you, leading to more fatigue and work inefficacy. So please, DO NOT DO THAT. Our bodies need around seven to eight hours of sleep, depending on your lifestyle and health conditions, of course, so listen to your body and get all the rest you need, be it sleep or having some fun leisure time.


At the end of the day, sometimes if you feel like a career change may be the only option and you can afford to do so, that may be a solution. However, it is important to make sure and try best to understand where the burnout is coming from and attempt to tackle it. It may not be easy but sometimes, it helps to remember that altering and doing even little things may help. Also, you’re not alone in this; we just need to keep fighting the fight together.

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