‘Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.’ Michael Gungor
Burnout is a risk too many of us take.
In my thirties and early forties, I personally experienced burnout.
I felt it most when I listened to others and not my own body because I was working too hard for other people without thinking of myself.
In the past, I would make time for others, but not myself and every day started to feel like a burden.
I felt heavy and started to feel frustrated at every little thing that went wrong.
I never allowed myself to truly rest or even walk at a slower pace because I was constantly running.
Running to work, to class, to help my friends and my family.
I was always running out of time, staying up late, going out when I really just wanted to stay in and go to bed.
Not only was I outrunning myself constantly, I was always trying to outperform myself or work harder to get ahead…but it wasn’t in a good way.
I thought testing my limits was good, but I broke myself in the process and it just wasn’t worth it.
WHAT IS BURNOUT?
According to CAMH (The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health), Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive or prolonged stress.
- Reduce productivity.
- Lower your motivation.
- Zap your energy.
- Can cause you to feel hopeless, resentful, and helpless.
In fact, burnout is becoming more common in today’s society.
Employee burnout for example is at an all-time high.
The job site Indeed has recently reported that employee burnout is on the rise.
52% of all workers in Canada are feeling burned out – up 9% from a pre covid 19 survey.
Employees of all ages are experiencing the impact of stress, fatigue, and mental health challenges.
Symptoms such as feelings of exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job/responsibilities, feelings of negativity toward one’s job or career, along with reduced productivity is only getting worse.
Heavy workloads and deadline pressures can make anyone feel overwhelmed or stretched.
But, when relentless work stress pushes you into a debilitating state of burnout – it becomes a serious problem, affecting not only your performance and ‘well-being’ on and off the job, but your physical health.
Burnout has many negative physical and mental outcomes…
- Coronary heart disease.
- Sleep disturbances & Anxiety.
- Feelings of alienation.
- Undermining the quality of relationships.
- Diminished long term career prospects.
‘The land of burnout is not a place I ever want to go back to.’-Arianna Huffington
I am a burnout survivor who is constantly being asked by my mentees and employees for tips on how to prevent burnout.
These high performers have great ambitions, are constantly chasing new opportunities, have well-defined goals, and want to make an impact on the world.
But they also realize the importance of caring and nurturing their well-being.
‘Self-care’ is vital to keep energy and momentum moving forward.
Below are 3 TIPS on how to AVOID burnout and..
Ideas on how to DEAL with physical, mental, and emotional burnout.
‘The real secret to getting more done is giving yourself a break.’-Marie Forleo
- CONSISTENTLY RECHARGE
We have grown up using the old model as a reference…
That we can recharge and rest when we retire or when we go on that sunny vacation for 2 weeks out of the year.
This mentality is why people are miserable because burnout is real, and they don’t recharge.
The most productive people in the world, that reported the highest levels of happiness, took a break every 52 minutes.
They are recharging during this time, even for 5-6 minutes.
They get up from their desks and remove themselves from the chaos and distraction by:
- Taking a walk.
- Performing breathing exercises.
- Listening to music.
- Sitting outside in silence.
- Running or jogging on the spot
- Just closing their eyes (a lot of fatigue is visual).
High Performers view taking 5–6-minute recharging moments at every hour during the day as critical to their maintaining energy levels and momentum.
Remember, you need pitstops throughout the day to reconnect with your spirit, soul, energy, or even just to breathe.
2. GET MORE SLEEP
This may sound obvious, but you may not be prioritizing it enough. So many people are not getting their 8 hours on a regular basis.
If you are not getting your 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you will…
Lack focus, your cognition goes down (brain fog), and your immune system becomes compromised.
From a work perspective…
Lack of sleep causes stress, loss of patience with team members, colleagues, and social situations.
The less sleep you get, the more irritable you become and the more you feel you are burning out.
It’s vital you prioritize sleep. This is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes – including you.’-Ann Lamott
This weeks’ book recommendation is by author Wilbur Urton called ‘Employee Burnout: How to Prevent Employee Burnout’.
This book offers tips on recharging and techniques for rejuvenation.
It can be found on Amazon using the link below:
3. ASK FOR HELP
Too many people don’t leverage their team, their friends, or their family for help.
Is there someone that can help you with those daily tasks that take time out of your day?
Too many people try and do everything themselves and burnout as a result. They feel like a martyr and think they have to do it themselves.
I remember a past mentor shared the following advice when I refused to ask others for help or delegate a task at work, despite feeling exhausted and on the verge of burnout.
She asked me the following questions (it was rhetorical):
- Who do you think you are?
- Do you think you are the only person that can perform that task, activity, or project?
- If you think you are the only person that can perform that task, then check your ego at the door and give your head a shake!’
Asking for help puts you in control and allows others to feel empowered or at least feel like they are supporting you.
Do not be afraid to ask for help, it is not only liberating but a vital weapon against burnout.
I believe that burnout is not something you need to accept as your fate in life and at some point, you need to say to yourself…
- I want to live a life of peace.
- I want to have moments of stillness and joy in my life.
- I want to keep my energy and momentum at their highest levels so I can make a difference.
- I want to prioritize myself so I can serve others.
You need to take back control of your day by recharging, prioritizing sleep, and knowing when to ask for help.
These things are in your power to combat and defeat burnout.
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I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder