In an era where productivity is king, it’s hardly surprising that people have been pushed to their limits. A survey by Flexjobs found that three-quarters of workers had experienced burnout, with 40% saying they experienced it specifically during the pandemic. These stats demonstrate that burnout is a real problem and that you’re not alone if you feel pushed to the limits. While ignoring the warning signs of exhaustion can be tempting, it’s a slippery slope that can eventually cause you to burn out.
Here, we look at the warning signs and what you can do to prevent them.
So, What Does Burnout Look Like?
While burnout isn’t a medical condition, it’s a widespread occupational concern affecting thousands of people across the globe. According to WHO, there are three key symptoms to look out for:
- Exhaustion – Feeling tired, depleted, and possibly unable to cope with daily life;
- Negative Feelings Towards Career – Cynicism, wanting to avoid social work situations, and generally feeling pessimistic;
- Reduced Productivity – Lack of creativity, forgetfulness, missing deadlines, feeling listless, and less engaged.
We’ve all had times when we’ve experienced some of the feelings listed above, but burnout is chronic, lasting weeks or even longer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines burnout as poorly managed chronic workplace stress. Chronic stress can harm well-being and personal relationships.
Although professionals don’t regard burnout as a medical condition, it can lead to or exacerbate medical conditions. Some examples include depression, high blood pressure, and insomnia. It can take time to recover from burnout, so knowing the warning signs to look out for is essential.
How To Prevention or Treat Burnout Symptoms
Knowing when to put yourself first and when to say “no” is essential in managing stress. A big part of burnout is letting work eat into evenings and weekends.
Schedule time for activities and your loved ones. Whether it’s exercise, dinner with your family, or just time alone to recharge your batteries, mapping out the time on a calendar makes it easier to stick to your boundaries. If your employer can’t respect your boundaries, it might be time to look for another job.
Try Herbal Supplements
Many supplements claim to aid relaxation and soothe stress, but here are some of the most popular. Adaptogens are intelligent herbs and roots that help the body adapt to stress. Ashwagandha, in particular, is fantastic as it acts as a tonic for stressed adrenals. It may soothe symptoms associated with burnout, such as lowering cortisol levels and boosting concentration.
CBD is another popular supplement many people use to alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms. It works on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help restore physical and mental balance. Cannabis chew dip is a method that can help you unwind by quickly delivering CBD to your ECS with a long-lasting effect. Such products are placed between the lip and gums and include a filler, CBD, and often a tasty flavor for enjoyable and efficient delivery.
Try your best to leave work at work and give yourself enough time to wind down for sleep. One of the best habits for sleep hygiene is leaving your phone outside your bedroom to resist the itch to check emails before bed or as soon as you wake up. You might gradually build up to the recommended seven to nine hours of restful sleep, as burnout can make it hard for your mind to ‘switch off.’
Consider Relaxation Practices
That leads on nicely to the next point. Stress and exhaustion can make you adopt a ‘what the hell’ attitude, making it easier to swap out good habits for bad ones. Learning to relax in a healthy way (i.e. without alcohol, drugs, and food) is the best way to break the stress cycle.
Meditation is fast becoming the most popular way to slow down and has become extremely accessible thanks to meditation apps and free online content. If meditation isn’t for you, don’t worry. Exercises and practices like yoga, tai chi, sound baths, and massage are some other ways you can help your mind switch off.
‘Grind culture’ has a lot to answer for, but it’s great that burnout is finally becoming recognized as a public issue. The days when burnout was worn like a badge of honor are over, and these steps can help you regain some control. Burnout kills creativity and productivity. Seeing people thrive by setting boundaries and engaging in positive habits inspires others to do the same.