A lot of people around you suffer from burnout and will look miserable because of it. I can assure you that it is something you want to avoid happening. Can you prevent a burn out? Yes, you can, as long as you follow these 6 professionally based recommendations – without radical changes in your life.
At one company, the mailbox of employees is switched off half an hour after their shift. Another one encourages their staff not to work on weekends. And yet another one is implementing new rules whereby employees are not called or mailed after their working hours. And no, these are not necessarily friendly bosses who want to do something nice for their employees. It has become a necessity. Too many people come apart from work related stress.
Do not wait until such time that your boss gives you more holidays or lets you work more favourable hours. Until that time, if it ever comes, you should take your own measures against burnout. After explaining what a burnout is and its causes, I will give you 6 tips in order to avoid this sometimes life changing situation. As a bonus I will give you a perfect way out.
What is a burnout?
Dog-tired, exhausted or emotionally depleted. All terms that are used for the occupational disease of our time: burnout. Having a burnout literally means that you have used all your energy, emotionally and physically. Burnout is a term that originated in the 1970’s. In the most commonly used definition of burnout, at least the following characteristics are mentioned:
- Emotional exhaustion: a feeling of extreme fatigue, the reserves are exhausted and the battery can no longer be recharged
- Depersonalisation: alienation towards others, having a negative, cynical, distant and cold attitude towards colleagues and work
- Feelings of decreasing ability: the feeling that you are performing less well than in the past and the tendency to judge yourself negatively
Recent studies have shown that one in ten workers has had burn-out complaints in the past few years. The percentage of men with burn-out complaints is as high as the percentage among women.
What can the causes be?
Burnout is often associated with work as a concept and can arise, for example, after long-term exposure to work under long lasting pressure.
The general model assumes that different processes influence getting a burnout. Factors such as autonomy, the sense of control and support from colleagues, protect against burnout according to this model, while task demands, such as work rate, time pressure and emotional stress, increase the risk of burnout. If your resources provide sufficient protection against the task requirements, you as an employee run less risk of burnout. But if the task demands are higher than the resources, a burnout is lurking.
Of cours there are also other factors, which are difficult to measure, such as personal problems, your personal characteristics that negatively affect the work situation and your heredity can also play a role in some mental health complaints.
Scientists, experts and psychologists have often broken their heads about solutions for burnout prevention – with this excellent 6-tips list as a result:
1. Sleep and rest!
Oh, you’re the kind of person who needs only a few hours of sleep a night? Wrong! Those people do not exist. No, neither do you.Just try to keep at the eight hours a night rhythm. And do not forget to build in breaks during the day, as after all we are not computers that can be highly concentrated and produce all day long. We simply need rest between periods of high productivity.
For myself, working at home, I will always feel a stress point coming and I immediately take a break. Learn where your stress points are and walk a little bit, think of something pleasant, even if only for 10 minutes.
2. Create a morning ritual
The first hour of your day is also called ‘The Golden Hour’. Your head is still empty, while your senses are already in focus. It is this moment when you set the tone for the rest of the day. Will it be full of stress, or full of joy?
So: do you wake up hastily and do you immediately get out of bed to jump into your clothes and run out the door? Or do you set the alarm a little earlier, make some coffee first, read a newspaper? In other words, you take your time to wake up and prepare for the day, get things in perspective. This way will bring some peace in your mind, which you will take with you during the rest of your day.
Exercise is – as proven by Harvard university – a remedy for your physical and mental state. That does not mean that you have to run a few laps as soon as you are not feeling comfortable. Instead you have to be active on a regular basis to notice the effects on your mental state and to prevent a burnout. And by ‘active’ I do not mean to run a marathon.
4. Take a time-out
Take once a day a break of all the technology you surround yourself with, because they are addictive! Leave your phone in your work bag as soon as you come home, or change to the air plane mode. Grab a book instead of your laptop, listen to music instead of watching TV and stop – with – checking – of – your – mail!
Are you such a person who saves up his vacation days and only gets a small part paid out? Stop doing that. Holidays are not there for pleasing the boss, but are there for your fun. They are there because you need them. So use them!
Can you really not take holidays because your company can not do without you or because you are very busy? I don’t think so.
One of the characteristics of a burnout is that it is difficult to think clearly and creatively. Keep your creativity alive. Or reinstate new life in it.
Everyone can be creative, you just have to find out where you like to be creative. Do not think of cutting and pasting. For example, stain your garden fence with full attention, write a piece in your journal, assemble a model air plane or create a new world in your head by diving into a wonderful book. Or start a vegetable garden and conjure up your own vegetables. As long as you create something, creativeness can be a big help! It can contribute to more self esteem.
6. Trim your inbox
Junk mail, TV advertising, leaflets, uninteresting newsletters, tweets, whats apps, Facebook news feed: the whole day we are flooded with a spam tsunami. Plus the feeling that haunts us all day long that we have to check everything, because otherwise we might have missed something. No worries, we all suffer from it. It even has an official name in psychology: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Check what information you really have and let go of your FOMO, before the overload of things you think you have to know, do or read gives you a burnout.
I hope that this article will help you to either foresee a burnout coming or prevent it all together. People in a burnout usually find it very difficult to come out of it and get into the normal working process again. For those of you that do not find re-entry appealing, I have a perfect way out: start your own business and do so online. But make sure you have the right, scam free support for a very reasonable price. Join Wealthy Affiliate (WA) and having your own website, exploiting your own passions, getting traffic to your site and so much more is just around the corner.
If you are interested, you can read my full review of what WA is an how it works by clicking here. Should you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box and I will be back to you within 24 hours.