Looking for ways to avoid burnout in the workplace or overcoming severe burnout?
I’m sure you’ve been there.
You know. That feeling of burnout.
You’re tired, stressed out, helpless and feeling stagnant. And it’s so hard to shake these feelings.
You are not alone. Burnout happens to those in the workforce, to parents, and students.
I will show you how to prevent burnout, so this doesn’t happen to you again. With these simple burnout prevention strategies, you’ll avoid these feelings in the future.
But first, let’s talk about what burnout is and what it looks like.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a mental and emotional state caused by excessive stress and overwhelm. This could come from work, school or relationships.
Quite frankly it comes from doing too much. By saying yes to too many people when you know you don’t have enough time or energy.
Or overextending yourself to meet deadlines that are unrealistic. Maybe even by taking on too many classes in school while working a full-time job.
After going through this cycle of doing too much you start to feel constantly stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and unable to meet the demands of your job, school or relationships.
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This, my friends, is the state of being burned out.
Burnout can cause you to lose motivation and simply not care about your work. You go from super productive and energized to barely getting anything done and exhausted.
Burnout can leave you feeling hopeless and eventually feeling resentful. It negatively affects your relationships and your health.
Once you have recognized that you are burned out you have to deal with it right away and understand how to prevent burnout.
What do Burnout Symptoms Look Like?
You may be wondering if you have some of the symptoms of burnout. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms.
When I first recognized I was burned out, I noticed that I was having anxiety.
Anxiety is excessive uneasiness or apprehension that can cause you to have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, or rapid heart rate.
You can physically feel anxiety. I remember feeling a tightness in my chest and my eye twitching. The problem with prolonged anxiety is that it can lead to other health issues including heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression.
Feeling anxious and nervous is normal to an extent. And these feelings can even be helpful in certain situations.
But prolonged anxiety is not healthy and a sign of burnout.
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Another sign of burnout is forgetfulness. You may be pretty good about remembering things, but you forget quite a bit when you’re burned out.
It’s easy to forget what you walked into the kitchen for when you’re mentally burned out. So if you’re being unusually forgetful and might be a sign that you need to take a pause.
Next sign is fatigue. Not just physically, but mentally too.
Do you know that constant feeling of being tired even when you got a good amount of sleep?
Even if you’re not physically moving around all day, you can feel that constant fatigue when you are burned out.
#4. Loss of Appetite
If you’re noticing that you’re starting to eat less or just don’t have an appetite, this may be a sign.
Going periods of time without eating or not eating enough can lead to other health issues.
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#5. Lack of Sleep
If your sleep is reduced significantly, this can be a very unhealthy sign that you’re burned out.
If you’re getting inconsistent sleep or you’re waking up in the middle of the night or suffering from a case of insomnia, you definitely need to take heed to the signs and give yourself a break.
The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours. Next time, track your sleep for the week to see how much sleep you are getting.
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#6. Lack of Focus
Now, I used to blame my squirrel brain on having a second son. And I truly believe that once I had my second son that my brain was just not the same it was before.
A lack of focus was a sign that I was burned out.
If you notice that you’re not able to focus like you usually do, it’s definitely something that you don’t want to brush off.
The never-ending to-do list or having many things that you have to get accomplished in a day makes it super easy for you to get overwhelmed and overworked.
Make sure that you are taking notice of how much you’re trying to get done at one time so that you don’t lose focus or start having some of the other symptoms previously mentioned.
Burnout Recovery Strategies
So you’ve identified that you’re burned out. What next?
Let’s go through some ways to recover from burnout so that you can get back to your normal self again.
#1: Make Plans
So first thing, look at your schedule and start making plans.
Start with three things that you have to get done today and then move on from there.
If you need to, remove things from your to-do list completely or delegate it to someone else.
#2: Do Something Fun
Don’t forget to schedule in some time for doing something fun.
Whether it’s going out on a trip with your girlfriends or just having some quiet time to yourself.
You definitely want to make sure that you schedule some fun time just for you.
Whatever you consider fun, do it. Even if it is not fun for your significant other or your kids.
#3: Give Yourself Permission
Give yourself permission to take time off. It really is okay. And the world will still go on if you take a break.
Because I felt like everything is so dependent on me, I struggled with giving myself permission.
But in the end, if I’m not at my best or able to do my best, I serve no good for no one.
#4. Get Enough Sleep and Water
Lastly, make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and that you are taking notice of how much sleep you’re getting.
But the real key is to learn how to prevent burnout from even happening.
How to Prevent Burnout in the Workplace
It’s so easy to get to that place of burnout because of work. Trust me. I know all about it.
Try using these tips to prevent burnout in the workplace.
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3 Tips for Preventing Burnout at Work
Tip #1: Analyze
Take a few minutes to analyze your job. Get a clear understanding of what is expected of you. And what is not?
Many times we overwhelm ourselves with things that are not even expected out of us. For instance, I overwhelmed myself at work trying to do my job and the tasks that are assigned to me and my office manager.
Tip #2: Get Clear
By getting clear on what is expected of you, you understand what is truly important so that you know what can be delegated.
If you still find that you have an unreasonable amount of work that is assigned to you, talk to your boss privately.
Show your boss that you have an unreasonable amount of work that needs to get done and have ideas of how to get the work completed by reassigning a certain task to other people.
By coming to your boss with a plan instead of complaints, it’s more likely that your boss will help to make your situation better.
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Tip #3. Delegate
If you work for yourself, how to prevent burnout starts by looking at the task that can be outsourced to someone else.
This will allow you to spend your time doing the things that are going to produce more money in your business.
Plus, you can’t do everything by yourself. You definitely need help.
7 Steps for Burnout Prevention
Preventing burnout is key. I’ve learned a few ways to prevent burnout so that you can stay positive and productive.
Incorporating these ways of how to prevent burnout will make the chances of burnout in your life slim.
Step #1: Do the Things that you Enjoy
First, take time to do things that you enjoy every day.
This may seem silly when it comes to how to prevent burnout, but it works.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to have fun. Taking time to do things that you enjoy will help you to stay in a positive state of mind.
And simply make you happy.
Step #2: Practice Daily Self-Care
I know you have heard about it quite a bit. But self-care is more than bubble baths and pedicures.
Self-care is taking care of yourself on a basic level like brushing your teeth and seeing your doctor annually.
Just remember self-care looks different for everyone. You may need to take a nap when your bestie needs to do meditation.
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Step #3: Celebrate Small Wins
It’s so easy to look and see what’s not going well. Or how much more you have to get done.
Instead of taking on this mindset, celebrate the small wins. You know. When you get a major task completed. Or when you managed to get a majority your to-do list done in the day.
Take time to celebrate. Celebration keeps you in a positive mindset and helps you to see the positive things going on in your life.
Remember to take time and look at what you have accomplished daily. Even if it is just for a moment.
Step #4: Ask for Help
The worst thing that you can do is feel like you have to do everything by yourself.
Especially with the way things are in a society now, it’s almost celebrated if you do everything yourself.
This is not healthy or the way life was intended. You are social human beings and you work best together with others. Don’t be hesitant about reaching out for help.
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And please don’t turn down help either.
Asking for help is difficult for those that are used to doing everything on their own. But I assure you that asking for help is important when learning how to prevent burnout.
Step #5: Exercise
Your body is not meant to stay in one place all day.
This is another reason to take a break and get moving. Lifting weights and doing resistance exercise helps too. This type of exercise has been shown to increase personal accomplishment.
I know I enjoyed looking at myself in the mirror when my abs looked like JLo versus what they look like after having my son.
Step #6. Give Back
Take some time and give back to others. It could be something as simple as helping someone with something at work or volunteering at your local homeless shelter.
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Step #7. Stress Management
Take time to find ways that work for you to manage your stress.
Whether it is kickboxing, meditation or yoga. Do what works for you.
Keeping your stress levels low is not complicated, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do. This is why it’s important to find what helps you the best.
Because managing your stress is key to how to prevent burnout.
Start Preventing Burnout in Your Life Today
The next time that you notice the signs of burnout, take time to stop and pause.
I get it. Life can be tough with managing all of the demands from work, school, and family.
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Please remember to be sure to seek professional help if you need it.
You don’t have to live in burnout. You have the keys on how to prevent burnout.
So get out there is live your best life (without falling apart)!
How do you prevent burnout in the workplace?
More About Guest Contributor
Toni-Ann is a dentist and a huge WWE fan that has a passion for helping other moms understand they’re not alone with their struggles with mom life. Through her blog and podcast, Real Happy Mom, she provides encouragement and practical tips for motherhood.