This here is an article that could have been summed up in a single word: Whiskey. But, where exactly is the Wellness and Wisdom in that? And for those of you wondering where the Whiskey is in the my other articles, I assure you, it’s there.
Before we can go into combating burnout, it is best that we understand what exactly burnout is.Like many words we use in everyday life, we may know what they mean don’t fully comprehend them. The word infinity is a good example of those. I think most people know that to be infinite is to have no beginning and no ending, but it’s when you sit down and start to analyze it that you realize just how complex the concept is and start to question if a finite mind will ever be able to understand it. So, let’s dig a little bit deeper into what burnout is, shall we?
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of exhaustion that occurs when one is constantly feeling overloaded. Emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion are the primary causes of this condition. When you’re exhausted, emotionally drained, and unable to keep up with the constant demands of life, you’re likely to experience burnout. Though workplace stress is what comes to most people’s minds when it comes to burnout, there are actually 3 types of burnout.
1. Overload Burnout
This type of burnout is something that most of us have experienced at some point. Overwhelm burnout causes people to work harder and more frantically in an attempt to achieve their goals. It can be seen in that guy working 84 hours in a steel mill just to make ends meet or that busy single mother holding two jobs while trying to raise her 3 children. It can even take the form of the shy and awkward introvert forced to make small-talk with the person next to them.
2. Under-Challenged Burnout
This happens when we don’t feel challenged in what we do. Going to the same job day in and day out doing the exact same routine without any new obstacles to overcome or room for growth. This can lead to boredom and frustration. The passion for what you do is gone leaving you feeling helpless.
In response to workplace challenges, many people experience neglect burnout, which is characterized by feelings of helplessness or inadequacy. It has a strong association with feelings of inefficacy, which may be explained by the disengagement coping strategy used by the individual.
What Can We Do About Burnout?
If you’re experiencing burnout, the first and foremost thing we must do is identify which of the three burnout category’s fits you before we can combat it.
Set-up a Network of Friends
Stress and burnout can be better managed with the help of a social network. A friend or trusted person can be a sounding board for your thoughts and feelings about what brought you to this point in the first place. You’ll feel more in control if you talk about what’s going on in your life. Burnout can be alleviated by making time for yourself and enlisting the help of others. A big part of being able to get your energy back is making time for yourself.
Define Your Parameters
Setting boundaries is essential if you want to avoid burnout. After a certain point in the day, it’s best not to check your email.
Turning off your phone’s notifications can help. Don’t answer the phone if you’re not feeling up to it. Instead of letting others make you miserable, it’s better to take care of yourself. You’ll avoid burnout and get your life back on track if you set clear boundaries for yourself.
Create a “You” Space
This is one of my favorites because it’s simple and effective. A “you” space can be a quiet nook in your bedroom or a designated spot in your home where you can unwind and recharge. Consider using a virtual space if you can’t find a place to sit in your home. Having a dedicated space in your head will make it easier to maintain a positive outlook and reduce stress. I have both a “me” space and a virtual space in my head. At home, my “me” space is my writing desk and my virtual space is whatever short story or novel I am presently working on.
Anybody that knows me should know this one was coming. When faced with burnout, this is easily one of the most effective ways to fight it because after all, don’t we need to be in shape to combat something?
Unfortunately, for those of us that suffer from Overload Burnout, this is going to be the most difficult one to stick with – especially if you’re a fan of progressive overloading like I am. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve slacked off when it comes to working out. If you were to graph fitness levels by the year, it would look very similar to a stock market crash and recovery. Motivation (which is a subject of another blog article in the future) is key. You not only have to want it, but you have to know that despite your energy levels, it will help combat your burnout.
I’m not saying that the above strategies are going to magically make the burnout disappear. The fact of the matter is, if you’re burned out, you’re burned out. However, these strategies will help to cope with it, combat the burnout fatigue, and set you on the road to a better and more healthy you. Don’t be hard on yourself for being a human being. We’re not machines that can just keep going and going requiring very little maintenance. It’s not selfish of you to take some “me time” and treat yourself to the spa or a massage parlor or the movies. Hell, take the day and read an entire book, you deserve it.