The past few years have been rough on everyone. The pandemic has disrupted the daily lives of millions of people. The cost of living seems to be going up every day. People are working harder and struggling more than ever to take care of everything that needs to be done. There's a higher risk of burnout than ever before
Burnout is the emotional, physical, and psychological exhaustion that results from too much stress in our daily lives. It has become a common problem for professionals, especially those in stressful jobs like healthcare, education, and public service. However, it’s important to know that with the right kinds of self-care, the effects of burnout can be reversed.
The key to recovery is taking the time to take care of yourself.
The need to take the time to put yourself first has become known as ‘self care”. It’s something that is often overlooked, frowned upon, or even seen as a sign of weakness. It’s important to maintain a healthy body and mind by taking the time to exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Even fun with family and friends is considered part of self care. It allows you to maintain a work-life balance.
Here are five strategies to help overcome burnout.
1. Track your stress levels.
The first step to recovering from burnout is to acknowledge that something in your work life needs to change. Once you start to recognize this, try keeping a journal to track stress levels and identify your stress triggers.
As you are tracking your stress and emotions, describe the stressful events you face during the day. These may include traffic, work deadlines, family dynamics, or child care responsibilities. Because it’s important to understand what type of stress affects you most, keep track of your reactions throughout the day. As you do, you will start to see patterns.
2. Uncover your stress triggers.
Most of the stress we feel is caused by a specific trigger. To start the process of recovering from the burnout caused by stress, it’s important to understand the initial causes. Pay attention to situations, people, or deadlines that seem to always cause your stress levels to rise.
Consider times of day you feel most stressed and what is happening at those times.
When you start to feel stress causing exhaustion or anxiety in your calmest moments, you can be sure you are starting to feel the effects of burnout. It is important to understand why this is happening. Think back to when your life was a little bit easier. Have you always been so busy that taking a break wasn’t an option?
When you uncover these triggers, it becomes easier to take steps to prepare for them or avoid them.
3. Seek the help of a professional.
Burnout is a condition that you can recover from. A professional can help reverse the feeling of burnout by teaching you how to recognize your triggers and better manage your stress.
4. Start a daily journal.
Using a journal gives you an outlet to release your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Journaling has been shown to help you work through problems and recognize patterns.
Although it may feel forced at first, journaling can provide help and support in the long run. Journaling works to help you deal with stress by helping you better understand patterns and triggers.
This understanding will help you develop stress management techniques for the future.
5. Make exercise a regular aspect of your routine.
Exercise can be a way to clear your head and relax. It is important to note that starting a new exercise routine can be difficult while the burnout is affecting you, so you will need to ease into exercise slowly.
Allow yourself to start with a few minutes of walking or stretching. Gradually work your way up to more exercise as you feel more empowered to take on new challenges.
Exercise can help you feel energized and this will help with relieving stress.
When you’re facing burnout, the more you care for yourself, the better you'll feel. This will make recovery a quicker and more rewarding process.