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Avoiding Burnout

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion resulting from long-term stress. It leaves you feeling overwhelmed, emotionally flat and no longer able to cope with the demands of your job. It prevents you from being productive by sapping your energy levels, leaving you feeling hopeless, pessimistic, and resentful.

Burnout stems from an unhealthy work-life balance, being unable to disconnect during leisure time and a lack of boundaries. Not having boundaries gives us leeway to take on workloads and problems that are not ours to deal with. Add in financial worries, long hours without breaks and feeling pressurised by management, and you have the perfect recipe for overload and stress – the key drivers of burnout.

In many workplaces employees are expected to do more than ever with fewer resources. In these circumstances, burnout is prevalent, and, unfortunately, it does not resolve itself if ignored. Indeed, doing nothing is likely to cause further damage by causing serious physical and psychological disorders such as depression, heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, it’s vital that you act as soon as you recognise these signs of burnout:
• Feeling drained or tired most of the time
• Feeling overwhelmed by your work
• Self-isolation and withdrawal
• Having a constantly negative outlook
• Impostor Syndrome or self-doubt
• Frequent minor illnesses
• Changes in sleeping habits and appetite
• Using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism

There are many things you can do preventing burnout including:

This improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and a negative mood while improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Try building a short walk into your daily routine to reap the benefits of exercise without spending hours at the gym.

Eating a balanced diet
Eating well can help prevent burnout by supporting your immune system and boosting your mood. A balanced diet consists of lean protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables and whole grains. Avoid eating too much sugary or processed food; sugar is known to lessen the body’s ability to cope with stress, and multiple studies have linked it to depression.

Develop good sleep habits
Sufficient good quality sleep is essential to our overall wellbeing. Avoid caffeinated drinks too close to bedtime and banish screens from the bedroom. The blue light they emit blocks melatonin, which is needed to make you feel sleepy.

Creative time
Take up, or resume, a hobby, practise mindfulness, go for a walk or do anything that isn’t work-related.

Get help
If you are feeling stressed, make time to talk about your feelings with family and friends and approach your manager to discuss a more manageable workload. Seek advice if things don’t improve.

About David Lawson

Finding the Light is a locally owned and operated counselling and life coaching business based in Bundaberg. We seek to empower our clients to find their way forward to a better life by using the approaches of counselling or coaching. If this blog article has raised more questions please contact us by email or call us on 0407 585 497 to arrange a time for us to discuss the article. Mention this blog and we will give you a FREE 30 minute session to discuss.

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