We live in an odd time – many people live permanently on the edge of burnout, seeming to get a pleasure from announcing “I’m so busy!” in response to a “how are you”.
The culture around overworking and excelling leads to a pressure to compare yourselves to others, and can result in you pushing yourself too far.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, founder, employee, or trying to juggle life, the risk of burnout is real, and not something to be glorified.
Why should I care about suffering burnout?
As well as the impact on your mental health, burnout can also affect your physical health, impacting your immune system – usually as a result of lack of rest and sleep. Stress also impacts your memory, focus, and emotional control, and affects your relationships – burnout isn’t likely to only affect you, but also everyone around you, including those you work with.
How do I fight burnout?
It may be another buzzword of the moment, but self-care is the best way to look after yourself in the face of burnout.
Regardless of any stigma around the term, every solution to burnout involves looking after yourself and preserving your time and energy to get yourself in the best place possible, personally and professionally.
Read more: What is Coworking and Why Should I Care?
Take a break
Whether it’s by using the Pomodoro method or simply scheduling in a 15-minute break every couple of hours, humans need time out during the day as well as at night. Rather than pushing yourself past the point of productivity, figure out how long you’re able to work at your most productive before you start to struggle and lag.
Turn off your phone.
It might feel like chopping off a limb, but taking tech-free time to relax and focus on other things helps you not only de-stress, but also relaxes your eyes and turns your mental space to other things. Being accessible to your work 24/7 is unhealthy – in France it is now illegal to send emails to other employees after hours, as the government acknowledge ‘the right to disconnect’ as a necessary human right.
Plan a holiday
If you can, schedule in some leave and give yourself something to look forward to – it’s not a possibility for everyone, but knowing you have some time 100% separated from the stresses of work helps your mental health in the lead-up and during your break. It’s part of the joy of the silly season – everyone is in their blissful pre-holiday mode at the same time!
Work self-care into your schedule
Whether it’s a mindfulness app, yoga session, bath, or even a lazy hour or two, working time to look after yourself is a way to prioritise your mental health and ensure you’re taking time to check in with yourself.
Organise your day
Knowing what you have coming up in your day/week is always going to give you ample time to prepare, as well as letting you see easily what your upcoming workload is going to be. Having an organised calendar may involve a little more admin day-to-day, but you’ll soon reap the benefits.
Listen to your body
It’s tempting to simply reach for the panadol when you have a headache, but it’s essential to try and investigate what’s causing it. There are many physical manifestations of stress and anxiety, and knowing how your body responds to these lets you identify signals of burnout early on.
Read more: There is an “I” in Story
Whether you have a tightknit group of friends, a great counsellor, or a family that’s always there for you, using your support network is a great way to not only feel loved and supported but also to continue your relationships.
Spending time with people who make you happy, doing things that make you happy, lets you destress as well as unloading some of your stresses (and maybe having them negated!).
Evaluating your goals, future, and current life path can motivate you to take actions – your goals can seem farther away if you feel close to burnt out, but dedicating a small amount of time to focus can help you make any needed changes, as well as identifying what you want your future to look like.