We live in a fast-paced society where everyone is busy and living at a hectic pace. This hectic pace of life can easily lead to stress and it is important to know ways to avoid burnout.
What is burnout?
Burnout is described as physical, emotional and mental exhaustion which leaves people unable to cope with their daily lives. In this state the person cannot see a way forward and often has little hope for the future.
Here are 5 simple ways to avoid burnout, to alleviate stress and keep you in control.
Have a Plan.
Planning out your week is the best way to reduce stress and avoid burnout. Plan time-out for recreational activities, as this time away from work is vital to your mental and emotional health. Plan a lunch break every day in which you eat a light, healthy meal and get outdoors for fresh air and a brisk walk. Have your life priorities set into your plan; when you feel overwhelmed, consult your priority list to help keep you focused and grounded. Plan to do your most important tasks during your most productive time of the day and don’t allow interruptions during this time. Plan for vacations and breaks from work; being a workaholic is not something you should be proud of.
Delegate and Ask for Help.
If you are consistently feeling overwhelmed, look ways to reduce your workload. If you carefully teach how you want the task done, you can be confident that it will be completed the way you would have done it. Boost a co-worker’s self esteem and confidence by showing that you trust them to do your tasks well. If you are having a busy time at work, ask your family members if they can help you out for a while, by picking up some of your household responsibilities. Make sure you show how grateful you are for their help and go back to attending to your jobs as soon as work allows.
Know your Limits and Learn when to Say No.
Saying ‘no’ is one of the hardest things a busy person can do. You feel as though you should be able to do everything that’s asked of you and feel guilty when you consider refusing. When you know that you are stretched almost to your limit, learn to say ‘no’, give your reasons and be confident that you are doing the best thing for your own health. Saying no may just save you from burnout; it may also allow you the time to do the things that are your priorities.
Look after Yourself.
You will be better able to cope with tight deadlines, stress and anxiety if you are fit and healthy. Eat a nutritionally balanced diet with the emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid or limit fatty foods, those high in sugar and fast food. Keep protein snacks like nuts, yogurt, fresh or dried fruit handy for a quick and easy pick-me-up. Get some regular light exercise; the lunchtime brisk walk mentioned in #1 is a great habit to get into. It just needs 15 to 30 minutes of your time and will ensure you are more productive during the afternoon. Schedule in some exercise during your weekend to help you unwind and maintain your general fitness. If stress is a problem for you, consider taking up meditation, yoga or tai chi. Take up a new hobby to help take your mind off work worries.
Don’t Shut Yourself Away.
Humans need regular interaction with others so make time for socializing with friends and family. Share your concerns and problems with those close to you; it helps to get things off your chest and talking them through often allows solutions to present themselves.
These 5 simple strategies will help you to avoid burnout; prevention is definitely the best option. If you find that you get to a position of burnout on a regular basis, consider seeking professional advice and assistance.