A “burnout” can be described as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.”
This feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands is typically caused by a job or responsibilities, but it spills into all areas of life.
Burning out not only affects your mental state but can make your body susceptible to illness as well. Therefore, it is important to prevent it or deal with it quickly.
Here are 5 tips to prevent burnout.
What are the Symptoms of BurnOut?
Burnout can happen to anyone, although a study from Winona State University found that it is most common between the ages of 25 and 44. Symptoms of burnout can vary from person to person, but they typically consist of:
- Low energy
- Lack of motivation and detachment from work
- Low productivity
- Physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion
- Detachment in personal relationships
- A negative outlook on work or life
- Weak immune system
What Do The Stages of Burnout Look Like?
There are five commonly-accepted stages of burnout:
Stage One: The Honey-Moon Phase
This is the first phase of burnout. During this time, you are typically just starting a job or new project and are full of optimism and energy. This is when you may start to experience stress.
Stage Two: The Onset of Stress:
This stage when you start to recognize stress affecting you, and that some days are worse than others. You may start feeling negative and experiencing symptoms of stress on your mental, physical and emotional state.
Stage Three: Chronic Stress
The third stage of burnout is categorized as chronic stress. It is more intense than the symptoms of stage two but on an almost daily basis. During this stage, it is common to develop a cynical attitude and start procrastinating and missing deadlines.
Stage Four: Burnout
Stage four is when all the symptoms from the previous stages become dangerous. This is the stage people refer to most often when describing a burnout. Common symptoms are a complete behavioral change, complete neglect of personal needs, chronic headaches and bowel issues, self-isolation, and more. It is imperative to seek help in this stage.
Stage Five: Habitual Burnout
The fifth stage of burnout is habitual burnout. This is where these symptoms are so intertwined into your life that they become a habit. This can present as burnout syndrome or depression, chronic mental and physical fatigue.
5 Tips on How to Prevent Burnout
Burnout can be reversed early by good mental health practices like:
1. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries can be as simple as saying no and learning not to overextend yourself. Tune into your body and decide if it really is a “YES”. Set your work hours and respect them. When you respect your time, others will as well.
2. Take Breaks From Technology
It is important to disconnect sometimes. Staring at a screen all day is not healthy. Take time away from your phone and laptop. It is too easy to check your email all day and is not actually productive.
3. Feed Your Creativity
Engaging in activities outside of work that you are passionate about is a powerful deterrent of burnout. Your creative energy needs to be fed and will help with feelings of stress.
4. Schedule Downtime
Downtime is imperative to your mental health and preventing burn-out. Set time aside to relax. Try meditation or yoga to reset your body’s stress response.
5. Get Some Sleep!!
Getting an appropriate amount of sleep every night will help with feelings of burnout immensely. Being tired constantly can speed up and exacerbate burnout. Listen to your body and treat it kindly.
Be Kind To Yourself
The key to preventing burnout is to become self-aware. Be kind to yourself and listen to what your body and mind are telling you. Learn the symptoms of burnout and recognize the stages so you can be productive in a healthy state.