This guide tells you how to handle burnout and manage stress

Ultimate Guide to Handle Burnout

Are you low on energy?

Are you wondering why you are not able to get things done faster?

Are you experiencing a fall in your productivity levels?

Have you been in a bad mood recently?

Is your body aching?

Are you finding it difficult to fall asleep?

If you answer yes for more than 2 questions, then you are likely to be suffering from what is known as Burnout.

Mayo Clinic defines burnout as: 

“a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity”

It is highly prevalent these days due to a rise in the competition and productivity issue at the workplace (or university), long working hours (or study hours), and extreme amounts of work pressure (or study load).

Burnout v/s Hustling

Several people confuse Burnout with Hustling.

Burnout takes a toll on your health, whereas Hustling simply means working harder.

Hustling means pushing yourself to your limits, whereas Burnout means pushing yourself beyond your limits (Limits which your body is not prepared to handle)

Hustling has a positive impact on your productivity, however, burnout has a negative impact on it.

Reasons for burnout

Burnout is not something that happens overnight.

It gets built into your system over a period of time, mostly for more than a month.

Most common reasons for burnout are:

1. Too much work-pressure

Too much work pressure can cause burnout and stress

Burnout is a type of stress. An extreme amount of work pressure can lead to stress and eventually burnout.

Most of the symptoms of burnout are similar to stress: body fatigue, improper sleep, and bad mood.

2. No social support

Having no social support can also lead to mental and emotional burnout.

While stress and work pressure are the primary reasons for burnout, one of the things which intensify the burnout is lack of social support: be it friends, family, or colleagues.

Lack of social support means that you cannot share your work and life-related issues with anyone. This leads to a build-up of lots of negative energy within your body, only waiting to burst out at the most inappropriate time.

3. Improper Work-Life balance

Lack of work-life balance can be mentally taxing

Burnout can also happen due to a lack of work-life balance. 

What some people might consider as normal can be a burnout situation for you. This can be because other people have a proper work-life balance in their lives and you don’t.

Work-life balance does not mean maintaining an equal balance between work and life. Instead, it just means that you manage your work and life. Period!

4. Pushing yourself too hard

Pushing yourself too hard can cause low energy levels

Pushing yourself beyond your limits (not in the way that motivational videos want you to) can lead to burnout. 

You must be aware and mindful of when you are hustling and working hard and when you are harming your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health.

5. Not interested in the work

Sometimes you can experience burnout despite any of the above reasons. This could be because you might not be interested in the work you do and therefore you might feel burned-out despite the work being very light.

Negative impacts of burnout

Burnout can negatively impact your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health.

Burnout starts building up slowly, only to burst out at a stage where it becomes very difficult to handle.

Burnout can cause the following health issues:

1. Muscle fatigue

Burnout can also lead to muscle fatigue

One of the most common impacts of burnout is muscle fatigue.

People experiencing burnout spend most of their time sitting and working, leaving very minimal time for physical activities.

Sitting in one place for long hours can cause muscle fatigue.

2. Insomnia

Burnout can lead to insomnia.

Burnout causes stress and anxiety amongst people, leading to a reduction in sleep quality.

Most of the people experiencing burnout find it very hard to fall asleep, therefore experiencing reduced energy levels.

3. Anger

Excessive stress and work load can cause anger

Burnout can cause changes in mood, mostly stimulating anger, sadness, and irritation.

4. High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

Burnout can cause high blood pressure and diabetes amongst people.

People experiencing burnout can experience high blood pressure and diabetes. Burnout can also put you at the risk of a heart attack.

5. Lower immunity

Burnout can reduce immunity and cause lifestyle diseases

Most of the time, people experiencing burnout don’t spend much time taking care of their health and diet.

This can lead to a reduction in the strength of immune system and physical health.

Other negative impacts of burnout are:

  1. A quick change in body weight
  2. Depression
  3. Social withdrawal
  4. Fall in energy levels
  5. Hair fall
  6. Chronic Headaches
  7. Craving for food, alcohol, drugs, smoke.

How to cure burnout

One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to love what you do or do what you love.

Burnout at work is getting common these days due to an increase in competition at the workplace, an increase in the number of people available per job opening, and rapid changes in technology.

It is highly recommended that you follow the below-mentioned tips to handle Burnout. 

1. Stand for 5 minutes after every 60-90 minutes.

Standing desks are a very important health and fitness accessory to have at home and office

You should not sit for more than 60-90 minutes in one go.

Standing or walking for 5 minutes after every 60-90 minutes of work will ensure that you don’t fall in the trap of a sedentary lifestyle.

2. Interact with family, friends, colleagues

Socialising can help you in beating burnout and stress.

Family, friends, and colleagues can act as your social support groups which can be helpful to you in coping with the stress and anxiety due to burnout.

Having a social backing while experiencing burnout can offer some cushion to your Mental and Emotional health.

3. Get a massage every month/ quarter

Get a massage every month or quarter to improve health & blood circulation in body

Full body massages are super helpful in reducing stress, improving mood, muscle flexibility, and blood flow.

You must go for a Wellness massage at least once per quarter if you are experiencing burnout.

4. Take a break

Take a break after regular interval to avoid stress & burnout

If you are facing burnout but can’t handle it anymore, then you must take a break from whatever it is: work or study.

Sometimes, hitting the pause button is one of the best ways to cure burnout since it allows you to regain your energy, focus, productivity.

5. Go for a wellness vacation

A person going for a wellness vacation for stress management

Going for a Wellness vacation is an amazing way to de-stress and rejuvenate.

Wellness vacations are a great way to improve your productivity and health.

Wellness vacations won’t help in reducing burnout but it will equip you to handle it in a better way.

6. Stretch your muscles

Stretching can improve health & wellness.

You should stretch your muscles at least twice while working or while studying to improve muscle flexibility, blood flow, and posture.

Stretching will also allow you to take a break from work/ study and move away from the sedentary lifestyle. 

7. Exercise

Exercising regularly is an effective way to handle workplace stress

Exercising for at least 4 hours per week will make you better equipped to handle burnout since exercising will reduce the chances of you facing cardiac issues, obesity, and poor posture.

Exercising regularly will make you feel positive since it leads to release of endorphins in your system.

8. Meditate daily

Regular meditation can improve mental and emotional health

Meditation is an amazing way to reduce stress, manage thoughts, and improve your mental and emotional health.

Doesn’t matter whether you are experiencing burnout or not, you must meditate twice daily, at least for 10 minutes each.

9. Avoid driving long distances for work

Avoid travelling long distance to avoid stress due to driving

Driving for long-distance can lead to stress and this intensifies the burnout.

You should either use public transport or use shorter routes or live near your workplace to avoid stress due to traveling.

10. Avoid drugs, alcohol, smoking

Avoid excessive drinking and drugs while under stress

You should not resort to alcohol, drugs, or smoking to cope with burnout. These things will deteriorate your health (immunity) and reduce your ability to handle the burnout.

11. Work-Life balance

A family of 4 enjoying in a park

Maintaining a work-life balance can help you in avoiding burnout.

Work-Life balance can help you in keeping a check at your workload and will help you to relax and recharge.

Work-life balance will ensure that you don’t let your work negatively impact your health, relationships, and mental state.

12. Say “No”

Learn to say "no" to excessive responsibilities.

If things get hard to handle and you are already over-extending yourself beyond your limits, then you must evaluate your priorities and say “no” to unnecessary work and responsibilities.

If despite following the above tips you are finding it difficult to handle burnout, then you should get professional help (from doctors).

Don’t let your work/ study get in the way of your health.

Conclusion

Earning money at the expense of your health and then spending that money to cure your health is the greatest irony of all time. Don’t fall into this trap.”

Once you get a hold of your burnout situation, then you should ensure that you don’t fall in that same situation again.

You should not neglect your own needs to enable others to achieve theirs at the cost of your health.

Burnout can be very harmful and can lead to serious psychological and physical complications.

Prioritise your health and family over anything else so that you can avoid burnout.

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