Have you ever had that overwhelming feeling of prolonged stress that leads to physical and mental exhaustion? That would be a burnout. A burnout is a psychological and physical state of chronic stress that results from excessive and prolonged work-related pressures, demands and responsibilities. It is characterised by a sense of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion, leading to reduced performance, feelings of detachment from one’s work or responsibilities, and a general sense of negativity. Burnouts typically occur when someone is unable to effectively cope with the ongoing stress and pressure that they face at work and other parts of their life. Everyone will experience burnouts differently, but here are a few of the most common symptoms that you might experience.
Symptoms of a burnout
- Increased illness
- Lack of productivity
- Poor performance
- Lack of concentration
- Changes in eating habits
- Sleep deprivation
- Decreased motivation
- Increased irritability
There are however things you can do in your everyday life, that might help prevent a burnout in the future.
How do I avoid a burnout?
Time management is just one of those things you have to use in your work life to help keep on top of your tasks and your stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of tasks you have been given, start by writing out all of the tasks you need to do. You can decipher which are high-priority tasks that need completing asap, whereas others can be pushed back. Once you feel more in control of your tasks, it can help to reduce the amount of stress you feel. Our top tip is to plan ahead so you don't feel overwhelmed with work.
If you work from home, or you know you are a constant worrier, it can be hard to separate your work life from your social life. However, this separation is really important for your mental health. Here are just a few boundaries you can integrate into your life to help create that separation.
- Mute all work emails & group chats
- Turn off your phone after work
- If you work from home, create a specific working space out of your social area
- Make sure you don’t work overtime
- Learn to decline work requests or tasks that are beyond your capacity during your working hours
- Plan social activities after work
Setting these boundaries can help you to become more efficient at work, reduce stress in your personal life and help to prevent a burnout.
You might have heard this tip a fair few times, but exercise can really help to aid in your relaxation. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which act as a natural stress reliever. Taking 20 minutes out of your everyday routine to take part in some sort of physical activity, whether that be walking, cycling, swimming or Pilates, can leave you feeling better. Exercising after work can also be a great way to split your work day and your evening apart, which can help you to ‘clock off’ from work life.
Meditation is a practice that enables you to concentrate on clearing your mind of thoughts, by using a number of physical and mental techniques during a session. When you practise meditation, it should help you feel more balanced, peaceful and calm, which will help with your mental health. At Morphée we have a new product called Morphée Zen. Our latest product contains 72 guided meditation sessions that last 5-minutes each, making it the perfect relaxation tool to use whether you’re at work, on the move or simply sitting on your sofa. Morphée Zen is light-weight, portable and can fit in your pockets, comes with its own set of headphones and you can choose from four different languages. Listening to a session or two during your work break can help soothe your mind and leave you feeling more focused afterwards.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, you might think that taking a break is counterintuitive because you have so much to do. However taking regular short breaks throughout the day will allow you to rest and recharge your mind, which can help with increased concentration and productivity.
When you sleep more, your body decreases the amount of cortisol and other stress hormones it releases, therefore helping you feel more relaxed. It is recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night to help with brain performance, your mood and health. If you are struggling with your sleep, we might have a magic solution Morphée! Morphée is our sleep aid device that has been created by sleep experts as a natural solution to your sleep problems. With over 200 combinations of relaxing sessions to choose from, you can incorporate it into your night-time routine to help relax and unwind before you close your eyes.
Eat a balanced diet
When we have a healthy balanced diet, it will provide you with the right nutrients to help you feel energised throughout the day. When we feel more energised, we often feel better within ourselves both physically and mentally which allows us to focus on the tasks we need to do for the day. To get technical, here is how our diet and mental health are interlinked.
- If you don’t eat regularly, your blood sugar levels can drop which can lead to exhaustion and mood changes
- If you’re not hydrated, it can affect your focus, energy level and mood
- Eating healthy fats can help your brain to function efficiently. Healthy fats can be found in foods such as oily fish, nuts, olive oil and seeds.
- Avoid drinking caffeine too close to your bedtime, to much caffeine can affect your sleep and caffeine can make people feel anxious and irritable
By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine and making self-care practices such as meditation and exercise a priority, you are taking important steps towards maintaining a healthy balance, enhancing your well-being and overall helping to prevent a burnout.