Burnout often stems from your job. But anyone who feels overworked and undervalued is at risk for burnout, from the hardworking office worker who hasn’t had a vacation in years, to the frazzled stay-at-home mom or dad tending to kids, housework, and often caring for an aging parent as well.
But burnout is not caused solely by stressful work or too many responsibilities. Other factors contribute to burnout, including your lifestyle and personality traits. In fact, what you do in your downtime and how you look at the world can play just as big of a role in causing overwhelming feelings.
Common work-related causes of burnout
• Feeling like you have little or no control over your work.
• Lack of recognition or reward for good work.
• Unclear or overly demanding job expectations.
• Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenging.
• Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment.
Common lifestyle causes of burnout
• Working too much, without enough time for socializing or relaxing.
• Lack of close, supportive relationships.
• Taking on too many responsibilities, without enough help from others.
• Not getting enough sleep.
Personality traits can contribute to burnout
• Perfectionistic tendencies where nothing is ever good enough.
• Pessimistic view of yourself and the world.
• The need to be in control; reluctance to delegate to others.
• High-achieving, Type A personality.
• Superman or Superwoman Complex.
Tips for Battling the Blaze
Reframe the way you look at work. Changing your attitude towards your job can help you regain a sense of purpose and control.
Rediscover the value of your work. Ask your boss how you add value to the team. Find balance in your life. Focus on the parts of your life that bring you joy.
Reevaluate your priorities. Keep the main thing the main thing.
Nourish your creative side. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work or whatever is causing your stress.
Set boundaries. Don’t overextend yourself. Learn how to say “no” to requests. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to what is most valuable to you.
Set aside relaxation time. Quiet time is time well spent! Deep breathing activates the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response.
Take a daily break from technology. Time each day to completely disconnect.
Take time off. Vacation. Take a complete break from work or at least “clock out” at 5pm and use the evening to recharge and refresh.
Get plenty of sleep. Feeling tired can exacerbate and enhance burnout.
Make exercise a priority. It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re burned out, but science proves that exercise is a powerful way to battle burnout. Aim to exercise for 30 minutes or more per day or break that up into short, 10-minute bursts of activity. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours. Rhythmic exercise, where you move both your arms and legs, is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy. (Dance – Happy by Pharrell Williams)
Improve your mood and energy levels with a healthy diet. What you put in your body can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks or comfort foods, but they can quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy.
Reduce high intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, unhealthy fats, and foods with chemical preservatives or hormones.
Increase Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost. Best sources are fatty fish (salmon), flaxseed, and walnuts.
Avoid nicotine. Smoking when you’re feeling stressed may seem calming, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant, leading to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol temporarily reduces worry, but too much can cause anxiety as it wears off.
Implementing even just one of the above tips, can help keep those feelings of burnout at bay. Wellview is committed to partnering with you in battling burnout to help you reach all your health goals.
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