Is Burn-Out Part of The "New Norm"?
Burnout. We often hear about it happening to high-profile CEOs and athletes. Less attention gets placed on the burnout everyday people can feel.
The easiest way to summarize the burnout many of us feel is by its cause: prolonged and excessive stress.
In a world of hyper-connectivity, many of us never really clock out. It’s so easy to just “respond to that one email,” at 9:00 on a Friday night because our phone is already in our hands. This can make it feel like we never really leave the office.
To us, we realize we aren’t at the office. However, to our brains, we are “in that mode.” By not making the transition from work to life concrete, we will have an underlying feeling of always being on, which can cause burnout.
Part of this requires us to be mindful of when we transition from work to our home life. By mindlessly slipping back in to work, we are feeding the burnout monster.
(As a side note, a great and free resource I created on ways to practice mindfulness is available to you here).
Some tips to reduce feelings of burnout:
1. Find a “trigger activity.”
A trigger activity is something you do that signals you are beginning of ending work. As with other repetitive actions in life, our brains will come to associate the trigger to something else. For many of us, this action is usually leaving the office. However, due to the current situation, our brains don’t have anything to associate with ending the day.
Some trigger activities are longer, like working out after a day at the office. Others are shorter, like putting on/taking off a watch. It doesn’t matter what your signal is, as long as you have one to signify the start and end of your work day.
2. Practice self-care during the day.
I’ve talked about this before. There is a stigma that self-care is just for night-time, or can be reduced to stereotypical activities like tea or yoga, (although these are great, it seems to be the only activities people think of.)
Instead, people should be managing their self-care throughout the day. Instead of just moving from your computer to your phone, try a breathing exercise to bring you back to centre. This can reduce short and long term burnout! For a free breathing exercise you can do at your desk, click here.
3. List what gives you joy in life and put it somewhere you can see
Part of the feeling of burnout comes from always feeling like you’re in the tough part of life. When we don’t do what gives us joy, we get stuck in this feeling...and voila…burnout.
For some, this is just reading the newspaper in the morning. Quick, easy, but makes them feel relaxed and happy. A great burnout-buster. Try to do at least one per day to remove yourself from the stress that causes burnout.
For more resources on burnout and self-care, head to my resources page here.
For virtual workshops aimed at decreasing burnout on your entire team, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember Self-Care is the Best Care. Your Time Is N.O.W.