Burnout. We often hear about it happening to high-profile CEOs or certain professions. Less attention gets placed on the burnout everyday people can feel. As an Executive leader or blue-collar worker start off by acknowledging that we are all at risk for burn-out and all have the power to reduce the chances of experiencing this state after 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 pm on a Friday night because our phone is already in our hands. This can make it feel like we never really leave the office. As we transition into hybrid models of working, working from home or completely moving back to office work we will all have moments of feeling overwhelmed.
To most of us, we realize we need to make certain transitions in our schedule to accommodate the forever changing of our work responsibilities. However, 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, regardless of our work title and/or model of work environment (home, in office, both). By mindlessly slipping back in to work in any of these scenarios we are feeding into the burnout cycle, increasing our risk for poor mental health.
(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:
- 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. As well, the start of your self-care practice then we increase our chances for avoiding burn-out.
- 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.
- 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 before you know it you in the state of burn-out.
For some, this is taking intentional breathes first thing in the morning as part of your morning routine for another it is a mid-day mindfulness strategy. Whatever it is, make it consistent and an enjoyable part of your day. Not only will your body thank you for it, but your teams will notice it in the way you lead, inspire and contribute to their attempts to practice their own sustainable self-care practice.
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, contact me at email@example.com.