06 Nov Burnout Prevention Techniques: 5 Effective Ways to Avoid Burnout
With the competitive nature of jobs now, a lot of people work twice as hard to get ahead of their colleagues and meet demanding targets.
Taking a break might be a huge risk to people who have so much to do with so little time on their hands, sadly.
Despite having lots of smart and hardworking professionals contributing to the economic growth, we do not even realize that lots of young people are unhappy because of stress-related issues such as mental health, depression, anxiety disorder etc?
The period where a job does not inspire you anymore, the period where you get tired easily, the moment where you lack mental and physical strength to do anything, the moment when nothing seems interesting to you, these moments are all burnout moments.
So, What is Burnout?
A burnout is a period of emotional , mental and physical exhaustion often caused by excessive and prolonged period of stress and frustration; an inevitable corporate condition characterized by frequent displays of unprofessional behavior, a deliberate refusal to do any work, and most important, a distinct aura of not caring about the consequences of not producing the expected results.
Burnout reduces productivity and kills morale, confidence and self-esteem needed to carry on with a job.
Sometimes, a person does work but is uninspired to do more, nothing becomes interesting and challenging and it emotionally and mentally draining to keep up.
Tragically, a burnout affects not just the work of a victim but even the personal life and every other area including the home, social life, relationship and health.
Burnout is mostly triggered by stress.
It is usually the first step of victims. It kicks in other burnout factors.
If stress in prolonged, frustration sets in, lack of self-esteem and confidence follows, and the rest. Stress goes beyond physical exhaustion, emotional and mental exhaustion is also involved and even if a victim thinks they’ve tried all they could to make something happen or to achieve a target, a burnout will never make them see the goodness of the feat and instead, see nothing different even when others see or think otherwise.
Difference Between Stress and Burnout
Although, stress may often lead to burnout when not properly managed but there are slight differences between these two.
• Stress results in over engagement while burnout results in disengagement
• Stress may result to lack of energy while burnout results in lack of inspiration and motivation
• Stress makes victims emotionally vulnerable and victims overreact while burnout makes victims blunt and exhibit ”I don’t care attitude”
• Stress leads to anxiety disorders while burnout leads to depression
• Stress may be for a short term while burnout is for a long term
• May affect victims physically but burnout affects victims emotionally and mentally.
Why Do People Burnout?
The major kick starter of burnout is stress but little things also follow.
Here are some reasons why people experience burnout;
- When we have high expectations of what should happen either at work or other areas of life and it doesn’t work out.
- When we refuse to solve little problems until they escalate into bigger and full-blown ones
- When we don’t take into cognisance our health and pay little or no attention to both our physical and especially mental health.
- When we often bottle up a lot of things, problems, ideas, experiences and we refuse to share them enough to release part of the burden.
- When we don’t take a break from work and spend more time wallowing in work, work, and more work
- When we refuse to admit that it is okay to fail in life, in essence, failing to admit that not everything will fall in place all the time and we refuse to put up a positive attitude.
Managing Burnout in the Workplace
Many times, the first and most evident place to see a burnout victim is at the workplace.
Victims often times, isolate themselves from colleagues and other workplace social activities or they don’t get involved. Nothing appeals to them at work anymore. They don’t get inspired to take on new challenges expected of them. They don’t care about the growth of the company anymore. They over react and talk bluntly and sometimes badly at colleagues and customers. They ignore work sometimes and don’t give a hoot about the consequences.
An employee may burnout at work if he or she is;
- Undervalued or underpaid
- Unrealistic and high expectations to meet target
- Is often pressured to get work done
- Works in a very poor condition
- Not given the mantle to make things happen
- Is often forced to take work home
Managing Burnout as an Entrepreneur
Victims of burnout are mostly entrepreneurs because they work twice as hard as a regular employee. They think twice as hard and take up unimaginable risks too. They joggle more jobs to keep afloat, and because they have to do most things themselves at the start, they usually burnout often and early enough into the sphere of entrepreneurship.
For instance, they are their own PR, business strategist, accountant, receptionist, even consultant.
Entrepreneurs are at a higher risk of being a victim of burnout than a regular employee.
No doubt, burnout happens in the course of the journey of entrepreneurship. To be sure, ask entrepreneurs around you, or if you are one, run a check analysis of yourself so far.
5 Effective Ways to Avoid Burnout
So how do you avoid a burnout?
Check out these five effective ways to avoid being “shut down” which is what having a burnout is.
1. Avoid Stress
This is the first step to avoid having a burn out. Sometimes, the best way to deal with burnout is to recognize and admit that you are close to or having a burn out. Don’t think too much about things, don’t work too hard when all you may simply need is rest.
Sadly, the economic pressures of today is not encouraging people to take a break but in all, it is one of the most important ways to not shut down.
2. Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health
This can’t be overemphasized. Look good and feel good. If you need to change your wardrobe, do so. Get fitted and smart dresses. Get a new haircut or hair do. Do a pedicure and manicure, dispose old and torn clothes. Sometimes, these things we overlook usually cost little. It is essential to radiate and glow in order to avoid a burnout. More importantly, it is better to do so often.
3. Do More of What Makes You Happy
If you love to listen to music for instance, do so often. Plug in your earpiece while at work or use a headset, either way, just don’t ignore what triggers your happiness.
4. Talk to Someone
It’s true, a problem shared is a problem half-solved and dependably, two good heads are better than one. It could be your loved one, or your family or even a friend, just ensure you have someone who shares your pain and beautiful memories with you. Life is too big to walk the path all alone.
5. Delegate Work
If you are an entrepreneur especially, delegating work could be the deal breaker you need to get efficient. You don’t have to do everything yourself all the time. It is okay to let other people handle other things for you. It is okay to get help. Don’t be a super human. Watch from a distance while other people make things happen for you.
BURNOUT RECOVERY STRATEGIES
One of the hardest things to do after having a burnout is the challenge of trying to fix it make things come alive again. It may be hard but not impossible. It is advised that you seek help as soon as possible and perhaps engage a counselor through the process.
Walking the path alone might be too much work and if you have been there a long time, it might start to become a normal thing and you might give up on life soon enough.
The best way is to recognize and admit that you are having a burnout and accepting to work on it.
However, these are some of the strategies to be used for burnout recovery.
- First step is to relax and stop working. Take a break from work. Take a vacation.
- Be with people who inspire you. Surround yourself with people who motivate you, or ensure you be in an environment that makes you relax and happy. If you love art, visit a gallery or take up art classes for instance.
- Take up a volunteer work. Although this may be a tough challenge for entrepreneurs but it is important to take this step as a way of showing love and giving service. It helps you see life in a different way, and feel appreciated. It is essential to do a volunteer work that one is passionate about. If you love to render used items to the homeless for instance, take it up as a cause or if you want to be an activist for a social menace such as rape, child abuse, etc. Taking out time to volunteer will go a long way to avoid getting burnout because you make others and yourself happy.
- Appreciate the good things you have and find value in who you are
- Give yourself a good treat. Buy new clothes, eat that meal you’ve always imagined, go to the gym, go for swimming. Just take a good care of yourself.
- Talk to a someone. Share ideas, share experiences
- Set a daily goal for yourself at work whether as an employee or entrepreneur, set everyday goals so you don’t have to do too much enough to drain you for the next day’s work
- Stop working extra hours all the time. Yeah, it might help speed up work and fasten results but there are consequences too.
- Change your environment if possible. Now you may or may not relocate, sometimes, all you need is to change the colour of your room or the outlook of your bedroom and living room altogether. Use bright colours as it has been believed that bright colours enliven people when they are around it. Look at the bright side of life.
- Believe in yourself, and your dreams. This is especially for entrepreneurs.
- Get enough rest. Sleep more this time
- Nourish your creative side
So, which of these processes are you going to make effective today?