Let's Talk About Burnout
In short, burnout is mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion from prolonged stress. Stressors may culminate over time if you routinely feel overworked or undervalued. Though it's motivated by relentless productivity, being burnt out ironically hinders it. And we can't talk about burnout without talking about hustle culture. Logging onto social media, your feed is immediately bombarded by #hustle and "rise and grind" posts and you can't help but compare your work ethic to your peers. Although good in theory, the mental and physical effects of overworking yourself can lead to long-term consequences.
A 2021 study conducted by Indeed found that burnout has been on the rise over the last year, with the pandemic undoubtedly playing a large role. Some main findings include:
- More than 52% of respondents are experiencing burnout
- 53% of millennials reported already being burned out before the pandemic
"[Millennials] remain the most affected population, with 59% experiencing it today. However, Gen Z is now neck and neck: 58% report burnout, up from 47% who said the same in 2020."
Burnout can affect anyone. Factors that may feel more out of your control such as demanding jobs or a hectic family life are usually the main causes. Factors that have more to do with personality such as poor work-life balance or Type A individuals may also be more prone to burnout.
Recognize the Signs
Signs of burnout may gradually show up over time, but being aware of red flags can help you catch it and make the necessary changes.
- Low energy
- Tired all the time
- Frequent illness
- No motivation or satisfaction
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation
How to Prevent and Cope
- Ask for help: speak to your boss about offloading some of your work or communicate to your family about better delegation.
- Learn how to say "no"
- Less on your plate = more quality work and feeling less overwhelmed
- Maintain a better sleep schedule
- Self-care: often neglected when we have too much on our plates.
- Better diet
- Exercise: brings a plethora of physical and emotional benefits
- Take breaks
- Stick to a schedule
- Stay organized
- Unplug after work
- If you are working from home, make sure to designate an area just for work and stick to it.
- Seek professional help: your health should be taken seriously. If you are feeling overwhelmed, professional guidance can provide you with the specific tools or advice necessary to push through.
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