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Top 10 Ways To Prevent Mental Burnout

Written by: Barbara Powell Love, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

According to Psychology Today, burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. Although it's most often caused by problems at work, it can also appear in other areas of life, such as parenting, caretaking, or romantic relationships. (Staff, 2022)

A woman orking on her computer on a table beside the window feeling burned out.

When you are faced with a certain level of success in your job, working long hours without taking time to recharge will likely lead to burnout. When I worked in corporate, there was a time when I was exhausted, felt unappreciated, and underpaid. I began to feel as if my job consumed my life. While on vacation, I dared to call into work to see how things were going. I was more present for work and had less to give when I was home. In addition to that, I also accepted calls from work on my days off. Burnout left me feeling tired and resentful. Recognizing burnout symptoms early to pace yourself and be effective at your job is essential.


I left corporate and started my own business. To be successful, I had to learn to implement self-care, so I formed habits that helped me stay ahead of the game. A significant advantage of owning a business is that it allows you to have flexible hours and set rules. Budgeting my time to do the things I love helps keeps me fresh.


People feel the effects of mental burnout in different ways. Perhaps you're feeling weary and exhausted without the energy necessary to perform. Or you may feel sad or stressed out most of the time. Some people experience blurred vision or difficulty finding words or focusing on anything in front of them (called "tunnel vision"). Or they might constantly worry about work, even when they aren't working. It is essential to be on the lookout for warning signs. Once you've found the root of your burnout, it's easier to handle it.


Here, I share ten tips that I use to avoid burnout.

  1. Take regular breaks. When you feel burnout creeping up, take a break for your health and well-being. Anywhere from 10-20 minutes can make all the difference between staying in your zone and falling asleep at your desk. Even if you're only winding down for five minutes, sit somewhere quiet to think things over.

  2. Follow a good sleep pattern. Studies show that people who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to burn out. Power naps are golden! If you fall asleep at your desk or on the subway, try catching up on some zzzs during weekends.

  3. Make regular exercise an essential part of your life. Regular exercise reduces stress and increases energy. You might be surprised that exercise isn't an inconvenient chore if you aren't naturally athletic. Find the time for a brisk 30-minute walk.

  4. Set some goals and make to-do lists. When you know you have something to work toward, it's easier to get out of bed in the morning. With goals, you give yourself a reason to go on, a direction for your energy.

  5. Try outsourcing. Switch up your workload every once in a while to take some pressure off yourself. Delegate to coworkers or hire an intern if possible. If you pay someone else to do part of your job, you'll free up time for yourself—and it will help you think more clearly and creatively. I recently decided to update my website, so I hired someone from Fiverr, and I am pleased with her work.

  6. Take a vacation, and don't call the office. Plan a trip somewhere fun that you can go for a few days. Go for some fresh air, take some time out of your schedule, and return feeling refreshed. Remember: Fun can be cheap. Plan smart breaks to stay on top of things and be more effective at work. You'll be glad you did!

  7. Have fun while making your work life better. If you can't get out of the office, try low-impact exercises like stretches at your desk. I take a 15-20 brisk walk around our building, especially on a nice day. Even a 20-minute break can make all the difference when you're stressed and overworked.

  8. Put things in writing. Are there things that you're doing that are causing this feeling? Take some strides about doing something different and let your team know what's happening.

  9. Establish firm boundaries. Keep your clients and colleagues from pushing you to work late without speaking up first. There's a thin line between being hard-working and being a slave driver.

  10. Take a Spiritual break. Instead of a coffee break, take a spiritual break. It encourages a healthy mind and body, and it brings harmony and balance to your work life. You can only expect to get in touch with your feelings and refresh yourself if you take enough time for yourself.

Successful people don't just show up for work and do their best. Being successful is not just about getting a job done and making money. It's about ensuring you take time to do important things, creating a healthy, balanced life outside work.


Follow me on Facebook, and visit my website for more info!


 

Barbara Powell Love, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Barbara Powell Love is currently the Office Manager for a small medical practice. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree concentrating in Business Development. Barbara is also the owner of Beebe Love's Beauty @www.beebelove.com, a blogging website to promote beauty, motivate, inform, provide mental stimulation, educate, inspire and encourage other women over 50 to embrace their inner beauty and pursue their dreams. Her blog focuses on personal development, leadership, and lifestyle. She encourages women to become Seasoned Beauties instead of becoming Senior Citizens,

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