Burnout is a very real problem, especially when it comes to our work lives. In a recent survey, 44% of people reported experiencing burnout at some point.
Other statistics on burnout are also worrisome. 13% of people have difficulty winding down at the end of the day, disrupting their sleep. What’s worse is 63% of people participate in harmful behaviors due to high levels of stress.
The problem is, when we don’t deal with stress properly, things will just get worse. So, how can we deal with burnout? While the answer is different for each person, there are five ideas you can implement to help you overcome burnout.
What is Burnout?
Before you can understand how to overcome burnout, you have to understand what it is. Burnout is a reaction to prolonged stress. It is generally caused by taking on too much, especially at work. Other factors that contribute to burnout include:
Not receiving proper recognition or compensation for work done.
Not having clear parameters for projects.
Dealing with drastic consequences for mistakes.
Every person has their breaking point when it comes to stressful situations. This means stress and burnout will not look the same for each person. That being said, there are five signs you can look for that can indicate you’re dealing with burnout.
Loss of interest in your work
Feeling of inadequacy
Getting sick more frequently (burnout and chronic stress can weaken your immune system)
Burnout in one area of your life can even spill into other aspects of your life. That’s why it’ so important to learn coping mechanisms to deal with it.
How to Overcome Burnout
When it comes to dealing with burnout, the most important thing is to get to the root of the issue. If you can’t figure out what’s causing the burnout, you can’t do anything about it.
This can get tricky, especially if you’ve dealt with stress for long periods of time. The longer we ignore stress, the easier it is to attach our feelings of burnout to the wrong source. To get to the root of the problem, you need to take some time to deal with the issues.
Talk to Someone
If you’re not sure where your stress stems from, you may want to talk through it with someone. This can be a friend or family member, but it needs to be an unbiased person. You might even consider talking to a counselor to get help.
Talking things out will help you gain perspective so you can figure out what you need to change. Another great way to talk through the stress is to pray. Taking your stress to God is a great way to unburden yourself and gain perspective.
2. Take a Break
If you can’t seem to catch your breath, sometimes a break is in order. This is a time to put the stressors away so you can re-evaluate your situation.
I’m not talking about a ten minute break. I’m talking about an extended (at least one day) time away from things.
You can use this time to look into creating some balance so you can prioritize things more effectively. Take the time to yourself or with someone you trust to gain the needed perspective to figure out how to fix what’s causing the burnout.
3. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is very important for mental health. If you don’t give yourself time to do things you enjoy, you will have no way to wind down and let go of the stress of the day.
Self-care can be any activity that allows you to take time for yourself.
Take a walk
Play a game
Whatever it is you need to do to take time just for yourself can go into self-care. Understand, self-care is not about participating in harmful activities to deal with stress. This is about finding a healthy, enjoyable activity that will let you unwind.
It may sound kooky, but exercise is a great way to deal with stress. This is especially important if you work in an atmosphere that doesn’t allow you much movement.
Choose activities you’ll enjoy so you’ll stick with it. For instance, if you like to run, great. If running sounds like death, this isn’t the exercise for you.
Exercise will get endorphins going which will help with stress levels. Exercise can also help you sleep better, which is also essential for dealing with stress.
5. Re-Arrange Responsibilities
Sometimes stress and burnout can come from taking on a project you just can’t complete. If you’re struggling with something that you can’t get clear, this can cause feelings of failure that aren’t necessarily your fault.
Sometimes you’re just putting too much time into a project, or you’re working on something that doesn’t motivate you. Whatever the case, look into the possibility of adjusting your focus.
See if you could work on another project for a while. Look into focusing your time and energy on something that interests you, at least as an in-between project.
Putting Things Into Perspective
Mental health is important. If you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue you need to find ways to deal with these things.
Mental health is part of creating a balanced life. It is also something that affects Christians just as much as anyone else.
As a Christian, I want to help. While I’m not a counselor, I can still offer advice or a place to talk. If you want to stay in contact with me, I’m here to listen.
If you’d like to stay up-to-date with news or tips, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. Would you add anything to the list, or reach out for someone to listen? Tell me in the comments.