The feeling of being burned out is Real. It can leave you mentally and physically exhausted, unable to focus on your daily tasks, and lowering productivity. Ever had one of those days or weeks when nothing seems to go your way?
You drag yourself to work and have trouble getting the day started; there is hardly any satisfaction from your achievements. You feel emotionally drained, empty, and almost do not care about anything.
You’ve been procrastinating a lot more. Do not start blaming yourself. These are sign of mental and physical “burnout.”
Feeling Burnout & Exhausted: Here Is Why And What Do
What is burnout?
According to Verywellmind, Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions:
- less identification with a job
- Feelings of reduced professional ability
Burnout has become an issue, especially if you are a career-driven person who struggles to remain productive throughout the year.
It can even be a severe problem if you work from home and don’t have a structure you are committed to or a workspace you love.
So If you find your job to be constantly boring, feel unmotivated, and are always tired regardless of how many hours you sleep. Don’t let this be your new routine. It is time to look at your life and make some changes.
It is also essential to understand that you can be stressed but not burned out.
Stress is a state of being overwhelmed, resulting mainly from too much pressure or demands from work or life itself. It is a day-to-day experience, while burnout is a prolonged feeling of chronic stress. You are giving too much of your time into something without having time to refresh your body and mind.
There are several reasons as to why you are going through this burnout period.
- Lack of work-life balance
If you are working long hours day after day and not taking time away from work, there will be a negative effect on your health and work-life balance.
I once worked for a company where we received no health and wellness support from management. There was no employee appreciation whatsoever, and taking breaks from work was seen as a waste of company resources.
I reached a breaking point which can also be a form of being burned out and eventually quit. We all need jobs that have some sort of flexibility with schedules and time off.
So if you are working for a company that limits your vacation time or chooses not to use all of your assigned paid vacation time, you will likely be affected in terms of productivity, determination, and health.
- Growth stagnation
You might also experience burnout when you don’t see improvement in certain parts of your life. We each have areas we need to improve in our lives; it might be being a better boss at work, being a better employee, seeing growth in your career, and so on.
But, there will be days where you feel like you are taking one step forward and two steps back, and sometimes it starts to feel like these days are turning into months and even years.
Complaining about your life or job repeatedly will push you into this “burnout corner” where you cannot focus on your daily tasks. Your productivity will reduce, procrastination will be your friend, and you will miss important deadlines before you know it.
- Personal values not matching with the kind of work you do
Your personal values are important to consider when evaluating your career options. But in most cases, we find ourselves going for a career opportunity mainly because it pays well or can produce a specific type of lifestyle.
Values give you a sense of purpose which helps you know what fits better with who you are as an individual. Suppose you are working for a corporation or running a business that is not a good match for your values; after a couple of months or years, you might start feeling a lack of connection with your work or the people you work with.
This will trigger a lack of motivation, constantly skipping your daily responsibilities and taking day-offs, and burnout-related misery.
- Lifestyle issues
Are you eating healthy meals? Do you exercise? Are you sparing time to be physically active outside of your work environment? Do you spend enough time with friends, family, or your partners? If the answer is no, then you will more likely go through a burnout period.
Soul, body, and mind go hand in hand. If one is deprived of its needs, then others will get affected.
Your soul is what makes you feel emotions; it has spiritual needs, needs love, affection, and care. Your mind needs to be stimulated either with what you read or watch. Your body needs to be taken of by eating healthy, exercising, and getting regular medical check-outs.
What to do
Eat Right & Get Enough Sleep
To avoid burnout, ensure that you are practicing healthy eating habits and are sleeping enough hours.
I am sure you have heard this over and over again that what you put in your body affects your overall wellbeing. This means that you should stay hydrated, eat healthy meals, and regulate your caffeine or alcohol intake.
What you eat directly transforms your mood and anxiety level. Sticking to a diet of food like vegetables, beans, and healthy fats, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, a generally happier outlook both inside and outside, and an improved ability to focus.
Have you heard one of those nights where you couldn’t sleep and only got like 4 hours of sleep? How did you feel the next day? I bet you were moody, became less interested in your regular activities or exercising, and completing any task, however easy.
Yes, if you continue to operate without enough sleep, you may see more long-term and serious health problems.
Have” do-nothing” Days
You want to get rid of burnout, having “do-nothing “days. Be mindful of when this becomes an everyday thing, then it’s essential to work out the cause and overcome the problem.
Besides vacations, I used to feel guilty after spending an entire day watching TV but not anymore. Why? Because the mind needs a break.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a busy person on any given day, between my full-time job, completing the MBA, running a blog, and owning a small business. YES! Most of the days are hectic. I enjoy learning, doing, filling up my day with exciting things, important plans, and things to do.
Although my productivity is great, I decided to start last year to have a ‘do-nothing’ day at least once a month, where I choose to stay in bed until later. On this day, I stay away from any school assignments, work, hobbies, and friends- none of that. Just me, myself, and I, plus the TV and popcorn. Sometimes I do my skin-care routine, listen to some music under the sun as I contemplate about my life and the future.
You will be amazed by how the body and mind refresh after a day like this. These are the days I come up with some of the best business ideas. It’s when I get to plan my next vacation.
For the mommas out there, this could be the day to drop the kids off to their grandparents, aunties, or uncles, so you can catch a clean break.
Related Post: Benefits Of Self-care & Why It Is Necessary
Match Your Personal values With Your Career
Sadly, it took me a couple of years to understand my values and why it is crucial to align with my work. The tangible rewards derived from your career and your work environment can only provide satisfaction up to a certain point, after which you start wanting or looking for more.
Not to say, getting paid what you deserve is wrong. Still, you should also look into other factors before accepting a business or job offer or if you run your own business. It’s important to take on clients that share the same ethical and moral principles as you do.
For example, if you strongly value diversity, finding out that the company you work for only values one gender or ethnicity would be frustrating.
To avoid burnout, think about what motivates you, your ethical and moral boundaries. What are your personal values? Deciding how you can work in line with your values could be the most satisfying step of your career, as well as your life.
Suppose you find yourself juggling obligations, chronically late, and unable to complete tasks efficiently or effectively. In that case, time management is the key to reducing feelings of overwhelm and burnout. It is vital to start your day early to have more time and focus on all the things you have to get done by the end of the day.
Create a schedule the day before, use a planner to set a particular time to do those tasks.
You need to use phone reminders and planners to help you prioritize your job. You might also need to set daily goals and have a task list on hand as soon as you get your day started.
So if you have been experiencing “burnout,” either in life or at work, I encourage you to practice the few things I mentioned above, and you will surely see a tremendous difference in your life.
Let me Know in the comments what you are doing to avoid burnout