Ever wonder if others are experiencing burnout…maybe like you? Well, know that you aren’t alone when it comes to burnout. Deloitte shares that 77% of full-time professionals have experienced burnout. So, what exactly is burnout? According to the Harvard Business Review, burnout is characterized by:
1. Chronic Fatigue
2. Anger at those making demands
3. Self-criticism for putting up with the demands
4. Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
5. Sense of being besieged
6. Hair trigger display of emotions.
Any of these sound familiar? Some becoming more prominent? Do you see these in your colleagues, boss, friends?
Doing more with less
During COVID-19, employees are being asked to take on more responsibility due to companies cutting services out of their budget or even being forced to lay-off important assets to the company. By asking more of employees, the employees themselves are starting to feel overwhelmed. By the way...this includes leaders! Along with more responsibility, job descriptions are starting to change to be able to fill the gap that the layoffs are creating. These two variables together create a stress inducing environment for some employees and as the stress increases, the potential for burnout increases as well.
This much you probably already know. So, you may be wondering, what can you do to stop or prevent burnout? It sounds simple, but sleep and overall personal care are the best steps to stop and prevent burnout. Sleeping enough, eating enough sustaining food, and creating time for exercise are the most important personal care things you can do for yourself.
Back in the driver’s seat
Our brain controls what we experience and how we experience it. So, when feelings of being overwhelmed and thoughts of ‘this is too much’ start to consume us, our brain goes into a protective state. The symptoms listed above are examples of that. The start to combating this is ensuring our brain is physically healthy. Simple things like focusing on sleep and eating brain healthy foods matter! Prioritizing yourself and your mental and emotional well-being are key to having a happy life and a happy work life. Ask yourself – “What is one simple thing you can do today to make yourself a priority?”
Secondly, invest in yourself. Find hobbies outside of work you enjoy doing and make time for those things. Taking time to do what you love feeds and fuels the reward center of our brain.
Finally, manage your own expectations. Evaluate what you can control at work and what you can’t control. By focusing on what you can control, our brain will work towards that because it has more of a connection to something it knows it can do something about. This puts us back in the driver’s seat!
Although Deloitte’s study shows that 77% of full-time professionals experience burnout, by practicing self-care, investing in yourself and managing your expectations at work, you can absolutely manage your own level of burnout. This isn’t the silver bullet, but these few simple things can make a real difference. In the end, it will increase your overall happiness.