WHAT IS BURNOUT AND HOW CAN YOU PREVENT IT?

In the UK, workplace burnout increased by 24% in employees. So what exactly is it?

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion which is caused by too much stress, for too long. It happens when you feel overwhelmed, drained and unable to meet demands and responsibilities. As this continues, you start to feel a lack of interest and motivation in things. It can affect many areas of your life including work, home and social life. Burnout can actually trigger long-term changes in your body that can make you more at risk of illnesses such as colds and the flu.

It’s not uncommon to have days where you feel exhausted and like getting out of bed is a major struggle. But, if you feel like this the majority of the time, you may be experiencing burnout. It’s gradual and you don’t wake up one day with burnout, but it can get a lot worse as time goes on which is why it’s so important to address it as soon as you notice the signs.

So what are the signs?

Physical symptoms include feeling tired and drained, a weakened immune system, frequent headaches or muscle aches, a change in eating and/or sleeping habits. Emotional symptoms can include feeling as though you have failed, having low self esteem, feeling hopeless or detached, a lack of motivation, a decrease in satisfaction and thinking negatively. Burnout can also affect your behaviours – you may withdraw and neglect your responsibilities, isolate yourself, procrastinate, start abusing substances, lash out at people or skip work/leave early/ come in late.

This sounds like something we all want to avoid, right? So how can we prevent it from happening? Here are some top tips…

  • Take some time off work. You’d be surprised how many people don’t use up their annual leave allowance – make sure you’re taking all of your allowed days to relax and do things that you enjoy!
  • Schedule in free time to do whatever you want. That could be an hour every evening to take a bath and read a book, or an hour before work to go for a walk.
  • Make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. Ditch screens for at least an hour before you go to sleep, and get between 7 and 9 hours a night.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is a great stress reliever, so make sure you’re hitting the gym or even going for regular brisk walks around your neighbourhood.
  • Read ‘8 Wise Ways To A Healthier Happier Life’ – our new book offers you an easy guide to help you boost your wellness and ensure your mental health is always at its best.

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