4 Ways to Minimize Burnout
We all know the feeling: the endless hours of work, the long commute back home, not wanting to do anything but lay in bed while scrolling through social media. We repeat the process, and that routine quietly takes a toll on our body and mind.
Before we know it, we’re burned out, struggling to muster up the effort or motivation to do what we need to do.
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a way to outright avoid or prevent burnout. It’s inevitable. We can’t avoid it no matter how hard we try. It’ll come to you one way or another, even if you’re doing what you love for a living.
Burnout also appears to particularly affect younger workers. A survey conducted by Deloitte found that 84% of millennial participants have experienced burnout at their current job.
What’s more, nearly half of millennial participants cited burnout as the main reason they left their previous job.
These symptoms on their own are enough to impact your quality of life and work. Together, however, they can dramatically affect your social life, finances, and overall outlook on life.
The brain’s bandwidth just hits your inner ceiling after a while, and that’s completely fine. The first and most important thing to know about burning out is that it isn’t inherently bad. We all go through it — what matters is how we handle it.
While you will inevitably encounter these feelings in some way, having the necessary tools to weather the storm will make this brief rut into a valuable learning experience.
Here are proven ways to go through burnout and come out the other side more refreshed and relaxed.
The best way to find the root of an emotional problem is to be honest with your thoughts and emotions.
Practicing mindfulness, particularly meditation, allows you to observe your thoughts without being overtaken by them. You get to see things for what they are, free of any internal judgment or other labels.
Objectively observing your thought patterns opens you up to find the source of your emotional burnout. Though meditation isn’t exactly a one-stop cure-all for all your emotional and mental ailments, it helps lay the groundwork for inner peace. What matters is you’re honest with yourself.
Benefits of meditation include:
Much of the burnout that’s been documented is from office jobs.
Sitting at a desk all day with minimal social interaction can take a toll. Your body craves and needs movement, so giving it what it wants is an absolute necessity.
Going to a gym or running through a local trail also adds a welcome change of scenery to your day, away from a work environment that might begin to feel dull and claustrophobic.
The beginning stages of a workout routine are often the most intimidating. Your body is unspeakably sore after that first trip to the gym. Your lungs feel filled with battery acid after running a mile for the first time in ages. That’s your body’s response to something new, adjusting to a healthier playing field.
So don’t get discouraged — recover and replenish, because things will get easier and even more fun.
Combine a new visual aesthetic with the several proven benefits of exercise and you’ll be giving your mind and body a new lease on life.
What better way to shake things up than going somewhere new? Taking a vacation to a new, unknown place will give your mind a fresh, new perspective of your everyday life.
Adhering to an overly repetitive schedule can restrict you from thinking more creatively, becoming more prone to jadedness and general dissatisfaction with your life.
Even the act of planning a vacation can improve your mood. Studies show that planning your trip can give you a much-needed jolt in energy, with the allure of a beach or some other faraway land giving you a second wind to take on the week ahead.
And that’s just the mere planning of a vacation. The vacation itself can be a thrilling yet relaxed resetting of your mental clock.
Wherever you go (preferably somewhere warm and sunny), going somewhere new and different stimulates the brain in a healthy way, promoting creativity and openness to new experiences.
What’s more, vacationing can lend a refreshed outlook on a routine that initially seemed repetitive and overlong. What better way to recharge your batteries than kicking your feet out on a hammock overlooking a beach while the sun sets?
As with all parts of life, we benefit from taking a break — a genuinely relaxing, restorative break from the routine.
Sometimes you can’t just pack up your luggage and go on an impromptu trip to the Bahamas. Sometimes all you’re afforded is some downtime during the workday itself. Sure, it’s not Tahiti but you might as well make the most of it.
Getting in a rut is easy when working a routine-oriented job. Some of the work can be highly intense and stressful throughout the day, while others are mind-numbingly monotonous and repetitive.
Taking small, intermittent breaks can positively disrupt the monotony and give you the chance to breathe and take in the space around you.
Taking short breaks throughout the day can also act as a resetting of your internal clock, briefly recharging your batteries so you can tackle your next chance with a little more clarity and a refreshed perspective.
Doing this will make your relationship with your work and productivity much healthier in the long run, reminding you it’s okay to have a little me-time. Just make sure you’re meeting those deadlines on time.
Burning out is inevitable in work and life in general. You’re naturally prone to be a little jaded or even resentful to something you’re passionate about.
Emotions and thoughts often ebb and flow, so don’t be discouraged that you’re not finding the old spark in work like you used to. Take it as a sign to change things up in your routine, whether during the workday or how during your free time.
Handling burnout can be concrete like going for a run or working out with that gym subscription you’ve been meaning to use all year. Likewise, it can be more internal like meditation or simply doing nothing.
We all handle fatigue differently, so be honest about your needs and do what works for you. Go for a walk, ride a bike, open a book — just give yourself time to breathe. The rest will follow.