Over the past year, we have spent more time than ever working from home. This can prove problematic when it comes to disconnecting from work and being unable to take time to rest and relax.
And sometimes that feeling of extreme tiredness can actually be burnout. But what exactly is burnout and how can we eradicate it from our lives?
What is burnout?
Most commonly associated with work-related stress, burnout is a feeling of mental and physical long-term exhaustion.
Caused by excessive and prolonged stress, burnout makes you feel overwhelmed and drained, leaving you feeling unable to complete simple daily tasks that may occur in your personal or work life.
Earlier this year, a worldwide survey was commissioned by a California-based work management app Asana to study the statistics of ‘burnout’.
This survey analysed white-collared workers and how they coped from working at home during the last year found that almost four in five Australians suffered from burnout.
Andrew May, the CEO of StriveStronger and creator of the 30 Day Boost, has shared with Yahoo Lifestyle five key factors that can stop you burning out - permanently.
Whether you work four hours or 40, Andrew ensures that these five key tips will help you sustain performance and balance across your personal and professional lives.
Align your purpose
The phrase 'align your purpose' often refers to being at one with yourself and understanding your purpose in life.
Andrew explains how “alignment of purpose with personal values has strong links to improving satisfaction with life”.
“Not only does a sense of purpose and meaning in our work enhance our wellbeing and help us to bounce back faster, it is often the difference between the energised 80 hour-a-week workers and the depleted 40 hour-a-week ones.”
Factor in recovery time
Allowing yourself time to recover from a hard days' work is vital for self-improvement and wellbeing.
Andrew notes the benefits of physical and emotional recovery time.
“While yoga, diaphragmatic breathing and a walk alone won’t prevent burnout, physical relaxation and switching off psychologically are key to sustaining energy levels, reducing fatigue, nurturing creativity, and enhancing emotional intelligence.”
Get enough sleep
Sleep is proven to be vital for overall health and wellbeing, and as we come out of lockdown, getting enough sleep is more than important than ever.
Andrew notes how “quality restorative sleep is vital to recovery, hormone balance, brain function and memory.”
“This means switching off devices 30 minutes before bed; aiming for 7-8 hours a night; keeping your bedroom dark and cool and consistent sleep and wake times.”
Embrace social connectedness
As lockdowns are beginning to lift across the country, a lack of socialising with friends and family can cause post-lockdown anxiety.
Andrew explains how “relationships and connection with community are fundamental to pleasure, meaning and fulfilment in life.”
“We are social beings who need both support and connection. Quality time with those we love and those we respect provides a buffer from work stresses, re-energise you and gives you the support and stability to navigate tricky patches.”
Make sure you have physiological capacity
Andrew explains that “physiological capacity refers to the body’s ability to have reserves and adapt in a range of situations, especially in response to challenging tasks or stressful times.”
He notes that there are ways to improve physiological capacity, such as physical activity.
“Physical activity enhances cognitive flexibility, boosts energy levels, reduces chronic lethargy, boosts mood, increases social cohesion and can reduce symptoms of mild depression - all buffers against future burnout.”
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