Psychologists link burnout to underperformance, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness. Different factors contribute to burnout. Some of these are external, like a traumatic incident at work or the passing away of a loved one. You can influence other factors to some extent, like work-related stress. While some jobs put more pressure on you than others, you do have an influence on the amount of stress you experience.
How to burnout fast?
- Sleep as little as possible.
- Reach for your phone immediately after waking up.
- Put a lot of pressure on yourself. Set unrealistic deadlines and always say ‘yes.’
- Switch tasks continuously without properly finishing anything.
- Don’t take breaks.
- Compare yourself to others.
- Make sure that you never make a mistake. Be a poster child of success in all areas of your life.
- Eat lunch behind your computer.
- Tell your boss and coworkers they can reach you at any time, day or night, even during weekends and holidays.
- Turn on all notifications on your phone and computer. Respond immediately.
- Work in an environment with a lot of background noise and interruptions.
- Squeeze in a little bit of extra work just before bedtime.
- Look for a job that doesn’t fit your capabilities, interest, or talent.
- Don’t take responsibility for your life and happiness.
- Do it all on your own. Don’t ask support from anyone.
Are you guilty of all or one of the above? You’re not alone. Everyone behaves like this periodically, especially when they’re stressed. When you feel under pressure, it’s extra hard to slow down, put things in perspective, and make decisions that are beneficial for your health.
Break the circle
When experiencing stress, your body releases adrenaline, among other hormones. Adrenaline prepares the body for the ‘fight or flight’ response, in other words, for vigorous and swift action. This is a great physiological mechanic when you’re under attack from a lion. But when you’re dealing with modern-day stressors like an upcoming deadline or an unpredictable supervisor, adrenaline might do more harm than good.
Adrenaline makes it hard, if not impossible, to relax. On top of that, it narrows your perception. While relaxation and your ability to see things in perspective, are essential for breaking the circle of stress. To release the stress and relieve the exhaustion, you need radical self-care. For example: sleeping a lot, taking long breaks and saying ‘no’ to activities or people that are draining your energy. It might also be beneficial to change your work habits.
The benefits of burnout
Burnout is not all crummy. Some good might come out of it. When you’re completely exhausted, it’s hard to do even small things like running an errand. A miserable and frightening experience for those who have been there. Still, most people who have experienced this kind of total breakdown agree that it taught them some valuable lessons.
Burnout forces you to lower your expectations significantly. All you might be capable of on a given day is taking a stroll around the neighborhood. As a result of this, you learn to lower your bar and redefine success. When you only have a little energy to spare each day, you’ll seriously reconsider your priorities. You’ll gradually learn to set the bar at a height that’ll allow you to experience inner peace and live a more healthy and meaningful life.
How to prevent burnout?
Many of the skills you need to reduce stress and burnout, or to recover from a burnout, are time managemen skills. These skills can be learned. Check out our online training course, you can do at your own time, your own place and your own pace.