We have a lot of things that need to get done at any one time. High levels of stress have become a part of our lives. While stress may help us achieve and even surpass our goals in the short term, experiencing stress for long periods can affect our mental health and wellbeing. Burnout can be defined as feeling overwhelmed by pressure from work. Some of the common characteristics of burnout include stress, long-term exhaustion, and a lack of interest in your work.
Moderate stress can affect you positively by driving you to achieve your career, relationship, health, and financial goals. However, too much of it will lead to burnout and many other negative effects. It’s not difficult to tell if you are having a mental burnout.
You’ll start losing focus and this will hurt your productivity. You may become irritable or angered by the smallest things. You need to prevent burnout before it starts affecting your productivity and health. Here are seven strategies that you can use to prevent mental burnout.
1. Wake up early
Snoozing the alarm and sleeping for a few more minutes is something most of us wish we could do every day. However, rising before the sun will help you adjust and plan your day to avoid stress. Studies conducted by Harvard Business Review have found that early risers have a greater chance of achieving their career goals than night owls.
You can work on a lot of things in the early hours. You can set appointments, answer messages or emails, and do other tasks that will free up time during the day. Apart from that, you can exercise, read a book, journal, meditate, or prepare a healthy breakfast.
2. Avoid screens before going to bed
It’s not easy to unplug at night. If you are chatting with friends, checking emails, or watching funny videos on YouTube late into the night, you may fail to get enough sleep. Failing to get enough sleep will lead to exhaustion during the day. Sacrificing your sleep will not only harm your productivity but also your health.
According to Ronald, an assignment writer at Dissertation-today.com and college paper, sleep is a basic need like food or water. People who don’t get enough sleep have low concentration levels, low immunity, and are emotionally unstable. Turn off the television and put your phone away at least thirty minutes before your sleeping time. During this time, you can meditate or read a book to avoid getting bored and grabbing your phone again.
3. Take short breaks regularly
Regardless of the type of work that you do, it’s important to take short breaks regularly. Taking short breaks will help your body and mind recover lost energies to avoid burnout. Forcing yourself to work for hours without a break will harm your productivity in the long run.
Set your alarm before you start working to avoid sitting down for extended periods. During your break, you can have a glass of water, take a walk, meditate, or chat with friends. This is especially important if you are working from home.
4. Take a vacation
For you to truly unplug, it’s important to get away from work and take a vacation at least once every year. Spending time away from the office will help you relax and re-energize so that you can return with renewed passion and focus.
A study conducted by Harvard Business Review found out that vacations can boost your productivity and performance at work. Also, spending less time at the office will force you to work efficiently and effectively. To prepare for your vacation, you need to organize your work and plan accordingly by creating a task list with deadlines. Next, allocate these tasks to someone else or your team and set up an out of office responder message.
When you start your vacation, avoid using your phone unless it’s an emergency. Leave your phone in your hotel room or switch on the airplane mode if you want to take photos. Spending your time in natural destinations with no Wi-Fi will clear your mind and help you return to work feeling energized.
5. Be Mindful
You don’t have to close your eyes during a meeting and start focusing on your body or breath to be mindful. However, you can include mindful meditation breaks during the day. A five-minute meditation is enough to keep you alert during the day. You can also meditate before you sleep or immediately after waking up.
Today, meditation has been made easy thanks to the rapid technological advancements. You can easily access guided meditations on YouTube or apps like Headspace or Calm. Being mindful will make it easy for you to focus on the present moment. And this will improve your productivity and performance in the long run.
6. Set clear boundaries
If you want to improve your productivity and performance, you need to respect yourself and your time. And you can do this by setting boundaries. Setting clear boundaries takes discipline. Work when it’s time to work. And relax when it’s time to relax.
Learn to say no to people and activities that stress you out. Sacrificing yourself allows others to walk over you. Setting clear boundaries and sticking to your schedule will improve the quality of your life and help you achieve your goals quickly.
Human beings are social creatures. We cannot succeed without the cooperation and assistance of the people around us. Spending more time with other people will help you take your mind off work. Meet with your family and friends regularly and have fun. Make plans for the weekend in advance or go on a road trip with your friends. When you get back to work, you’ll be energized and excited about your work.
Burnout is common in most workplaces today. You can avoid it by using the strategies that we’ve discussed in this article. When you start having the symptoms that we’ve discussed, don’t wait until it’s too late. Also, seeking help when things get hard will help you stay on track and achieve your goals in the long run.
About Quinn Paulson
Quinn is a professional journalist and writer who runs an essay service and enjoys traveling. You can connect with Quinn on Twitter.