Martin Bixel - 26 May - 0 Comments
Sadly, the number of burnout cases is on the up. The stresses and strains of top tier careers are often untenable in the long run and still we continue to do business the same way we always have. Except, for some reason or another, the pressure keeps on mounting and many people reach breaking point. Why? Perhaps we put work before our own well-being, perhaps we fall victim to insatiable ambition, and maybe our business or boss demands too much.
What Is Burnout?
When you are burnt out, you are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and can no longer cope with everyday life. You become despondent and feel ineffective. In the end, you just come to a halt and realise you need help. Most sufferers end up taking long periods of sick-leave and may even be hospitalised.
Burnout doesn’t happen overnight, it gets you from behind when you least expect it. The following few elements make up the perfect recipe for burnout:
- Exceptionally Long Work Hours for a Prolonged Period of Time: Some entrepreneurs or high-flying employees work 60 or 70 hours a week. That’s not sustainable. The human body and mind are not equipped to work such long hours. Take a break, say no and most importantly, respect your tiredness. Your body is trying to tell you something and so is your mind.
- Perfectionism: If you give yourself no margin for error and put yourself under constant pressure to work and succeed, stress will kick in and damage your health. Well-being may sound like a somewhat fluffy term, however, feeling good about yourself, being healthy and giving yourself the odd pat on the back are essential. It’s perfectly ok to be a high-achiever some of the time provided you let yourself off the hook occasionally.
- Prolonged Pressure from Superiors or Your Business: If your boss has you working too hard and is pressuring you to reach targets all of the time, you may just crack sometime. Equally, if you run a business and are unable to delegate some of the work, you will end up working crazy hours and burning out.
- Failure to Deal With Stress: Even if you find yourself getting just a little stressed, do something about it straight away. Don’t allow stress levels to build and build. Take up a stress-relieving hobby, enrol in a yoga class or start meditating during your lunch break. Find your very own stress busters and use them on a daily basis.
- Inability to Say No: Don’t do all things for all people all of the time. Make yourself say no sometimes, politely but firmly. Assert yourself toward your boss and colleagues and set boundaries. Never go beyond those limits and add a pinch of selfishness.
- Unhealthy Lifestyle: Don’t spend twelve hours working each day. Don’t nourish yourself with bad quality food. Make sure you get enough sleep and visit the gym as often as you can.
- Inability to Switch Off: If you find yourself unable to switch off, seek help or try to train yourself to do so. Thinking about work 24/7 will lead to certain burnout.
Basic Burnout Prevention
There are a few basic burnout prevention methods:
- Take Your Weekends Off
- Go on Nice Holidays
- Have Fun with Family and Friends
- Pursue an enjoyable hobby every day
- Learn to say no with confidence
- Seek imperfection
If you do the above your chances of suffering from burnout are greatly diminished. Remember, if you don’t, you’ll end up having to take sick-leave for a prolonged period of time anyway. Put your health before your career.