Have you ever felt like you have too much on your plate- that your workload is getting bigger whilst your time is getting shorter? Have you ever felt like you are making loads of little mistakes you wouldn’t normally make? You might have suffered from burnout.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a term given to the physical and mental effects that occur to us when we are faced with prolonged stress and little time to relax. Burnout happens to anyone in any profession and is very common. The media often pushes the idea that we have to be hyperproductive, and this is why so many people fall into this trap. Some signs that you may be experiencing burnout are:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling like you can’t keep up
- You find you do not enjoy your favourite things as much as you normally do
- Having no motivation
- Feeling highly emotional, and often crying at things you wouldn’t normally be emotional about
How Can We Prevent Burnout?
The good news is, burnout isn’t forever. A good way to prevent burnout is to schedule in regular breaks from your work to take the time to relax or do something you enjoy. At first, it might be hard to do so you can start by scheduling small breaks and gradually increasing until you can feel what’s right for you.
Closely linked to the idea of relaxation and self-care is also making sure you are setting realistic boundaries about what others expect of you and what you expect of yourself. This might mean changing your priorities to make self-care more important or getting an extra hour of sleep at night.
Make sure you ask for help from others. Whether this is your coworkers, lecturers, teachers, managers, family, or friends. If they can help you with your tasks, that is great! But burnout can be reduced by simply sharing your struggles with someone else.
Remember: rest is a requirement instead of a reward, and you come before your work- no matter how important it may be. If you would like to learn more about burnout, or you need further support, take a look at NHS Every Mind Matters.