In the age of technology and instant communication, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough, and everyone else is getting better results than you. This goes for your career as well as your personal life.
Curating your Instagram. Checking your emails. Updating your LinkedIn profile. With little chance to escape, it’s no wonder that people are feeling stress in the workplace, seemingly more than ever before. For many the idea of a 9-5 is a distant memory with the advent of modern tech ensuring you’re always ‘on-call’. This all culminates into one thing; burnout.
But what does this mean for our mental health? And how, if at all, can we challenge this new norm?
What is burnout?
You spilled your coffee on your crisp white shirt, missed your lunch, and drowned in a sea of never ending paperwork. We’ve all been there, but burnout is more than just a stressful day in the office.
The World Health Organisation officially recognised burnout as an ‘occupational phenomenon’, and defined it as follows:
“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy”
Although burnout begins in the workplace, it can soon seep out and take hold of your personal life too. Exhaustion and negative thoughts can eventually begin to impact on your wider mental health. With the corporate world starting to recognise the importance of mental health and the impact it plays on their employees wellbeing, it’s vital to work to combat burnout.
How can you protect yourself?
There’s no shame in opening up if you are feeling the strain at work. If you feel like you may be suffering from burnout, try some of the following tips and techniques:
- Talk to someone – opening up is always the hardest step, but a problem shared is a problem halved
- Keep active – exercise is a well-known mood booster. It doesn’t have to be a gruelling gym workout – a walk through nature works just as well
- Rest up – it’s important to let your mind rest and body recover. Make sure a good night’s sleep is high on your priority list
- Take a tech break – we know it’s not plausible to ditch all of your tech forever, but you don’t need to. Just a couple of tech breaks a day can allow your mind time to chill out
- Get creative – nourishing your creative side lets you focus on other things. Focussing on a passion can also release endorphins to help pick up your mood!
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