Burnout at work is a serious problem. You don’t have to start a dream job, but you have to find a way to take care of your health and do what inspires you.
Time management trainer Elizabeth Grace Saunders recommends The New York Times methods that will help reduce the risk of burnout or recover afterward.
Stabilize three life cycles
The body is set up to recover on its own. But if you feel the symptoms of burnout: constant exhaustion, detachment from work, perhaps weight gain and stress – know that these are signs that the demands on the body are much higher than its capabilities. To recover, you need to prioritize three directions – sleep, nutrition, and movement.
Sleep performs many functions, it helps to regulate the mood and reboot the brain. That’s why sleep deprivation is one of the main factors in the development of burnout. Improving the quality of sleep will help you recover and get back to normal work. The first thing you need to do is to determine how many hours of sleep you need. The recommended rate is from seven to nine hours. But in practice, this can be six to ten hours depending on your individual needs. Your goal is to find the amount that will help you stay awake most of the day. If you find your mode, you will probably feel happier and reduce the risk of burnout.
What you eat every day also affects your mood and energy supply. Avoid foods that leave a feeling of heaviness in your diet. Try to eat lighter and healthier food that makes you be more energetic. Your energy reserve can be affected by the number of meals: they can be small but more frequent. If you forget to eat or have lunch, just set a reminder.
The time you move gives the body and brain another opportunity to switch over. Even a five-minute walk outdoors can have a noticeable psychological impact. Even better, if you can do 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, it can help you improve your psychological condition.
Invest in yourself
However, knowledge of one’s own health is not enough. You need to invest in your own interests. It is important to understand what helps you to recover quickly, and not to be sorry for it.
There is no one-size-fits-all recipe: Some people, for example, want to spend time with family or friends every day after work to resist burnout. And for more withdrawn people, being alone with yourself to recharge themselves. The differences in each person can vary depending on the motive. Someone loves order and will spend the evening cleaning the house. And a curious person would prefer to learn a language or go to an unknown place for new impressions.
This suggests that each person is different. Robert Bogue, the author of the book “Extinguishing burnout: a practical guide to prevention and recovery”, noted that the more you know about yourself and satisfy your interests, the less you will feel exhaustion.
Can’t change jobs? Change your attitude
Another factor that will help regulate burnout, an assessment of your ability to make a difference in the workflow. According to the “Workspace” model, load is only one of the six factors that contribute to burnout. Control, reward, fairness, community and values are five other important elements. If you are constantly being haunted by exhaustion, you can either change the work environment or find a new job where all these areas meet your expectations. When that’s not possible, you need to resort to other options.
One is to change your expectations. For example, you may want to have lunch with colleagues, but they are not interested. Then you can just chat with them for a few minutes or offer them a time off from work together. Or you want to be always praised by your boss, but that’s not his style. Then you can concentrate on the fact that he gives you good recommendations and respects your opinion at meetings.
Another alternative is to stop waiting for satisfaction just from work and switch to other areas of life. You can do something useful in a community of interest or family and find encouragement in these circles and get a sense of belonging, satisfaction and independence outside of work.
When you are filled with emotions from spending your free time, you have a buffer against negativity that may appear in the office.