Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). When you’re burning out – it can take a toll on you and helplessness sets in. You are so exhausted that to even find a way to help yourself seems difficult and taking control of your life again feels tough.
While getting professional help is the long term solution, these are few things you can do additionally with therapy which may help you recover faster.
Take Out Time to Unwind and Relax
If you feel like you’re on the road to burnout, or maybe are already there; the importance of carving out some time to relax and de-stress cannot be undermined. You could meditate, go for a walk, listen to some music, read, journal, colour or even go for a cup of coffee with a friend.
You have to find ways which work for you and help you calm down, both physically and mentally. Carve out time for it, and treat it like a sacred ritual.
Often, when people are experiencing burnout their sleep patterns are very disturbed and they don’t really get enough sleep and the pattern of exhaustion hence becomes a vicious cycle. Poor or less than six hours of sleep fails to rejuvenate you physically as well as mentally, and according to research also has adverse effect on job performance and productivity.
It also makes one more frustrated and irritable and less motivated to put in one’s best.
If you are finding it difficult to sleep, then you can try creating a pre-sleep ritual. It could include switching off technology, a light massage with lotion, chamomile tea and dimming the lights earlier than you usually do.
Write Down Your Worries and Stressors
If you feel like you don’t have your life in control and your head is a messy disorganized space with a lot going on and many worries – get a pen and a paper and simply jot down all the things in your head.
This helps because you don’t have to constantly keep thinking about them in an abstract way and getting more worried in the process, instead you can get down to doing something about it. It helps you get focused and helps alleviate the feeling of lethargy and lack of control.
Reaching out to people and getting more social is definitely helpful. While talking to someone about what is going on is definitely a very good idea, just getting out with friends and even developing new friendships goes a long way.
When we experience burnout, work and the stress of work takes over our lives and it’s important to remind ourselves to give time to relationships and other things instead of just work.
Cultivate a New Hobby
As in the above mentioned point, it’s important to remind yourself that work isn’t all there is to your life – and hence developing a new hobby or giving more time to your previously held interests in an excellent idea.
Not only does it help you get in touch with your creative side, but it engages you in something which is relaxing and adds a layer of nuance your personality. It could be knitting, or learning a new language or even volunteering. Anything which makes you feel committed and challenged.
Learn to Say 'No'
Burnout can often be a result of taking on too much on your plate at work. But it’s important to realize realistically how much work you can handle without overextending yourself.
If you feel like you cannot take in more work, or if its stressing you out, say no. Draw your boundaries and be firm about it. Talking to a HR manager or someone at work about how much you can take on is also a good idea.
(Prachi Jain is a psychologist, trainer, optimist, reader and lover of Red Velvets.)