Did you know that you could be experiencing burnout without even knowing? That's crazy, right?
Today we'll be discussing burnouts while highlighting the various ways to deal with them.
At She Code Africa Nairobi, we believe that your mental health matters, and in order to be successful, you have to take care of the state of your mind. Let's start by finding out exactly what burnout is.
What’s a Burnout?
This is a feeling of intense physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion mainly caused by poor work conditions such as work overload and excess pressure. Being burnt out is similar to a phone that is constantly running on a low battery. You only charge it for a few minutes and as soon as it hits 10%, you unplug it and keep using it. This cycle keeps going over and over again.
Signs of a Burnout
Burnout is similar but quite different from exhaustion. It's more intense and is more mental than physical. Most people brush it off because they don't know what it looks like. Here are 5 signs that you're burnt out.
- You constantly feel like you're not doing enough.
- You wake up feeling tired and dread going to work.
- You begin avoiding your co-workers, friends, and family.
- You feel useless.
- You have trouble focusing on work and zone out easily.
Burnouts can be really draining and affect all areas of your life. There's little you can do to control your work conditions but your mental health rests in your hands. If you're burned out or have a friend who is, here are 5 tips that might help.
5 Ways of Dealing With Work Burnouts.
1. Switch Up Your Work Environment.
Sometimes a little bit of change is all we need to help us feel better. If you go to work every day, try and ask a co-worker to switch stations with you. If you sit at a corner, try and sit by the window where you can look outside from time to time. If you work from home, that's even better.
Take a shower, pack your stuff, and head over to a local coffee shop. Most if not all won’t mind you working from there as long as you pick something from the menu. So set up your station, order a cup of coffee and begin working.
Alternatively, you can head over to a friend's and work at their place. This seemingly small action will make you feel better.
2. Be a Couch Potato
Yes, you read it write, take a day off and do absolutely nothing. Laze around, be a couch potato and binge your favorite show. Let your mind relax and push away all work-related thoughts.
By doing this, you get rid of the negative thoughts haunting you and realize that it’s just a bad time but things will get better.
After everything you’ve been through, you deserve a day or two of nothingness.
3. Take Breaks During the Day
When you work from home, it’s easy to get lost in your work all day. This isn't a bad thing but doing this each day could contribute to burnout. So pace yourself. Intentionally set breaks that exclude lunch break.
E.g after every 3 hours, take a 30 minutes break and stick to it. Do whatever you want during the break.
You could take a nap, go for a stroll or even watch an episode of your favorite show. Once the break is over, you'll go back to work feeling re-energized.
4. Take It Easy.
If you took some time off from work and are getting back, it's easy to get sucked in by guilt. You might want to compensate for the leave by overworking yourself but this will only lead to another burnout.
Remember that you took the break for your mental health not because you wanted to laze around. So when you get back, start slow and cut yourself some slack. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting to work overtime but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your mental health.
Rome wasn’t built in a day anyway.
5. Seek Support From Friends and Family.
Although people around you may not fully understand the depth of your rabbit hole, talking to them will make you feel better. And as much as you might be independent, you still and will always need people.
As you talk to them, you draw from their strength and energy. Ask them to give you a hug or two and in those few seconds, as your mind quiets down, you'll know that everything will be okay.
As much as your career is an important part of your life, it’s not all you are. You matter and your mental health matters too. Best of luck.