For so many of us quitting our jobs when experiencing chronic stress is just not an option. Here are 3 simple things you can do right now to heal from burnout and sustain career longevity.
Which one are you going to try?
Meet Your Basic Needs
You wouldn’t get in a car with no fuel and expect to embark on a long journey so why do we do the same to ourselves? Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North identified neglecting personal care and needs as the third stage of burnout. We don’t just need to meet our needs for food, water and rest to heal from burnout but to function fully as human beings. Without adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night) our memory, mood, concentration are negatively impacted. And hydration is essential for brain function and productivity due to the brain being made up of 73% water. Try taking a lunch break, keeping a large water bottle on your desk or introducing a bedtime routine to support your sleep and notice your energy levels return.
Ask For Help
Type A personalities and perfectionists are among the personality types at high risk of burnout. With extremely high standards and a desire to feel in control it can be very difficult to delegate when you want things to be done a specific way. On top of that, there is a huge misconception, especially as leaders that we need to have all the answers. However, the most successful leaders are those that can admit what they don’t know and seek out support from those that do. Remember asking for help is not a sign of weakness but the greatest sign of strength. Whether it is asking for support from a boss or a colleague, or going to see a health professional – you don’t have to do this alone.
Take a Step Back
Taking a step back from your job can feel terrifying. Maybe you worry that your work will not get done, maybe you hold feelings of anxiety about others in the office will think of you or maybe you feel bad about missing that meeting you committed to. But studies have found that presenteeism, when you go to work but because of illness or other reasons are not fully functioning, can be more costly than absenteeism due to mistakes and loss of productivity. Depending on which stage of burnout you are at the way you step back may look different. Firstly you may just need to take a 2 week holiday where you give yourself the opportunity to fully disconnect from work. Alternatively, you might feel that taking sick leave is more appropriate. Whichever option you choose, try not to see this negatively but as a measure to future proof your career. The average career span in the EU is 35 years, if you need to take a couple of days, weeks or even months now it is a small price to pay for the rest of your working life.
If you are looking for more support. I will be hosting a free 60 minute masterclass on How to Move From Burnout To Balance on 11th October at 7pm BST. Click here to find out more and signup.
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