Burnout is work-related stress that leads to physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion. It can occur anytime someone experiences prolonged workplace stress and can ultimately lead to performance issues and a decline in professional efficacy.
Whether we realize it or not, burnout is a very real part of most American’s lives. In fact, Gallup conducted a research poll which determined that 76 percent of American adults experience burnout at least some of the time. Furthermore, the World Health Organization officially recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon in its most recent revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
However, burnout doesn’t have to rule your life. In fact, renowned physician Dr. Fred Pescatore recommends five simple “lifestyle hacks” that can help us all curb burnout’s effects.
1. Take Daily Pauses
Whether you work remotely or in the office, the workday can feel long an overwhelming when you’re on the verge of burnout. However, you can avoid these feelings by building just two short pauses into your typical workday.
Twice per day, step away from your desk, set a timer for ten minutes, and use the time to do something not at all related to your job. This can be a great time to take a mindful walk, engage in a short guided meditation, or even just relax with no agenda. The goal of these short pauses is to clear your head so that when you return to your desk, you feel refreshed and ready to focus.
2. Make Smart Meal Choices
When the work starts to pile up, most Americans turn to fast food, salty snacks, and caffeinated beverages to help them remain productive. However, these foods can actually make feelings of burnout even worse over time — not to mention they can cause your physical health to quickly decline.
Luckily, you can take some simple step to make smarter meal choices. If packing healthy lunches seems like an impossible task, you can reach for healthy pre-packed meals from companies like Freshly. You can also try to select nutritious snacks and avoid sugary treats in the afternoon. Also, instead of drinking an extra cup of coffee to stay focused, try adding a supplement to promote energy without the caffeine like Robuvit, an antioxidant ingredient from French oak wood shown to support energy at the cellular level.
3. Seek Support From Loved Ones
Sometimes a fresh perspective on things can also do wonders for our overall well-being. When you feel like burnout is getting the best of you or you feel like maybe you aren’t working enough, check in with a friend or family member who knows you best. Their responses may surprise you and even help you reassess how you approach your job.
If you feel completely overwhelmed and emotionally drained, though, consider seeing a therapist or other mental health professional on at least a temporary basis. These trained professionals can listen and help you determine what isn’t working. Furthermore, they can even help you discover your ultimate career goals and help you plan out action steps to improve your working conditions.
4. Take Time Off
Working non-stop for months on end isn’t healthy for anyone, so why not take some time off? Whether you simply burn a sick day or use an entire week of vacation, it’s important to take time off from work at least a few times each year. These breaks not only allow you the space to practice self-care, but they also help revitalize you so that you’re more productive when you do return to work.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
When we feel stressed and overwhelmed with work, self-care is usually the first thing to go out the window. That should never be the case though! No matter what deadlines you have coming up or how many emails are still unread in your inbox, self-care should always be a priority.
Meditate daily, read a book, adopt a new hobby, or make time for a weekly bubble bath. Whatever you do, proactively schedule time for self-care into your day and your week and don’t cancel on yourself.
Burnout may naturally occur for most Americans, but that doesn’t mean you need to let it constantly consume you. By utilizing these simple “lifestyle hacks” that Dr. Pescatore recommends, you can rise above your burnout and live your best life.