No matter how much you enjoy your job or projects around the house, burnout can inevitably occur. Burnout manifests itself as physical, emotional, and mental fatigue after long periods of demanding work. This can lead one to dread going into work and to experience lack of interest and sleep disruptions. If this sounds like stress, it’s because they are similar. However, stress often occurs over a shorter period, while burnout lasts longer. So how do you avoid it, when the demands of work and home seem to keep piling up?
- Exercise. Adding another thing to your list of “to do's” may seem impossible, but it is always important to make time for your health. Exercise improves overall wellbeing, including alleviating stress and improving the quality of sleep.
- Find support. Burnout can lead to alienating oneself, but talking about how you are feeling is an important step in overcoming (and preventing) burnout and stress.
- Take a vacation, or take a walk. If you can’t remember the last time you had a day away from chores or work, it’s time to take a vacation (or a staycation). Time off is important. If you are unable to get away or take time off, remember to stop for breaks throughout the day. Take a walk at lunch with a coworker or do some stretches.
- Identify what is most important to you. Whether it is at home or at work, identify what you want from the effort you put in. Do you want a clean home because it brings you joy? Feeling fulfilled is important. If you feel valued at work, but don’t feel creative, can a small change help? Maybe an evening art class can make up for what your daytime work is lacking.
The next time you begin feeling exhausted, cynical, and depressed after a long period of hard work, take control. Remember that burnout can be alleviated and altogether prevented by taking action and prioritizing your mental and physical health.
“What is the connection between what I want most in my life and anything I plan to do today?” Robert Brault