Social isolation, general worries about the global situation, our loved ones, our health and the economic situation all play a role in affecting mental health. Pressure has been increasing for many at work and at home leading to emotional, mental and often physical exhaustion, which is also called burnout. Building and sustaining a strong boundary between our work life and personal life can help to refresh our moods and rejuvenate ourselves to avoid burnout from prolonged stress.
Causes of burnout can include juggling too many tasks and long hours, but the depressing characteristics of burnout most often occur when we feel out of control. If we are completing tasks that are in conflict with our sense of self, lack support or adequate breaks, we edge into burnout. Signs of burnout can bubble up as a sense of dread about work, frequent feelings of anger or irritability and feelings of extreme fatigue.
There are ways to arm yourself to deal with and avoid burnout including:
Avoid pressure to overperform. We all want to be recognized for our contributions, but the motivation to “prove your value” can fuel burnout.
Draw better boundaries between work and home life. Schedule regular breaks, start and stop work at set times and minimize multi-tasking.
Practice self-care. Common strategies include mindfulness, meditation, getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods and exercise.
Take care of your own health and ask for help. If overwhelmed by personal responsibilities, discuss openly with a spouse, family member, friend or therapist.
Provide support to a loved one who is burned out:
- Practice empathetic listening
- Encourage self-care
- Offer to help with home related tasks