What is burn out?
Burn out is the feeling of mental and physical exhaustion, with symptoms such as tiredness, lack in motivation and feeling lethargic.
- Low Energy and feelings of exhaustion
- Feeling of negativity towards your job that you once loved
- Reduced productivity
What causes burn out?
Burn out is usually caused by excessive stress and the prolonged feeling like your drowning in multiple responsibilities. 2020 has been quite the year, with the global pandemic causing major disruptions in almost all facets of life. Less times spent outdoors, lack of socialising, inability to see support networks like friends and family and restrictions on prolonged time spent outside for relief.
Expert advice on burn out
Deidre Brandner Psychologist says “burn out is exacerbated by fatigue, lack of connectedness and increased uncertainty”. Deirdre suggests combatting burn out by identifying the symptoms and potential factors contributing to burn out. Boundaries around work schedules, sleep hygiene, exercise, diet and helpful engagement with others either virtually or in person whilst meeting social distancing recommendations.
How to avoid WFH burn out
Put boundaries in place
The boundaries between work and home life have been blurred especially with the introduction of online communication apps and our own mobile phones that allow us to be contactable 24/. To avoid burnout whilst remaining productive, it is essential that you set healthy boundaries to differentiate work from home.
- Set a reasonable start and finish time and ensure you are not checking emails late into the evening.
- Have a dedicated work area, away from distractions. This will act as a physical cue that differentiates work and home life.
- Utilise your commute time with a wellness activity e.g. meditation, yoga or exercise. This will acts as a physical and mental cue to decentralise you from the work day.
Share How You Feel
Sometimes we tend to push things under the rug until they all get too much, which doesn’t help anyone. If you are feeling symptoms of burn out it is important you tell your employer, manager or even someone you trust. Burn out is extremely common, and chances are you are not alone. This also includes reaching out to professional help if it begins to feel like too much.
Taking breaks can sometimes feel counter-intuitive. Without taking breaks, your productivity levels and overall work performance begins to suffer. When you are on a deadline and you feel like you are on a role it is very easy to eat lunch at your desk, or skip that lunchtime walk in the attempt to stay productive all to crash in the late afternoon. Take regular work breaks and allow yourself to recharge before commencing the rest of the workday. If you still feel uneasy taking a lunch break, why not combine it with a walk around the block and get in your daily step count?
Studies have found a main cause of burn out is insufficient sleep and this can be a direct result from an increase in work-load. Many workplaces are operating with reduced staff to save costs and to also satisfy government restrictions, resulting in more work. Lack of sleep leads to brain fog, inability to concentrate at our optimal level and overall decrease in motivation. To avoid burnout, employees need to prioritise sleep and ensure they are getting enough in order to function and avoid the WFH burnout.
When we are extremely busy it is so easy for our healthy habits to take a back seat. Unhealthy snacks are often mistaken for the ‘efficient’ option because they are just there, but, they are actually hurting productivity and effectiveness. Ensuring you have a selection of healthy snack at your desk will ensure you have the energy to get through the day. This is why Snacks With Bite’s Work From Home Boxes are so handy, they keep you on track with your healthy habits. Why not grab your roommate, partner or family member and enjoy a healthy snack break together? Burnout is also caused by a lack of connection with work and therefore it is so important to stay connected.
*If you are concerned about your health your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.
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