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Burnout: Tips to Avoid Overworking Yourself

With many students back in school, I’ve begun to see an increase of readers asking for advice regarding burnout. With loads of school work or unsatisfactory job expectations, burnout usually follows.


So what exactly is burnout? Burnout is a form of stress which usually comes from taking on too many tasks at once. I get it, if you’re in school, you have no choice but to complete your assignments. On the other hand, for those who are working or just overworking themselves in general, burnout can creep up and warrant an unpleasant experience.


Burnout can be identified by:

  • Tiredness

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Headaches and/or physical ailments


Causes of burnout can include:

  • Unreasonable time limits. Let’s say your manager or professor gives you an assignment which is due within the next two days. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you step back and consider the loads of work you may have for another class or project. Stressful, I know.

  • Lack of control. If you are anything like me, you feel like you have to be in control in order for everything to go smoothly. This is not always the case. This is where anxiety comes into play. It’s as if one thing gets piled onto another and soon you have a mountain of stress.

  • Unclear expectations. Have you ever been assigned a task but you aren’t fully understanding what to do? This could lead the project to be completed incorrectly. After fixing your first problem, you find yourself tired and unmotivated to complete the rest of the work.

  • Lack of support. We all know, having a support system is crucial to take on whatever life throws your way. If you find yourself alone on the job or in your personal life, you may find yourself to become more stressed. You could feel like you have no one to turn to.

  • Taking on a project, full force. Have you ever been so eager to start a project without fully understanding the size of it? This could result in stress taking over your joy for the project.


Okay, so with all of that knowledge, how can I avoid burnout?


  1. Relax. Assure yourself that whatever you are working on will pass. Truly, don’t sweat the small stuff. No matter how big of a task, it may seem.

  2. Find support. Whether you find support in a friend, coworker, family member, or even your pet. Know there are people somewhere who will support you.

  3. Get plenty of exercise and sleep. I feel as though some of my blog suggest exercise and sleep cure all ailments. But, in most cases, they do. Get out and go for a walk. Allowing your body to inhale fresh air can be a great way to clear your mind. Similarly, getting plenty of rest can serve as a mental refresh.


If you are finding yourself to be experiencing symptoms of burnout, it may be time to reevaluate your workload. See what you can push back to a later date, or erase permanently. Remember, you have options.


Resources:

Burnout Symptoms and Treatment written by Very Well Mind

Job Burnout: How To Spot It and Take Action


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