When you’re burnt out, you’re probably not bringing your best to your personal or professional life.
This year has had no shortages of new reasons to be stressed. Amidst the global pandemic, millions of companies are laying off employees, healthcare workers are under more pressure than ever before, and political tensions continue to rise.
Some people are overworked, some are out of work, and everyone’s tired. We’re experiencing an overwhelming cultural anxiety, and it’s no wonder that burnout is widespread.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is defined as “a syndrome characterized by high emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization (i.e., cynicism), and a low sense of personal accomplishment from work.”
The prefrontal cortex is a part of the brain involved with behavior regulation, thoughts, emotions, and short term memory. Under stress, our prefrontal cortex shuts down, impairing decision-making, weakening impulse control, and increasing irritability. You’ve probably noticed this happening to yourself or others.
The key takeaway is that emotional exhaustion affects us unconsciously. This stress might make you feel like you’re frustrated with a minor inconvenience. Maybe because the grocery delivery driver messed up your order or because a friend was late to a zoom call. It’s really because we’re under a whole host of new pressures, financial, practical, and even existential.
Individuals from every walk of life are facing burnout. Many are seeking help and council, both personal and professional, to combat these challenges and get back on track.
Burnout affects everyone
No one in the world is above the influence of these global pressures.
Burnout is widespread – personally, professionally, and emotionally. It doesn’t just start with an individual either. A business underperforming because of COVID-19 means stressed out leadership, which means stressed out employees, and yup, you guessed it, stressed out customers.
These challenges are serious, but the good news is that they can be mitigated by patience and understanding. Now is the time to look within your own sphere of influence to make a better environment for yourself and others. This could be the way you manage yourself and your emotional state, or finding external resources to improve the wellbeing of those nearby.
Regardless of circumstance, these things impact us all. They may not impact us in the same way, but no one has been left unaffected. More than ever, we need to extend empathy and understanding to one another. What’s the best way to free up some mental real estate?
How to beat burnout:
For most of us, taking time off isn’t an option right now. There’s no waiting it out. These times, as strange as they may be, are our new normal.
There’s an upside to this year’s turbulence, and it’s a powerful testament to human resilience. Even through the darkest of times, there’s always optimism and tenacity to be found. By taking responsibility for our own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, we’re able to put ourselves back in control.
There’s no magic cure-all, but there are strategies you can use to minimize burnout and get back on track:
- Release stress by exercising
Improve your health. Eating well and taking care of your physical needs are some of the most impactful ways we can take care of ourselves. Working out boosts cognition, reduces mental fog, and releases endorphins that help you feel better.
- Unwind with your favorite hobby
Take time out for the things you love. Spending ten minutes on something you care about could change the perspective of your whole day. This is a personal pursuit, and it should be! Being productive in the things you enjoy brings motivation and purpose to our lives.
- Find comfort from loved ones
Remember that we’re all in this together. People are social animals, and now many are cut off from those we care about. Spend some time with people you love. This could be having dinner with your family, spending time with a significant other, or just calling up your friends to share some laughter.
- Call in the cavalry
If you’re struggling, a helping hand might be what you need. This could be counseling to work through emotional struggles, or a mentor to guide you through uncertainty. There’s a light at the end of every tunnel, and a little guidance could set you on the right path.
It’s been a difficult year, there’s no doubt about it. I’M NOT MAD AT YOU has assisted numerous companies throughout 2020, helping them adopt new business strategies, manage COVID-19, and stay motivated through a very challenging time. If your company needs a personal roadmap to beat burnout, contact us today!