First things first, what is burnout? Burnout is classified by the World Health Organization as a syndrome resulting from “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Initially, the pandemic seemed to offer some degree of respite as team members could shave hours off their days by swapping commutes to the office to work from home setups.
However, data from lockdown periods shows that many people worked even longer hours, contributing to an ‘always-on’ culture known to contribute to burnout.
While most people and culture experts agree that occupation burnout is an organizational problem and should be combated, not everyone is lucky enough to work for a company with progressive views.
With that in mind, we’re covering a few things employees can do to combat the onset of burnout.
Take regular digital detox breaks
Whether you’re the kind of employee who checks their emails and responds outside of business hours, or you’re somewhat addicted to the work Slack chat. It’s important to remember to digitally and mentally switch off.
Experts suggest that too much screen time (yes, even for us adults) can be debilitating. And by switching off, we mean a total break from your screens. No messages, no emails, no doom scrolling. Instead, take some time to yourself for an hour or two at a time. Read a book, take a bath, walk the dog or do anything you enjoy that doesn’t involve a screen.
If that’s not an option, limit your devices so that there are fewer temptations. The ExpressVPN tech kit lists essential pieces of equipment, pick a few of these, and you’ll be ready for your next adventure.
Set work boundaries
If your contact specifies a set working period, say the standards nine to five, aim to finish working when these hours are over.
Easier said than done, we know, but that always-on culture we mentioned earlier has been flagged as one of the key contributors to burnout. Overwork, long hours, and exhaustion have long been associated with workplace success, but for most people, it doesn’t work that way; we don’t end up like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk.
Most of us just burn out.
Your work boundaries are much like the boundaries you set in your interpersonal relationships: they are there to protect you and ensure your continued well-being. There is some leeway, of course, say for highly urgent matters, but overall, your non-working hours should be your own.
Rekindle your hobbies
Have you had a hobby that you were too tired to continue? Rekindle your hobbies as a way of reconnecting with your own needs. Prioritizing yourself, or even taking baby steps toward this goal, can help you rediscover your passions. It also adds a little bit of extra joy to one’s life – something we all need more!
Burnout blows, and it can take a long time to recover fully. Don’t let yourself get there. Put regular mental wellness breaks on your to-do list and treat them with the same respect you give your work tasks.