Avoid the Burn: What is Burnout & How Can You Avoid It?
When the Buzzfeed article "How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation" came out, we were triggered. As proud members of the "Slash-generation," we have a lot of gigs between the two of us. Most days we rock it out, other days, our bodies turn on us, fatigue takes over, and the last thing we want to do is get out of the bed.
Burnout is a term that we often hear used, but how real is it? Well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s very real. The WHO's International Classification of Diseases, or the ICD-11, has made burnout a legitimate medical diagnosis. According to the handbook, doctors can diagnose someone with burnout if they meet the following symptoms:
Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
Increased mental distance from one's job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job
Reduced professional efficacy
This news report got us thinking about our own lives and packed schedules. Although we've never been diagnosed with burnout, we're sure we've gotten close to it.
And we're not alone.
According to an article in Thrive Global, compared to other generations, today's relationship to and nature of work has shifted. With work being attached to technology devices, there is a 24/7- work/life integration, and the boundaries between the two are blurred. Even with jobs we love, blurred lines come with the feeling of always being "on" and "tethered" to work. But we have some tips to help you avoid burnout!
Tips to Avoiding Burnout
Get plenty of sleep
Studies show most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. There is also no way to "catch up" on sleep, so it is important to have a sweet bedtime you aim for each night. Make it clear to those around you that you begin to unwind at a certain time, turn that cell phone screen off and fall asleep in a cool, dark space. Don't forget, a nap can be your best friend!
Forget Balance, Strive for Synergy
Don't try to give everything equal weight at all times. It's almost impossible to do and can put your stress levels into overload. Prioritize what matters most at the moment, and be okay putting some things on the shelf for another day.
Schedule Free Time:
Schedule free time on your calendar, just like you would schedule a meeting, and stick to it. Even if it's only 30 minutes a day, take some "me time." What do you enjoy? What gets you really excited, what do you look forward to at the end of the day? Whatever it is, make time for that daily. We love getting lost in a good book, so after that screen goes off, we often pick up a book for atleast 30 minutes before bed.
Know Your Breaking Point and Learn to say "No":
Learn to say "No." People will take all the time you offer. If you are feeling at your max capacity, say No. And, realize the word is a complete sentence.
Schedule your time for a workout:
Working out is a great way to unplug and just focus on the task in front of you. Need to unwind? Take with a restorative yoga class. We love a good hot yoga soul flow, but even that can be a lot of work on the body. Instead, go for a long slow stretch or check out a Yoga Nidra (translates to Yoga Sleep) class.
Get out the frustration:
It's okay to get out some pent-up aggression. Head to kickboxing, throw axes at your local Civil Axe or, break things safely at a Break Bar in NYC.
Book a little adventure.
This can be as big or small as you want to go. Find a hike in your local city, sign up for a cooking class, take a weekend girls trip, beach it for a few days, or finally book that trip to Costa Rica.