Do you ever feel like your brain is a detuned radio, full of static and crossed signals, kind of jumbled, and you can’t quite think clearly?
Do you find yourself irritable at work, angry for no reason, maybe even bringing sensitivities home to your family and friends?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, you could be experiencing burnout, a very common (sadly) condition in which our brains are overworked, not getting enough rest, and our emotions and body don’t know what to do about it.
We’ve been talking a lot more about burnout in the past few years in large part due to the (still ongoing) Covid-19 pandemic and the ways in which our lives have shifted, but people have been dealing with burnout long before the pandemic, and we’ll continue to be dealing with it for years to come.
Burnout can be avoided — here’s how.
The weather is getting nicer across North America right now as we get into summer. After work, or before, go for a little walk. If you like to run, do that! Bike rides are great too. Do something to move your body, get a little fresh air and sunshine and take a break from work in the process. We forget how important exercise is when it feels like just one more thing to cram into our schedules, but our bodies need it not just for fitness but to help destress.
Eat healthy foods.
Yes, a piece of cake can be a stress reliever. But eating only cake isn’t good for us. We need healthier foods to keep our bodies happy. The idea that we are what we eat holds value because we feel better when we eat better, so why not fire up the grill and throw on some fresh corn, or asparagus, in addition to chicken or portabella mushrooms or whatever you like as a grilled entree.
Take breaks and get rest.
Resist the urge to keep your phone handy when it’s time to get to sleep! Resist the feeling that you need to work all the time, or you’ll never get everything done! Our brains need a break. We need to step away and look at the world around us and take time to slow down before we sleep. A lack of sleep means our brains aren’t getting rest either, and a tired brain is a cranky brain that can’t concentrate as well. Resting can also mean treating yourself to a few pages, or a chapter, of that book you’ve been meaning to read, even if it’s just 10 minutes here and there.
Recognize the symptoms as they’re happening.
If you find yourself getting stressed, take a minute to think about what’s going on. If you’re feeling flustered or overwhelmed, write down your to-do list (for home and/or work), and maybe you’ll realize that you’ve got more on your proverbial plate than normal. Try to prioritize the most important items and handle them first, and after each task is completed, walk away from your desk for a few minutes. You’ll be dividing your time and giving yourself a break in between without jumping from task to task.
Ask for help.
Whether at home or at work, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, talk to someone about it. Ask your manager for help setting priorities (remember that list you just wrote? Use it here!) or see if someone can help take things off your overloaded plate. Maybe you can get more time to finish things instead of rushing to complete everything all at once. Talk to friends and family members, too; they’re likely seeing how stressed you are and are concerned. Let them help you! They don’t need to have the answers, and they might not have any, but they’ll want to help you feel better and might offer assistance.
Remember that if you’ve earned vacation time, you have the right to take it. If you need a day here and there in order to reset, take it — and use that day to do something you like to do rather than fulfilling a need. Treat yourself to a day fully off from everything and reset before going back at full speed.
If the burnout is fully coming from work, it might be time to consider a change. Davis Staffing can help! We work with great companies who are looking for people with your skills and experience, and we can help connect you with them. Call Davis Staffing today and let’s help reduce your stress.