How to avoid and deal with burnout

05 Jul 2019

workingBurnout is a very real issue caused by excessive stress, yet it is still not taken seriously enough in many work environments. In fact, burnout is known to be a more common occurrence in certain industries such as advertising, marketing and design – industries that are sometimes wrongly perceived as ones that require less work. An unrealistic build-up of work can often lead to exhaustion, anxiety and depression, which in turn will affect all aspects of an employee’s life and render them incapable of producing work to the best of their abilities.

Thankfully, there are measures one can implement to avoid suffering from burnout and recognise the symptoms if it were to occur:

-    Take a break
If you ever find yourself struggling with symptoms of burnout, you should know when to take a step back and abandon your workload for some time. We are not referring to a two-day break – but more of a two-week one. Book yourself a vacation, or if that is not possible, speak to your manager and request an unpaid break, even if it is just for the purpose of staying home. Burnout is serious and can affect your mental health and future, so do not take it lightly.

-    Know your worth
Feeling buried in work and yet still struggling to make ends meet? Explain the situation to your manager in a rational way, without getting emotional. Take note of what you have contributed to your company and what exactly your role entails, and compare your salary to your role’s average salary in your locality. In the right workplace, your manager will be understanding and reprimand your work efforts accordingly.

-    Find the right after-work activity
We all need to indulge in some pastime to feel at ease when work takes its toll. Find what it is that makes you feel best – such as taking up a sport, going to the gym or practicing yoga and meditation. Perhaps you would prefer to read a good book while being surrounded by nature, or focus your efforts on learning a new creative skill such as playing a musical instrument or sewing. There are plenty of things to be passionate about, just ensure you dedicate enough time of your day to yourself and your needs.

-    Prioritise what you consume
When stressed, it is easy to get carried away eating junk food and drinking more alcohol than usual, so it is vital that you control what you eat and drink. Lay off coffee, energy drinks and cigarettes and slow down alcohol consumption, as whenever you are stressed, it is easy to become dependent on them and consequently become addicted. Instead, focus your efforts on putting together a scrumptious, healthy meal that would energise you. It would also be ideal to speak to a nutritionist on the subject.

-    Make work more interesting
When work seems like too much to handle, a different approach is necessary. Begin by asking for different responsibilities and shifting your efforts towards projects you enjoy. Find a different work routine and conjure a creative approach to your work, which depends entirely on the role at hand.