5 Ways to Combat Burnout

Published on: 28 Aug 2019
matches burning

Have you ever felt incredibly fatigued? Maybe you notice you are getting a lot of migraines as of late? You are finding it difficult to concentrate, and are irritable and unhappy. You could be suffering from burnout: chronic workplace stress that you’re not successfully managing.
Burnout is not considered a psychological disorder, however that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated with sensitivity and care.

Burnout Can Come in Many Forms

The term “burnout” was first introduced in 1974 by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. Freudenbeger defines burnout as “a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.
Burnout can come from many different sources. Let’s explore a few.

Job burnout

There is a thin line between a stressful week at work, and being burned out. What is that line? You may have crossed the line if you feel some of these statements are consistently true:

  • You are no longer excited or passionate about your work
  • You have stopped putting in effort
  • Your performance is suffering
  • You are starting to notice physical ailments attributable to work stress
  • You are not sleeping or feel fatigued

So, what is the reason for workplace burnout? Increased demands and workloads from a manager is one good reason. In fact, 95% of human resource leaders say burnout is sabotaging retention because of heavy workloads and unsupportive managers, according to The Washington Post.

Social media burnout

Social media burnout is unfortunately a reality given it’s addictive nature and rise to dominance as a medium. It seems everyone is reliant on their phones, gadgets, and various social media platforms. With that comes the constant overstimulation of photos, articles, and information that often causes people to feel overwhelmed, especially when coupled with other forms of burnout.
There is also the increasing problem of imposter syndrome, according to Scientific American, which is perpetuated by social media, and comes with a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary. These feelings of inadequacy can contribute to feeling stressed and burned out.

Parental burnout

Raising children is a very big responsibility. There are, of course, natural stressors that come with having a child, however, there are a few other signs of burnout to watch out for and being wary of. These signs include:

  • You are finding yourself more irritable or impatient than you are normally accustomed to
  • Losing a sense of accomplishment or pride from your responsibilities as a parent
  • Emotionally distancing yourself from your child or children
  • Feeling lost or fed up with parenting

It is no surprise that burnout can creep in while trying to manage all of the stressors of raising a family.

Combating Burnout

So, how can we can mitigate burnout? Regardless of what type of burnout you are suffering from, the recommendations can be helpful across the board.

1. Be honest

Be honest about what is stressing you out. At work, at home, and life in general. Make a list or keep a journal and write these things down. Share these feelings with your boss, your partner, or family.

2. Learn to say no

This is something that isn’t always easy and definitely takes practice. If your plate feels too full, or you are not feeling excited about something, say no. Trust your gut on this one.

3. Take a social media detox

Perhaps you need a break from everyone’s beach photos or matcha lattes. There are apps available that can actually help you take a social media break.

4. Speak to a therapist

Therapy a trained and licensed profession who can speak objectively about your burnout and how to manage it. Therapy is great for putting things into perspective.

5. Do things you love

Whether it is a great workout, reading, or going for a walk, getting back to doing things you love can help relax and calm your mind.

It may seem impossible to manage burnout, especially if you have been feeling this way for awhile. It might be beneficial to seek the help of a therapist. With a busy schedule behind many peoples’ burnout, you might find online therapy is a helpful tool to feel more like yourself again! Once you are aware of the signs, you can work towards focusing on how to get ahead of it, so you can be a healthier and happier you.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.

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