The results of your burn-out quiz and our top six tips to recover from burnout
You are okay and show few if any signs of burnout. Keep doing what you are doing.
You are showing some signs of overwhelm. You could burn out through time if you don’t take time to learn a few resilient strategies.
You are getting close to burnout. You need to learn a few resilient strategies right away.
You are likely already burnt out. You need help to recover and lead a more resilient life.
And, our TOP six tips to recover from burnout at work
1. Learn to recognize the symptoms
Like mental health, it is essential to compare your own or someone’s current behaviour with a baseline behaviour to measure any potential deviance. Are you more irritable, pessimistic, or tired than usual? Maybe you have mixed deadlines, can’t make decisions, or have frequent sick days. In others, you might notice that their appearance has changed or are they suddenly drinking? These signals could be a cry for help.
Chronic stress and burnout are the results of an overtaxed mind. While you might notice brain fog or inability to concentrate, you will eventually observe physical signs in your body. Symptoms may include aches and pains, headaches, hair loss, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal upset, muscle pain, skin rashes, excessive sleep, or weight gain.
Burnout though has its own three components: exhaustion, cynicism, and a lack of personal accomplishment. True burnout means that we will experience all three components. With exhaustion, you will likely feel constantly tired and low on energy. Cynicism will leave you feeling disengaged from work, possibly withdrawing, and generally feeling glum. Lastly, a lack of personal accomplishment will likely result in a loss of productivity and reduction in goal attainment. Now that we understand burnout and its three components, we can look at how to recover from burnout and lead a healthier life.
To recover, you need to start listening to what your body is telling you. A good habit is to ask yourself, ‘What does my body need today?’ For example, you may need rest, some gentle exercise, or to connect with someone.
2. Build recovery into your schedule
Unfortunately, a vacation or a wellness retreat will not allow you to fully recover from burnout. When we are burnt out, there is a need to rest and recover. You will need to take extra time off work to recover from chronic stress or burnout. Unfortunately, taking extra time off to recover may be difficult in the current economic and pandemic climate. With fewer people left behind to do the actual work, you may experience work overload. In this situation, you will have to decide how much time you can take off and regularly reassess your stress levels.
If you have less severe stress, you can take some time at the beginning of the week to schedule periods of rest, relaxation, and downtime. These times will help you to rest and recharge.
It is also essential to stop thinking about work while away from work. Possible ideas to achieve this include creating a few chosen times each day to think about work or simply reminding yourself that thinking about work when away negates the benefit of taking time off.
3. Get accustomed to the concept of energy management
You will do well to make a list of energy robbers and energy boosters both at home and at work. Next, think about what can you do to increase your energy boosters and reduce your energy robbers? For example, if working from home is draining your energy and making you feel isolated, schedule a workout class in your community, work at a coffee shop for an hour each morning, or schedule an activity such as a walk in the park with a friend or neighbour.
4. Learn to ask for help
You will need to ask for help to beat stress and burnout. For example, can you identify a co-worker to share your workload? Or could you approach your manager for support or learn tips to delegate tasks? Perhaps engaging a leadership coach could help you grow and improve. Similarly, at home, can you enlist your family to help with the chores, hire a housecleaner, or purchase meal kits temporarily?
5. Reconsider your beliefs around self-care
People are often great at taking care of others, but often at the expense of themselves. We often neglect our own self-care, believing that we should and can do it all. The truth is that we all deserve self-care, and we are all more effective and productive when we feel rested.
Stop feeling guilty or irresponsible and create a list of self-care ideas right now. Some questions to consider are, what would help you feel good? What do you consider fun? Or, what would help you to feel taken care of? Some ideas could be getting a massage, eating a healthy meal, having a shower or a bath, or taking time away from work to play and enjoy the day.
Finally, take some time to establish boundaries around your work, such as finishing at 5 p.m. on weekdays and completely checking out of work on the weekends.
6. Improve your emotional regulation skills
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Burnout results from an inability to effectively manage chronic workplace stress. To be more resilient, you will need a calmer mind to notice when you have gone down the wrong highway so that you can switch to a healthier response. For example, if you procrastinate at work, you can notice your emotions and respond appropriately. Instead, being kind to yourself, tapping into your why and reminding yourself that 90% is all that is required will help set you up for success and move forward.