How to Beat Burnout in a Fast-Paced World?
April 2023, 4 min read
Burnout is a huge focus for us at Mindway, and one we know many of our users struggle with. Mindway's burnout mindfulness meditation course is broadly based on three of the main characteristics of burn-out. In the first episode, we focus on negative thinking, and the sense of disillusionment or distance towards the work that you're doing. In the second episode, we work on some of the difficult emotions experienced in periods of burnout, such as feeling incompetent or overwhelmed, angry or anxious. And in the third episode, we focus on the intense physical exhaustion and tiredness characteristic of burnout, and take a moment to rest and restore the body. If these problems sound familiar, this article will act as a written resource that covers these topics so you can reference it whenever you need.
Negative thinking is a common symptom of burnout. It often involves feelings of disillusionment, cynicism, or detachment from work. Maybe you feel like you’re wasting your time at work, and this makes you want to stay in bed all day. Or maybe you feel like the job is too much for you, and you can’t handle it. This can lead to a loss of motivation and interest in what once was an enjoyable job or activity.
Burnout may also trigger a range of difficult emotions, such as anxiety, anger, or feelings of incompetence. These emotions can further exacerbate the burnout cycle and make it challenging to bounce back. The chances are that even if you aren’t aware of them, these emotions do in fact exist in you.
One of the most prominent signs of burnout is intense physical exhaustion. This can manifest as constant fatigue, lack of energy, and an inability to recharge even after taking breaks. You may feel as if you need to sleep for hours on end, and end up feeling tired even after doing so. This is because what you’re feeling is not necessarily sleeplessness.
Strategies to Combat Burnout
Chances are you can relate to some of these main characteristics of burnout; let's discuss some practical strategies to tackle it head-on.
Prioritize Your Body & Mind
Self-care is crucial in preventing and overcoming burnout. Perhaps your diet is overloaded with carbs. Or perhaps you spend too much time in front of a screen. Such conditions can impact your biological system, and amplify your sense of burnout - so taking a good look at the basics of your lifestyle can greatly help you on your road to recovery. If you can’t immediately think of what might be going wrong, try journaling or some other tool to bring yourself more awareness, like mindfulness meditation. Just as if you were troubleshooting an issue with your computer, becoming aware of the problem is the first step to solving it. Perhaps you’ll discover that you don’t engage in many activities that bring joy and relaxation. Activities that not only help you recharge but also create a sense of accomplishment. In such a case, picking up a hobby may actually be a great way to combat your burnout!
Learning to set boundaries between work and personal life is essential. This can include setting specific work hours, taking regular breaks, and disconnecting from work-related communication during personal time. You might also consider delegating tasks or saying "no" when you need to protect your time and energy. Identify times when you can do your best work, and schedule what you need to do for those times. For example if you work well in the evenings, that’s when you should be doing your deep work, with your phone off and no distractions. Communicate to your team beforehand that you will not be accessible, so that your mind isn’t elsewhere. But boundaries aren’t just for times when you can be productive. They’re also for times when you can’t. For example, if you’re not a morning person, don’t force yourself to become one, but instead take that time for yourself, such as by taking a walk.
Don't be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or colleagues for support. Sharing your experiences and feelings can help alleviate stress and provide valuable perspectives on managing burnout. Building strong relationships outside of work can offer a safe space to vent and help you feel valued, trusted, and appreciated. Within Mindway, you’ll find The Fireside - a place where you can do just that. In fact, you may find a lot of what you’re reading in this article is being discussed regularly in Mindway’s peer support groups that discuss burnout! Find our event calendar here.
Incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine can help you become more present and aware of your thoughts and emotions. This can improve your ability to cope with stress and prevent burnout. Consider trying Mindway's burnout mindfulness meditation course. It's specifically designed to address the three main characteristics of burnout and provide you with tools and techniques to manage stress and prevent burnout in the future.
Burnout can be a challenging experience, but with the right strategies and support, it's possible to overcome it and thrive in a fast-paced world. Remember to prioritize self-care, set boundaries, seek support, and practice mindfulness to help you beat burnout and maintain overall wellbeing. And don't forget, Mindway is here to support you every step of the way.