Article by Katie Pierce
Burnout can happen in any line of work. Your job could be taking care of stuffed animals and you’d still start feeling some bitterness towards those adorable plushies on a bad day. We need to find ways to “reset” our body and mind before we fully burn out.
What is Burnout?
There’s a difference between being tired and being burnt out. It’s normal to be tired after a hard day of work. If you’re still excited to go to work the next day, that means you’re likely in the clear. Burnout occurs when you feel tired and unmotivated: not just after your workday, but even before and during it.
When you start feeling like work is something you have to do and not something you want to do, that’s when you know you’re starting to experience burnout.
Ways To Reset to Prevent Burnout
Recharging your body and mind before burning out is crucial to your wellbeing, helping you return to peak productivity. Here are some of the best ways to reset your body and mind.
Stop What You’re Doing
That’s right. If you can do so safely, stop whatever it is you’re doing. If you're working on something like writing up a report or just checking emails, unless it's crucial, do what you can to stop, and take a moment to get your bearings back. Nothing is more important than your health.
Burnout is insidious because you may not notice it unless somebody else mentions it to you. Be aware of your limits, and know when to stop working. If you continue to work while burnt out, you may end upslower and more likely to make mistakes in the long run.
Do Breathing Exercises
Once you have taken a step back from what you were doing, it’s time to breathe. A lot of tension in both the body and mind is formed when you are burnt out. Your body feels stiffer than it should and your mind will feel cloudy.
To alleviate this, breathing exercises can help. Follow these steps to regain some lightness in your body:
- Close your mouth and gently inhale through your nostrils. Inhale for at least 5 seconds.
- Slowly exhale the air out of your nose. This should also last 5 seconds.
- Repeat the first two steps 5 times
- On the last exhale, open your mouth and slowly exhale for 7 seconds
This breathing exercise has been used by several therapists to calm people’s nerves. It’s easy to do, you can do it anywhere, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s a great way to prepare yourself before moving on to the other methods on this list.
Do Some Mindfulness Meditation
Once you have calmed your body and mind, it’s time to do some mindfulness meditation. The goal of this type of meditation isn’t to empty your mind. Instead, you are encouraged to confront all of the noise and thoughts inside your head. Think of ways to settle them now that you’re calmer and less stressed.
Mindfulness meditation will let you plan your next course of action much better.
Take a Relaxing Bath
When your workday is over, take the time to enjoy a relaxing bath. Burnout often leads to a lot of stiffness and possible sweating. Looking and feeling tired can be solved by a nice bath session.
A hot bath has been shown to reduce stress levels significantly and even loosens up your muscles. Don’t rush your bathing time - enjoy the solitude.
Talk With Your Friends and Family About It
Feeling alone only makes the feeling of burnout even worse. When it all feels crushing, find someone you can talk to. It can be online or face to face, the important thing is finding a person who is willing to listen.
One of the reasons people feel burnt out is because they have no avenue to release their negative energy. Talking about it frankly helps ease your mind and you might even get some helpful advice from your loved ones.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Another thing that could be contributing to potential burnout is your clothes. Clothing that is too tight can restrict breathing and working while you feel constricted does not help your mind disassociate work from stress.
Wearing comfortable or loose-fitting clothes, is a simple way to help to minimise stress while working.
Burnout isn’t an easy state to recover from - which is why prevention is key. It might take repeating all of the techniques listed here before you start feeling better. But it does get easier the more you do it.
Now you will be prepared in both body and mind to tackle the onset of burnout the next time you experience it.