What Is “Burnout” And How Can You Combat It?

What is “burnout”?

In today’s society, we receive praise for being a “hustler” or a “go-getter.” We’re told that “life is tough but so are we” and that “good things come to those that work hard”. But when does it become too much? The term burnout is now recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). No longer is it just a term of feeling exhausted, the WHO has classified it as a chronic condition that is characterized by three dimensions:

1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion or anxiety

2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job

3) reduced professional efficacy

The WHO specifically defines it as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. However, it’s also believed that this stress does not end in the workplace and that one can experience burnout in other areas of their lives whether it comes from relationships or just day-to-day demands.

The term has been scoffed as a millennial excuse for not working hard enough. Yet, as the demands of our lives increase along with the feeling that we must be busy in order to have value, more people, no matter what generation they belong in, are experiencing burnout. If you think you have been experiencing burnout within your own life, here are some tips to lessen the feelings of it.

Prioritize Sleep

It’s so easy, before bed, to watch just *one* more episode of your Netflix binge session; however, you may be compromising your sleep in the process. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours every night, whereas the reality is that up to one-third of Americans are reporting less than 6 hours of sleep every night. Over time, sleep deprivation can have an effect on your health and is linked to memory issues, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and even increased risk of heart disease. If you have a difficult time easing into sleep, try creating a night time routine that you enjoy which can include things such as chamomile tea which is naturally calming or a meditating app. 


Limit Screen Time

Not only can screen time negatively affect your quality of sleep if you’re scrolling before bed, but with everyone posting their #hustle on Instagram, it can also increase feelings of needing to be busy. Try replacing screen time with actual face time with friends and family. If you’re addicted to scrolling just one last time before catching some zzz’s, try replacing the habit with something such as reading, writing, or meditating which can all help cope with stress.


Step Away from the To Do List

Creating to do lists is a great way to stay organized. Whether you jot down hand written notes or keep them in your phone, it makes organization easier than ever. Yet at the same time, they can also quickly create feelings of being overwhelmed, leading to burnout. Remember that life is not meant to be a to-do list 24/7. Try putting off some tasks for a day or two or reach out to a friend or family member to help complete some of your tasks. And try having a little fun while doing them!


Make Time for Friends and Family

Working from 9-5 (or 6, or even 7) can make it hard to not make work your life. Despite this, remember to make time for supportive and fulfilling relationships with friends and family. Spend time with a coworker at lunch, go for a walk during your day and call a friend, or make it a point to have dinner with your family and talk about the positives of everyone’s day.


Take Care of your Health

Taking care of your health includes physical, mental, and emotional health. Make time for things that make you happy, make sure to get some movement in your day even if it is just walking, and don’t forget to nourish your body by choosing nutrient dense, whole foods. Choosing a bottle of Kabaki which contains high levels of antioxidants is a good choice for your health and is a drug-free solution to better wellbeing.


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