I recently did a continuing education class that focused on self-care to avoid the dreaded burn-out. What is burn-out you may ask? Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. According to forbes.com, 84% of Gen Zs report burnout along with 74% of Millennials and 47% of Baby Boomers. It is shocking to see the number of adults that are increasingly experiencing burnout in their workplace.
I, myself, am no stranger to burnout as a mom of two toddlers, a full-time family law attorney, and a wife. Don’t get me wrong, I love being all those things and cherish time with both my children and getting to be the She-hulk attorney in Court, but I am aware of that dreaded burnout feeling that creeps into my life when I least expect it or when I need to be productive. In self-reflecting, I have tried many ways to avoid burn-out. It’s not that I don’t love my job or being able to help others when they are at their most vulnerable, or the voices of my babies saying “mom, mom, moooommmmm, mom” for the millionth time that day or my husband telling me that I never told him something, even though I told him every day for the past week. But how do you fix that feeling of emotional and mental exhaustion, loss of personal identity, and the worst loss, productivity?
Self-care is the number one thing you can do to avoid burnout. There is a staggering statistic that consistent self-care practices are one of the most effective ways to avoid and reduce burnout. Self-care can look like so many different things to different people, but I have made a list of the some of the top options to avoid burnout in 2023 and keep a clear, happy state of mind.
- Develop a self-care routine before burn–out: paying attention to the symptoms or effects of burnout is one of the best ways to prevent total burn out. When we take care of ourselves, we tend to have more to give – whether that be the energy to care for others, engage and connect with our coworkers, and be more engaged in our work-life.
- Regular Exercise, Eat Healthy-Regular Meals, and Stay Hydrated: Although, I am one to talk on this particular section because I rarely make this one a priority, it is important. When I actually put the effort into focusing on this topic, I feel better, I have better energy levels, I am more alert, and willing to put the work in for the day. If you can’t focus on all three of these at one time, select one. I am working on staying hydrated and making sure I fuel my body at multiple intervals during the day. Those two things alone have assisted in better energy levels and being more alert to get the things I need to get done, done.
- Make Sleep a Priority: Create a schedule and stick to that schedule. Avoid the aimless scrolling at the end of the night on your phone as the blue light makes it harder to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Set Goals & Priorities: This is a big one for me, decide what it is a priority to get done now and what can wait until tomorrow. Learn to say “no” if you feel your getting overwhelmed and can’t take on more. Do not inundate yourself with too many tasks because you can’t say no. Try to be mindful of what has been accomplished during the day instead of focusing on what needs to still get done.
- Practice Gratitude & Focus on the Positive: At the end of each stressful day, practice gratitude. Reflect on things you were able to accomplish in the day, reflect that you were healthy enough to be able to do the work that you do, you were able to take care of those babies, and you were able to get things done. Stay focused on the positive – not what still needs to be done, but how productive you were. Even if you are already experiencing the burn-out, focus on the things you managed to get through.
If you can remember even some of these tips and tricks, it will greatly avoid burnout and make for an easier, happier life.