Mental Health Awareness Week is helping to break the taboos associated with Mental Health and encouraging people to speak when suffering and show compassion even if you’re not. So this week, in honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, RedCat wanted to focus on one issue that leads to Mental health issues in employees: Burnout.
The Mental Health Foundation conducted the largest known study of stress levels in the UK and the results are staggering.
“In the past year, 74% of the people surveyed have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.”
What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout is not the result of one factor, but a multitude of factors that chip away at your personal resources. It occurs as a result of chronic overwork, losing control of how you carry out your job, working towards unrealistic goals, and lacking a social support system.
Being unable to meet constant demands from both work and personal life eventually leads you to lose the interest and motivation that would usually help you complete your daily tasks. You feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained, which saps your energy levels. You feel helpless, hopeless and resentful and eventually, you feel like you have nothing more to give.
It’s important to remember that there’s a difference between feeling stressed and suffering from burnout. Everybody suffers from bouts of stress, there are times when we’re in short queues for bad luck, but if you cannot overcome your stressors then you’ll be heading into burnout territory.
Sometimes you just have to say ‘no’. If you’re already struggling with your work load or often put it in extra hours after work, and a co-worker or your manager asks you to complete additional task that are not a part of your job description, then assert yourself and politely decline their requests.
Put yourself first.
Leave work at work
In this day and age, we carry our work around in our pockets through our smartphones. Always being available to answer work emails won’t allow you to process your day, relax and recharge. Set yourself a digital bedtime, put away your phone for at least 2 hours before bed and wait for at least an hour before checking in the morning. Whatever it is, it can wait!
Take breaks during your workday
To perform your best over the long term, you need regular breaks to recharge your mental health and reevaluate your workload. Taking a step away from your current problems often makes the solution apparent. Go for a walk on your lunch break or take short breaks every few hours for some much-needed clarity.
Look after yourself
If you use your phone all day long and don’t give it the time to charge, it will switch off. The same could be said for your body. Look after both your mental and physical state by regularly eating healthily, exercising and plenty of sleep.
Change of scenery
If all else fails, the next step would be to make a change. It could be something minor, perhaps moving desks or switching departments, However, if you’ve truly hit a wall, you may have no other choice but to consider a new job or even career path.