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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

How to Fix Burning out at Work and Get Back on Track

How to Fix Burning out at Work and Get Back on Track

Anyone that has held a job for a few years, even six months, may have encountered burnout. Burnout can be physical or mental exhaustion.

The passion that once flamed for the job has burned out and you are left dreading the feeling of going into work. You may have anxiety or are constantly overwhelmed. The constant stress has you in fight or flight and your energy is gone.

Burnout is more than working hard, burnout affects all areas of your life. At work, your productivity goes down, you may feel cynical and resentful at the job and you can’t seem to find the answers that are usually right in front of you.

At home, you may have a short fuse with your family and struggle to wake up and get out the door. At night you may zone out completely and have a hard time focusing on what matters.

Why Do We Burn Out

A typical job schedule in the United States is 40 hours a week. You may work a little less some weeks and a little more other weeks. Some people work a lot more than 40 hours a week, every week.

When you spend this kind of time in one place, it is easy to see that a person can burnout. To be more specific, some of the reasons people burn out are:

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  • Job repetition
  • Low salary
  • High volume of workload
  • Staying in the same place for too long
  • No room for advancement
  • Lack of social connection

There are many contributing factors to burnout, and it can vary by person. Burnout for one person may come a lot later than someone else. The breaking point for each person can change. It is important to recognize the causes and the symptoms of burnout so you can make a shift.

What Everyone Is Wrong About Burning Out

Before we dive into how to fix a burnout, I want to bust the myths many have about burning out. Only by understanding burn out more will you be able to fix it from the root.

Myth #1: Because you’re burned out, you are weak or cannot handle stress.

This is not the case, in fact, burning out is the opposite. It is your body’s way of showing you that it is time to slow down so you can handle the stress.

When you burnout, your body and your mental brain can become cluttered. When you recognize this, you can make a shift and reevaluate what you are working toward. Our natural instinct is to blame ourselves. However, no one is made to handle that stress load for long periods of time.

When you look at successful entrepreneurs and see the load in which they carry each day, you have to recognize that they have tools in place to support them and a team to help. No one person, can do it all.

Myth #2: You should keep burnout a secret.

If you keep burnout a secret, you are risking your well being. I am not asking you to stand on top of your desk at work and scream out loud saying that you are tired. What I am saying is to find a partner to communicate with. This can be a co-worker, a friend, or your partner.

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The Burnout Fixing Plan

Fixing burnout could be a simple self care routine that you implement each day or it can be jetting off for a week of unplugged vacation time.

There are many strategies that can support you and here are a few of my favorites.

Set a Goal and Stick to It

Take a look at your current goals, do you have too many things to focus on, but lose the focus for the most important things? Maybe what mattered two years ago when you took this job no longer matters now.

Either way, take a look at your goals and assess what you want to keep and what you want to let go.

Activity breeds more activity. When you start to get busy, life gives you more things to do. You have to get clear on what matches your goals and is aligned with your long term plan.

Get More Sleep No Matter What

Late night work may have seemed productive for some; but the reality is it hurts more than it helps. Let go of the late nights and hit the pillow sooner.

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When you get more sleep, you can better handle the problems that life throws at you. Instead of reacting, you can create a plan and start shifting.

If you are afraid of not getting enough done, take a look at your priorities and start looking at what is on your plate that does not matter.

Go to bed early and wake up early before everyone else. You can get 8 hours of sleep and work for 90 minutes uninterrupted in the morning.

It may take practice, yet when you show up each day and make this a new habit, it will become easier.

Don’t Skip Breaks

A vacation allows you to temporarily leave the stressor. When you get into an argument with your partner, you may allow yourself to walk away before you resume the argument to make sure you don’t yell.

This applies to work too. If you find yourself on a short fuse, take time off. If your natural instinct is to shut everyone out and become a hermit when times get tough, take a break. Separate yourself from the stressor.

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The break will help you regain your focus and you can spend some time shutting off your brain to reset.

Reset Your Body, Reset Your Brain

Right now you may be thinking, I can’t just leave my job this week. I have two major projects due and I have a coffee date planned. That is okay, start small and build up.

Start tonight by setting an alarm on your phone an hour before bed. When the alarm goes off, write down your number one priority for tomorrow, plan out your day, and brush your teeth. Go to bed fifteen minutes earlier and get more sleep.

Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself if you are feeling overwhelmed.

More by this author

RebeccaLynn Bologna

MBA, Mom mentor and Business coach

How to Fix Burning out at Work and Get Back on Track How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster What the Most Successful People Do in the Evening Real Passion Will Never Die Out? False.

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Published on June 23, 2021

How To Take a Cold Shower For the Best Health Benefits

How To Take a Cold Shower For the Best Health Benefits

Cold showers were considered beneficial as early as 1600 B.C.[1] However, thanks in part to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Lab on Netflix, The Wim Hof Method brought the benefits of cold showers into mainstream American media.

Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is known for his ability to tolerate extreme temperatures. He credits this ability to a series of breathing exercises, meditation, and exposure to cold temperatures.[2] One study suggests that the Wim Hof Method leads to a release of brain chemicals, which result in decreased sensitivity to cold and increased feelings of euphoria.[3]

However, the benefits of mindfulness and breathing exercises are already widely known while less is known about the benefits of cold exposure. So, is there any merit to this particular facet of the Wim Hof Method?

This article will focus on cold exposure—the history, benefits, and how to take a cold shower to maximize its benefits.

In ancient Rome, individuals walked through multiple heated rooms that culminated in a dip into a cold pool. This practice is called “frigidarium.” It is still practiced today in spas and saunas.[4]

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In Finland and Norway, it is also a common practice for individuals to intermittently expose themselves to cold temperatures while sauna bathing. Individuals may do so by stepping outside during cold weather, sitting in the snow, or taking a cold shower. In warmer weather, individuals may step into ice-water between sunbathing. For instance, during five to fifteen minutes of sunbathing, they may step into ice-water three to five times for five seconds or longer.[5]

In Russia, individuals celebrate an event called “Epiphany” by swimming in the cold. In the Orthodox Calendar, Jesus was baptized on January 19th. Therefore, to recognize this date’s significance, individuals will plunge themselves into ice-holes three times. To prepare for this, they take cold showers every day for a week leading up to the event.[6]

Moreover, winter swimming is commonly practiced in countries such as Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Latvia.[7] How is that for an extreme sport?

The Dark History of Cold Showers

Conversely, in the early 1700s, cold showers were reserved for individuals with mental disorders. At that time, mania was believed to be a condition that could boil the blood and the brain, and a cool shower appeared to be the natural cure.[8]

By the 1800s, mental illness was believed to be caused by inflammation, but cold showers remained a treatment of choice in mental asylums. Unfortunately, this resulted in treatments designed to shock individuals with intense water pressure and prolonged cold exposure.

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Fortunately, by the 1900s, these practices were abandoned, but the rising concern of hygiene led to the development of the showers utilized today. Nearly 150 years after they were developed for use in asylums, showers become a mainstay of modern hygiene practices.[9]

The Benefits of Cold Exposure

Here are three main benefits of cold exposure or taking cold showers to your overall health.

1. Fewer Sick Days

A study found that individuals who take cold showers take 29% fewer sick days than those who do not. This shocking statistic can be achieved in as little as 30 seconds of cold water exposure for 30 days. Nevertheless, the individuals were not sick any less, they just tolerated it better.[10]

2. Improved Appearance of Skin and Hair

Cold showers may also help to improve the appearance of your skin and hair. How does it work? Exposure to cold constricts blood flow, leading to a glow. Furthermore, cold water helps keep the skin hydrated, giving it a better appearance.[11]

3. Increased Well-Being

Exposure to cold water may also have an impact on your mental health. In a case study on cold swimming, one woman was able to decrease her use of anti-depressants and eventually replace them entirely with cold swimming. However, this is just one example. Further research is needed to support the use of cold therapy for the treatment of depression.[12]

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Regular winter swimming is associated with decreases in fatigue, tension, and negative mood states. It has also been linked with decreased pain for individuals diagnosed with rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma. In the general population, winter swimming is linked with increased well-being.[13]

How to Take a Cold Shower for the Best Health Benefits

Cold showers have been around for centuries, both as a cultural and medical practice. However, there is limited research that suggests the right way to shower to obtain the most health benefits. Therefore, this is not a prescribed approach. This is simply a suggestion as you begin to experiment with cold showers, and the effects may vary from individual to individual.

While the evidence is limited, there are many cultural practices in place for individuals curious about cold showers, bathing, and swimming. Many spas may offer hot and cold water therapies as a form of relaxation. Furthermore, many individuals around the world enjoy sitting in hot and cold springs. Yet, one does not need to travel to experience this for themselves. Try it for yourself: simply turn down the dial during your next shower and see how you react to cold exposure.

Taking a Cold Shower for Fewer Sick Days

Here’s a very simple three-step guide to taking a cold shower.

  1. Take a shower at your usual temperature.
  2. At the end of the shower, turn the faucet to cold and remain under the cold water for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat this practice daily for at least 30 days.

That is it. This method may help decrease your sick days by 29%. To further increase the odds to 54%, you could also try adding regular exercise into your routine.[14]

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Contraindications

Cold showers are not an adequate replacement for mental health or medical treatment. Furthermore, individuals with underlying medical or mental health conditions should consult their medical professionals before engaging in cold showering.

Conclusion

Ultimately, there is no prescribed empirically-based method for the benefits of cold showers. Research is still inconclusive when it comes to most of the major benefits of cold showers. Nevertheless, many individuals who practice this technique swear by the benefits.

The Wim Hof Method is just one example of cold exposure gaining momentum in the health and wellness industry. In fact, this practice has been around for centuries, and it is clearly here to stay.

While research still needs time to catch up, there is only way one to find out what works best for you. Give it a try, turn down the dial, and turn your shower into a day at the spa. You have as little as 30 seconds to lose and potentially a lot more to gain!

More Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower

Featured photo credit: kevin Baquerizo via unsplash.com

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Reference

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