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7 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Mental Burnout

7 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Mental Burnout

It’s way too easy to get swept up in the daily grind of work. Bringing home that stress cuts into your family time, and you already have enough going on with your home life. Trying to balance a social life and more on top of all of that only adds to the weight on your shoulders. When all of this adds up, you might feel like you can’t tackle anything, even the simplest of daily tasks. These tips will help you avoid mental burnout and all the unhappiness it can bring into your life.

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    1. Watch for the signs.

    Be aware of the signs of mental burnout. Don’t think that it’s simply stress that will go away over time. Physically, you might get sick more often, or see changes in your sleeping or eating habits. Emotionally, you might feel detached and not care about anything you used to. You might withdraw from others and shy away from responsibilities you would previously be excited to take on. This might feel like an extended period of stress, or some sort of depression, but be aware that it could be burnout.

    2. Stay healthy.

    You might feel bad because of the stress, but make sure you stay healthy. Get enough sleep every night. Keep eating healthy. Exercising daily will not only keep you healthy, but by giving your body a workout and your mind something else to focus on, it can help you out of any depression you might be experiencing.

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    3. Take a break from the grind.

    If you have vacation time, use it. Call in for a sick day. If it’s not possible to actually take time off, try to disconnect from technology every day. Turn off your phone, push back from the computer, and don’t turn on the TV. Do what you like to do to relax. Read a book on the couch. Do yoga by yourself. Or completely disconnect from real life by meditating for an hour and clearing your entire mind.

    4. Keep your days manageable.

    Don’t put more on your plate than you can handle. Keep your To Do lists short, and make sure you can accomplish everything in the time you have available. Having an unsurmountable To Do list will only increase your feelings of helplessness. If you only have enough energy to make it through the work day, clear your schedule so that’s all you have to do. Keep big projects at bay until the weekend when you have more time, or for when you might feel better.

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    5. Take advantage of your support system.

    Your family and friends love you‒take advantage of this! Tell them what’s going on and what you’re having trouble with. They’ll be more than willing to help out in any way they can. Don’t be afraid to let them step in to pick up the slack. If someone offers to make you dinner, don’t turn them away and insist you can do it yourself. Accept help when you need it. It will help you avoid burnout, or bounce back quicker from any stress you may already be experiencing.

    6. Reassess your priorities.

    Is your job causing you more stress than it’s worth? Think about what could make it easier on you and talk to your boss. If you’re asking for reasonable things, like more time to finish projects, or an assistant to help with the workload, your concerns will more than likely be well received. If it’s not possible to redefine your job duties, try to have a list of priorities. Are presentations most important? Put those at the top of your list and try to forget about other tasks until you’ve met your major deadlines.

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    If your home life is troubling you, try to find a solution to the problems. Is your partner not doing as much with the children as they could? What about those kids‒could their chore list be added to so the house stays cleaner without taking more of your time? If the bulk of the workload is left to you, then prioritize what needs to be done. Make dinner in a crock pot, and let the dishwasher run while you’re at work. Clean every other weekend, instead of every few days.

    7. Have a creative outlet.

    Don’t let the hassle of real life get you down. Have a creative outlet to relieve the stress of the daily grind. Vent in a journal after work, or try writing fiction stories as an escape outlet. Draw pictures, or create abstract paintings on canvas even if you don’t have much artistic talent. Knit scarves for gifts, or try making up your own recipes in the kitchen. There’s something you enjoy doing that you always push to the back burner. Let it take priority every once in awhile to ensure you’re keeping the rest of your life in check.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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