From a very young age, a student is asked a seemingly harmless question, “What will you be when you grow up?” Most children do not have an answer to this question, or say just about anything at that moment. In the course of growing up, this very question becomes the foundation of career goals.
The entire purpose of a good education is not limited to making a fine individual, but empowering them to pursue successful careers. However, quite often, in a rush to make a successful career, people get too worked up and end up burning out before they can start out! A word of advice here: do not miss out on life! While being successful matters, it is equally important to be in touch with your inner self. When every small thing makes you go “Ahh!” and every other person makes you feel “Not again”, it’s time to hit the pause button. These emotions are a clear sign that you have been striving too hard and you need to sit back and take a deep breath.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion induced by constantly feeling overwhelmed by work and responsibilities. It is prolonged stress in any form, be it mental, emotional, or physical that is known to be a major contributor to burnout. It may come across as shocking that even though burnout is a real physiological state, it is not easily diagnosed. There are certain indicators to look out for when you feel things are going downhill.
What causes burnout?
- Unmanageable workload
- Unclear career or job goals
- Continuous exposure to a stressful situation
- Monotonous routine
- Not getting enough recognition for hard work or achievements
If you have ticked more than half of these pointers, you need to take a closer look at your routine.
Signs you’re nearing burnout
Feeling perennially exhausted
Fatigue is also a major sign of burnout that has negative effects on every aspect of your life. You may feel sleepy for most of the day or take a long time to get done with the simplest of tasks.
Running away from tough conversations and situations
Avoiding conversations and situations that can be even slightly uncomfortable is a sign that one is experiencing burnout. One may not just avoid certain topics of discussion, but also push away people who may ask them to stretch the boundaries. Leaving crucial tasks halfway done, like assignments, projects, presentations, and more are quite commonly seen when one is nearing burnout.
Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
Unable to have interest in things that one usually enjoys can be a symptom of burnout. Showing apathy or being fearful of things or activities, especially group activities that involve human interaction is quite common when you are mentally exhausted.
Unable to focus
If you often find yourself staring blankly at a wall or a laptop screen and prefer daydreaming than putting in real effort, you may be heading toward burnout. Physically, you’re at work or college but mentally zoning out, and not being able to snap back to the present moment is yet another alarming sign. In such a situation, being productive seems like a challenge that requires a lot of effort.
Frequently feeling irritable
Being irritable is among the lesser-known signs of burnout. This irritability often shows up when talking to other people, including friends and family. Usually, constant feelings of not being effective and competent lead to irritability. If or when you notice yourself getting irritable, take a step back and introspect.
An inclination toward unhealthy choices of lifestyle
An individual who is experiencing burnout may not possess the drive to stick to a healthy and active routine. When headed for a burnout, you may eat excessively or too less, and even refrain from working out.
How to avoid burnout?
Self-care is what you need
Practicing self-care is more than just a routine, it should be a lifestyle. As you plan your days, take a moment to plug-in exclusive time for self-care. Self-care can be in any form that makes you feel rejuvenated such as exercising, dancing, reading a novel, making your favourite dish and enjoying it without guilt. It can also be taking a walk in nature, sharing laughter with friends, or pampering yourself with a night care routine.
Meditate to be mindful
You must have heard numerous times about the benefits of meditation and how its positive effects elevate your life. Unlike popular opinion that only the elderly meditate, there is no such thing and every individual, whether a student or a young professional can incorporate meditation into their regular routine. Meditation brings stillness and clarity to one’s mind, enabling one to respond better in any situation than just emotionally reacting to it. Even if you have five minutes to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, do that and you would soon witness its ripple effects in how you feel in the long run. Following a guided meditation routine for 15-30 minutes is an amazing way to avoid burnout and remain calm.
Honour healthy boundaries
This is one of the most underrated ways to avoid burnout effectively. When you are not willing to do something and feel that it does not align with your best interest, learn to say NO. It is absolutely OKAY to set boundaries and not be swayed just because a bunch of people find something super cool. As an individual, always analyze what really adds value to your life and what can just make you feel drained at the end of the day.
Little joys matter the most
It is the little things in days that add up to the biggest joys in our life. Ask yourself what are the little things that make you feel relaxed and happy, and cherish more of it. Enjoy sipping tea while watching the sunrise, take some deep breaths, appreciate the beauty around you and in you. When we pay attention to little things that add beauty to our life, it makes our brain feel relaxed and allows the good hormones to flow.
Pause and take screen breaks
Sitting in front of a computer or laptop screen for long hours to work, study, or surf the internet can add a great deal of stress one doesn’t even realize. It not only makes your eyes strain but also adds to mental stress. It is highly recommended to take regular screen breaks and steal moments of relaxation from time to time.
Reach out for support whenever required
Whenever you feel swamped and are unable to manage everything on your own, be it multitasking or meeting deadlines, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to rely on people who are close enough to be called your support system. Sometimes, simply talking it out helps a great deal in decluttering your mind. However, remember that there is a fine line between venting and ranting. Venting is better for your mental health than bottling up.
These are 6 ways to effectively avoid burnout. You can try your unique ways that keep you calm, light, and energetic. When you know how to avoid burnout before you start on your career journey, the journey can be enjoyable. One of the responsibilities you don’t need to worry about is planning this career journey. You don’t have to do it alone. Get in touch with the experienced career advisors of LaunchMyCareer for guidance planning a smooth career pathway in a field of your choice.