The Burnout Effect, and Why You Seriously Need to Avoid It!

Burnout: persistent emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue and cognitive weariness.

We’ve been talking about burnout for years now! It’s no secret that burnout effects are bad for your health, your work, and your quality of life, but new research shows that the negative effect on physical health is much bigger than previously believed. In fact, recent studies found that burnout (also known as “vital exhaustion”) increases the risk for heart disease as much as risk factors like high cholesterol, BMI and smoking!

Yet for some reason still don’t take this risk as seriously as unhealthy habits like smoking, or overeating. Why is that? Well, while many people assume burnout is caused by overdoing it, at work or elsewhere, the common causes are actually a bit more complex.

In fact, “overload at work” is only one of the top 6 causes of burnout. Other causes include being in a state of internal conflict, the absence of fairness or satisfaction, lack of control and lack of community. It turns out that preventing burnout requires a bit more than taking a nap (not that you shouldn’t do that as well!) It requires making an effort to increase your quality of life.

Burnout happens when someone gets out of balance, and stays out of balance for too long. So check in with your body to find out if it’s in balance. Are you giving all the important areas in your life the attention they need? If not try one (or all) of the suggestions below to rebalance your body and mind, and beat burnout!

  • Take an hour a day to pay attention to your body. Attend a yoga class, go for a walk, swim, whatever. Just do it! Adding this into your daily routine will give you a boost that just might surprise you.
  • Try taking 5 minutes every hour or other hour to go offline. No calls, no emails, no texts…. NOTHING! If you can, shut your mind off too while you’re at it. We promise, the amount of energy you gain in return will be well worth it!
  • Take one night off a week or every other week. Make a date with a friend, partner, spouse or yourself. Not only does your brain need a bit of fun, but giving yourself some “off time” actually helps us be more productive during our “on time”.
  • Practice mindfulness. There will be times where you simply cannot (and we mean can NOT) take a 5 minute break, but your body needs it! While you may think the trick to getting through it is powering through the better option is to fully be in it. Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment, no matter how trying that moment may be, and if you can master that, you’ll be doing your body and mind good!

Remember, feeling out of control is one of the top 6 causes of burnout, so take control today. And let us know how these steps work out for you!