Our workloads are getting heavier, our personal time is shrinking, and the world itself seems crazier; it’s no wonder that burnout is becoming a more prevalent issue. If you’re not familiar with the concept of burnout, think of it as the name implies — a candle that’s going and going until it finally reaches the end of the wick and burns out. When we overextend ourselves or just fail to set time aside for genuine fun and restoration, we can find ourselves the victims of burnout.
Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t find the energy for anything? Have you ever tried to work and felt like it took double the effort to make half the progress? These are the quintessential symptoms of burnout. If you don’t make time to rest, your body will make that time for you, and it won’t be as conscious of your to-do list when it does.
Work is often the main culprit that burnout is attributed to, and while it is undoubtedly a significant factor, there are many other things you might not realize are causing your burnouts. Here are a few burnout risks to keep in mind:
It might feel like you’re taking a break from work and avoiding burnout by doing so, but social media is just not the kind of fun and therapeutic activity that wards burnout. On the contrary, looking at online drama, keeping up with the lives of people you’ve never met, plus a healthy dose of whatever the latest political scandal is makes the perfect recipe for burnout.
Cure: Do a social media fast and rediscover enjoyable ways to pass your free time, like reading, baking, drawing, or just zoning out in front of a movie.
While seeing friends and spending time with family is absolutely part of a healthy, burnout avoiding lifestyle, going too far to the other extreme with socializing can bring out exhaustion instead. It doesn’t matter how extraverted you are. Everyone needs at least some time entirely to themselves. If you’re continually messaging in your group chat or taking those too-frequent calls from family members that stress you, this type of socializing will lead to burnout.
Cure: Set aside specific you-time — turn your phone off, shut your door, and disconnect. Pick an activity you enjoy doing alone and make time for that.
It’s important to stay informed, especially with a major crisis like the pandemic happening, but more news doesn’t necessarily make you better informed. Remember that news is a business like anything else — ever noticed how there’s always something worrisome on the news? There’s never a day where news channels say, “Today has been pretty calm and nothing new worth covering as happened. Enjoy today!” Nope. If nothing significant happened on Tuesday, the news will continue rehashing whatever happened on Monday. Talk about information overload.
Cure: Turn it off! Ask yourself if you really need to know about that robbery that happened in a city you’ve never heard of and how that will impact you. Commit to just checking the news once a day, rather than getting a constant stream of scary updates.