Tips on how to banish burnout

For te health column

Employee Assistance Program graphic

By the Employee Assistance Program

If you’re feeling stress, anxiety, and burnout stemming from the disruptions caused by the pandemic, you’re not alone. Surveys show a rise in burnout among all age groups, especially among younger adults.

People experiencing burnout often feel mentally and physically exhausted, unmotivated at their jobs, and disconnected from others. Other symptoms of burnout include insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness and negativity.

Burnout happens when people are subjected to long periods of unrelenting stress. Sources of stress can include:

  • Ongoing financial difficulties.
  • Chronic illness.
  • Work pressures such as long hours without breaks or inability to take time off.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Having too many responsibilities and feeling overwhelmed at home and/or work.
  • Major life changes.
  • Feeling a lack of control.

 Setting clear work-life boundaries is important to manage burnout. If you’re primarily working from home, try to take short breaks during the day to clear your mind. Many remote workers report difficulty in disconnecting from the office at the end of the workday. Replace your commute with an ‘end of the workday’ ritual, such as turning off your electronics and clearing paperwork. Avoid answering non-urgent emails after your regular work hours.

In addition, protect your mental health by using earned time off, being realistic about workloads and deadlines, prioritizing what is most important, delegating tasks at home and work whenever possible, and asking others for support. Practicing daily self-care is also essential. Adequate sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and making time for relaxation, friends and hobbies can help you cope with stress more effectively.

If you’re having trouble managing stress or if you’re consistently feeling anxious, depressed, and burned out, consider calling your Employee Assistance Program and talking with a mental health professional. There are a variety of treatment options that can help you feel better and improve the quality of your life.