Burnouts are one of the worse feelings within the workplace. We have all been there at some point, feeling like we just want to curl up in a ball and sleep the time away. No matter how much you love your job, if you are constantly pushing yourself beyond the limits without taking time away, then you will end up suffering from emotional and physical burnouts.
Our team are passionate about removing the stigma around these feelings and be open with our mental health. We know this is an essential conversation to have with every employer. In fact, all organisations prioritising the mental and physical wellbeing of their workforce close. Being a mindful employer ourselves, we want to make sure that our blog is not solely dedicated to coding best practices and digital marketing trends. We aim to be open and honest, especially since the pandemic began, which has caused so many burnouts in people from all walks of life. So, here is our unsolicited advice, which keeps us from feeling stressed or worn down during the daily grind.
Signs of a burnout
Everyone experiences workplace burnouts differently. Some can feel extremely tired and struggle to concentrate, whereas others may be easily irritated and frustrated. The tell-tale signs of burnouts can include:
- Distant from work activities – The individual may seem detached from what they are doing, struggle to engage, and become reluctant to do particular tasks.
- Performance changes – You may see their performance alter, running late more often, not doing as much as they used to or be unable to complete tasks.
- Physical signs – These include symptoms of stress such as headaches or digestive issues.
- Emotional signs – Includes fatigue, lacking energy, feeling upset and down.
We aren’t mental health experts or doctors, so this is not professional medical advice, but knowing what to look out for can be the first steps to getting help and asking for advice.
Avoiding a burnout
Sometimes it is inevitable that you will feel stressed and tired from work, but knowing when to stop and reflect on the path you are headed could make you more aware of an upcoming burnout, allowing you the opportunity to avoid it. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed, try to take a step back and discuss with your manager that you need a quick break. Taking regular, short breaks and possibly head outside for some fresh air can work wonders for you. Making sure you always have water by your side and get something to eat at work, don’t leave yourself feeling hangry! Away from work, focus your time solely on your life outside of the office. We understand that work takes up a large part of our lives, but the pressure to succeed can mean that we often forget not to be consumed by work and live our lives to the fullest when we're away from the desk and screen. This is something we constantly tell our team.
Heading out for regular exercise is a great way to destress and let off some steam. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout at the gym. You don't have to learn a new language during your dinner break. A simple walk, jog, kick around with a football or a run would suffice. Throughout the pandemic, we have all been encouraged to take advantage of the outdoors and exercise. You may be short on time and motivation, but even a brief walk could help you feel better. Our team are regularly out on their days away from work, exercising, hopping on their boat for a jaunt around the lake, or going on family walks.
We know it sounds cliché, but staying hydrated and eating the right foods is key to avoiding burnouts. If you are not eating well, then your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to function at peak performance. Similarly, if you aren’t drinking enough water and just rely on energy drinks pumped, it won’t help your mood. That momentary burst of energy just isn’t worth it.
One thing our team does when they are feeling stressed out is to focus on the things they enjoy in their spare time. We have said it many times, we are not just digital marketers, developers, or graphic designers. We are more than that. We are gamers, parents, athletes, musicians, and so much more. Working on a hobby and doing that you enjoy can be a great way to relax.
Ensuring you are getting enough rest is vital to your well-being. We will be the first to admit that we love a nap, but having a brief snooze after work means that we won’t always sleep well at night and risk being more tired the next day. Try to create a consistent sleeping pattern so you can get optimal rest. Put that phone down at night, no more scrolling through endless social media posts or TikToks!
Don’t be afraid to speak to someone about how you are feeling! It does not have to be your work colleagues if you don’t want to, it can be someone you trust or even a professional. There is no shame in asking for help and needing support. If you are comfortable enough to tell someone how you are feeling, then they can work with you going forward. When you feel comfortable enough to speak, you are enabling others to step in and help.
Mental Health in 2021: An open discussion
Mental health has always been important and always will be. Looking forward, we know that transitioning back to society will be hard for a lot of us. Mental health is no topic to be lightly brushed over and we want to actively play our part in supporting our staff and raising awareness of the cause. This is why we joined the Mindful Employers initiative, becoming a certified Mindful Employer. You can read more about it here if you wish. Everyone comes across hardships and difficulties in life that affect our mental health, many have had our own experiences with mental health difficulties, which is why it resonates so deeply with us to ensure we do not overwork ourselves. There is so much support available and so many informative articles out there with advice., like charities actively working to make mental health better for everyone including: Mind, Men’s Health Forum, Anxiety UK, CALM, and so many more. You can find a list of mental health charities here.
Our message to you is that you aren’t alone, it may feel like you are fighting your own battle but millions all over the world are also in the same place. Self-care is something we all need to practice a little more of.