Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur as a result of long-term stress, but equally, it can affect some of us quicker than others. Burnout is something that we commonly associate with our jobs - as in particular burnout is a by-product of long-term stress within a specific role. However, burnout can come from any element of our lives - and chronic burnout symptoms are usually more than just our jobs.
Unfortunately, some of us can suffer from constant burnout - as burnout can affect our personal life as well as our professional life. Whether it’s because you’re juggling too much at home with children or social commitments, or you’re overloaded at work, burnout impacts us all in different ways and some individuals are more susceptible to burnout than others.
It’s all about how much you can handle
Some individuals in life rarely feel the effects of burnout - for many reasons They may have a different threshold to what causes them stress (which is a catalyst for burnout) or they may just have good boundaries in place meaning that burnout tends to affect them less. Whereas for others, the feeling of being out of control in their work or personal life (or both) can mean that burnout creeps up on them (and stays with them) for much longer periods.
Understanding yourself and what you can (and cannot) handle is a great first step to combat constant burnout. Break up your life into two sections: personal and work. Assess what causes you stress and what tends to cause you to burnout. Having awareness of this will enable you to put the correct boundaries in place to ensure that you aren’t in a state of constant burnout!
For example, if your social calendar has no spare time for yourself - and you know that this causes you stress - put a boundary in place to ensure you have one whole weekend just for “you” to rest and recharge! It will give you peace of mind and control over your social life, thus combatting any potential social burnout that may occur.
For your work life, you want to try and do the same. What tasks are part of your job description and what additional things may be causing you stress or over-subscribing yourself in a work environment? Assess, set a boundary, and see how you feel!
It’s also time to take a hard look at your employer
If, when you’re doing a “deep dive” into your work life to see what is causing you constant burnout, you need to take a long hard look at your employer and also assess whether they’re the right fit for you.
This doesn’t mean they’re a bad employer, and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee. But, if you’re in an environment that isn’t working for you continuously for an extended period, that responsibility is your employer's to help you but it’s also your own to assess whether you are thriving or simply surviving in that organisation. Businesses go through ebbs and flows and there are undoubtedly times when your job will be more stressful. However, if you’re constantly stressed out, tired, and irritable - you’re never going to reach your full potential in that role.
And finally, know when to walk away
This could be from things in your personal life as well as your work life. Too often, we find it difficult to “let go” or “quit” things that aren’t serving us any more, even if they’re causing us stress and mental turmoil. There is strength in walking away from things that don’t bring us joy.
Life has its difficulties but you should have more good days than bad days. Particularly in your work life, where we spend the majority of our time - you want to feel positive and fulfilled after a day's work (most of the time) instead of waking up every morning stressed, dreading that you aren’t there!
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on managing stress and preventing burnout in the workplace, Get your guide here for more information (and in-depth advice) on what you can do to create a harmonious social and work life!