Much worse than ordinary fatigue, burnout makes it challenging for people to cope with stress and handle day-to-day responsibilities. Feeling burned out makes it harder to get out of bed each morning and people experiencing burnout may even adopt a pessimistic outlook toward life and feeling hopeless.  

Anyone who is continually exposed to high levels of stress such as caring for an ill family member, working long hours, or witnessing upsetting news related to politics can experience burnout.  

In today’s workplace setting, work-related exhaustion and stress have become a popular topic of discussion as workers experience the physical, mental, and emotional impact of burnout during the pandemic.  

Burnout can be caused from an unsustainable workload, perceived lack of control, insufficient rewards for effort, a lack of a supportive community, a lack of fairness and mismatched values and skills. This results in feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained and being incapable of keeping up with life’s constant demands. 

A recent study shows that 59% of US employees feel some level of stress, while 84% of Canadian employees admit having experienced burnout during the pandemic. 

Below are six suggestions that may help you prevent stress from getting the best of you:  

  1. Separate work from your personal life  

Establish what times during the day you work best and are most productive and separate it from down time and time spent with family. Sometimes it is helpful to schedule time off into your calendar as reminders to yourself. For example, do not work anytime from 7pm-7am.  

If you are working remotely, set up a home office somewhere where you are disciplined to go on work mode only once you are positioned there.  

  1. Take breaks  

Even it is it just to sit at home and do absolutely nothing, everyone needs time to rest and recharge. Everyone is deserving of a break for all the hard work accomplished. There is no one better than yourself to judge when you feel like you need a break. Do not be hesitant to talk to direct support or discuss with your supervisor a good time for you to take time off. 

  1. Make activities you enjoy part of your routine 

Avoiding burnout means putting yourself and your well-being first. Schedule an activity into your daily and weekly routine that gives you pleasure and is a chance for you to recharge your batteries. It helps to schedule time in your calendar or a to do list at the beginning of each day, week, and month to incorporate it into your work routine.  

Exercise for example, is a great way to boost your physical and emotional health. It does not require spending hours at the gym, but integrating a yoga flow, mini stretch or a short way are convenient ways to make exercise a daily habit.  

  1. Avoid pushing yourself too hard   

If you keep pushing yourself to work hard, even when you are feeling run down, this may put you in a position where you must take a long period of time off to recover from literal exhaustion. It is important to reach out for help during stressful times. 

Consider developing a self-care check-in with colleagues, friends, and family members to see how everyone is doing and to take care of each other.  

  1. Learn to say no  

Put your mental health first and commit to saying “no” more. You may feel pressured to always accommodate others and fulfill requests, but this could put you in a stressful position. Be honest about your abilities and stand up for yourself when you need to. It is key to set boundaries to maintain a healthy mental well-being and a good work-life balance. This will help you set standards for how others treat you, and to avoid being taken advantage of in the workplace.  

  1. Eat a balanced diet and practice good sleep habits  

Eating a healthy diet field with omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, walnuts and fish can be a natural antidepressant and help give your mood a boost. In addition, healthy sleep habits are essential for our well-being. Consider establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual and banning smartphones from the bedroom to promote sound sleep hygiene.  

Being exposed to continual distress may cause burnout. Feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, and isolating from friends and family are some indicators of experiencing tis stressed state. However, with the suggestions in this article, you are considering your health and happiness first. Burnout can be avoided by making self-care part of your daily routine.