5 Ways to Prevent Burnout in a Digital Driven Age
In New York, we tend to be “always on.” Busy balancing our jobs and social life, the list of demands and pressures can sometimes feel too much. Burnout can result from pushing past what we can manage; we think we can do everything on our plate, but often we aren’t sleeping enough, eating well, moving our bodies, or engaging in joy. The result? Feeling physically and mentally depleted.
Today we hear from Larissa May on her personal experience with burnout, and her 5 helpful tips to help support and aid in burnout recovery.
About the author: Larissa May is a mental health advocate and social media consultant whose early years as a fashion blogger propelled her to the forefront of the discussion on mental health in the digital age. At just 24, May (known by most as Larz) runs her own company called #HalfTheStory, which is global non-profit community and media platform reducing the negative effects of social media on youth. You can find her on instagram @livinglikelarz and join the mental health conversation on @halfthestory.
Millennials are the burn-out generation
Millennials have been labeled the “burn-out generation.” As a female founder and recovering perfectionist, I’ve learned the hard way. I remember the feeling of burnout so vividly. I would wake up in the morning with an anxious feeling in my stomach, a cold (auto-immune response), and shaky hands.
The simple things like making coffee, putting on socks, and checking emails seemed almost impossible. I could no longer complete tasks, engage in conversations, or wrap my mind around choosing an item off a menu. I lost my spirit and I was FINALLLY diagnosed with mono. After a year long battle and 3 trips to the ER, I had no choice but to stop, face my reality, and change my ways.
I learned quickly that there is a difference between “feeling tired” and burn-out. In an “always on” culture, the anxiety and pressure of work can sometimes seem impossible to escape after hours, especially when you’re building your own business. Over time, the mental “wear and tear” has the ability to compound if you are unable to set boundaries and take time you truly need to care for yourself.
So, what exactly is burn out?
According to the World Health Organization, Burn-out is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that is not managed. Burnout can manifest both physically and psychologically through the following symptoms:
Increased feelings of anxiety
Fatigue and disassociation
Reduced performance and productivity
Lack of creativity or enjoyment
Cold Like Symptoms (A result of a weakened immune system)
Shortness of Breath
How to prevent the burn:
Ever since experiencing burnout I’ve integrated small practices that over time have had a profound impact on my well-being. I’ve learned that when it comes to self care, small acts of self love and mindfulness make all the difference.
Manage expectations: Build in an extra day for deadlines for clients, employees, and loved ones. Set yourself up for success rather than falling short or all nighters.
Set time to free your mind: Physically block off time in your calendar to take screen-free time for yourself.
Turn off your notifications: Turn off your notifications. Your brain will thank you.
Take 10 (every 2-3 hours 😉 ): While taking breaks might seem counterintuitive on a stressful day, Take a 10 minute break every 2-3 hours to increase productivity, spark creativity, and activate a different side of your brain. I suggest ditching the screen, walking outside, or moving your body to switch things up. In other words, going from email to instagram is not going to give you the refresh that you truly need.
Community care: Let’s be real. A face mask and #selfcare post is not always going to cut it. Find an activity that you love outside work and surround yourselves with people who support your passions. I highly suggest volunteering or attending a mental health support group.
Have you ever experienced burnout? How do you prevent it?
Keep in touch!
We hope these tips have been helpful for you in learning how to help prevent burnout, and to help aid in burnout recovery. Huge thank you to Larissa May for her perspective today.
To see Larissa talk through these tips above, check out our Instagram stories (and highlights on this and other topics) @findmywellbeing.
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