So far we have covered several topics regarding healing from burnout. We have also looked at several causes for burnout. Work isn’t always the reason, there could be many other strains, such as constant abuse, bullying, ongoing difficulties and obstacles with people and/or companies, family situations, other life challenges, and so on.
I could just save you time from reading this whole article and tell you upfront to stay away from toxic people or any kind of person who seems to want to hurt you. And yes, obviously avoid overtime and overworking yourself.
So then, is there no need anymore to read my article? Well, yes, I would like you to stay and continue reading while I discuss how we can best take care of ourselves at work, in school, and other situations.
Below are some things you can do to prevent burnout in different life scenarios. I will cover burnout that is caused at work, at home (specifically, domestic violence), at school, and with toxic friends.
Please see my article How to Prevent Burnout at Work for more tips. In summary, you should avoid overtime on a permanent basis. If you sometimes do overtime, that’s fine, but it cannot become a daily habit.
Divide tasks evenly. If a team member is slacking or just being lazy or he/she never shows up at meetings, don’t take on his/her workload. First, I would talk to your colleague about it, but if after that nothing changes, I would report this to the manager. I know that reporting someone to the boss doesn’t sound nice, but if you are carrying the consequences of a co-worker’s negligence, what else can you do? Double your stress?
If there is a personal reason for their lack of work, that’s absolutely understandable; perhaps, in that case, you can work out a solution with your colleague or have them explain their situation to your manager.
Make sure you have frequent breaks, and if you could take a short walk outside on one of those breaks, that would be even better.
Eat healthy. A healthy diet is the fuel your body needs to perform well. As a bonus, your health will also improve.
When you go on vacation, REALLY go on vacation, meaning that you are unreachable for any work-related issues. Work is work, but vacation is vacation. Sometimes you really need to switch of work mode and turn on beach mode or city-trip mode, or whatever trip you have decided to go on.
This topic is a little more difficult. Home is where the hearth is, or where it’s at least supposed to be. What if isn’t? What if going home isn’t something to look forward to but is instead something you dread?
If you are married or living with an abusive partner, the best thing to do is leave. Don’t try to wait for him or her to change, because they won’t. Don’t make excuses like “he/she is going through a stressful time” “Once he/she gets a better job, things will get better.” No, they are just excuses. Nothing is going to change or get better.
If someone loves you, he or she should not hurt you, threaten, humiliate, or perhaps even beat you. That is not love. That is abuse, and you need to get out of there.
Abuse on a permanent basis, lasting for months and even years can also lead to burnout. There comes a point where you will not be able to take it anymore. Your mind will scream, “Stop!” But you’re still stuck in the same, horrible situation.
When I was at university, a fellow student and I were given an assignment. We had to research one of the given topics and present it in class in Spanish (I was studying Hispanic Studies). My partner picked domestic violence.
We both visited a center that received women who had left their abusive homes and who needed a safe place to stay. We listened to testimonies of women who had endured years and even decades of verbal, sexual, and/or physical violence. All of them put up with it for so long because they either had children or they had nowhere else to go …
Listening to those women was heartbreaking. It was even harder for me, because I had been through it myself (my research partner didn’t know that when she picked our topic).
If you are in a similar situation, please leave. Do not wait for your partner to change. He or she has shown you his/her true colors. Believe what he showed you, and do not accept it anymore.
On a side note: I told my partner about my experience and agreed to continue with the assignment. After we presented it in class, we received a big applause 🙂
Nowadays, schools have a school psychologist which is a great help. I am a teacher, and although students sometimes come to me to talk about a personal problem and I always listen and do my best to help them, sometimes there are certain issues that need a more qualified help. That’s when the school psychologist takes over.
The psychologists at my school (there are two) are wonderful. Both have much empathy and they are very involved with the kids, even now that we have classes online.
That being said, students are not free of stress. Adolescence isn’t exactly an easy time. Besides tons of homework, extracurricular activities, tests and exams, little free time, there is the need to fit in and be liked, peer pressure, trying to maintain a social life, … And the list goes on. Teenagers, nowadays, have too much going on.
What we can do for them is perhaps try to be understanding, listen to them, and not tax them with too much work. There is no need for 3 or 4 extracurricular activities per day. Homework can also be reduced; you can get a lot done in class without having to add homework.
For more info, feel free to check this article, High School Burnout – How do You Fix This?
Friends and Acquaintances
There’s a saying that says that you should not collect but pick your friends. The term “friend” is sometimes used a little lightly, and before you know it, perhaps that “friend” is not so great for you. For example, toxic people. There are friends who always talk about themselves and when you need a listening ear, they interrupt you and relate the topic to their own troubles, so you end up listening to them again. This can go on for years, and every time you are with them, you feel drained.
Their company doesn’t seem to enrich but rather empty you … You come home feeling more stressed …
This is why we really have to pick our friends. Toxic people are like vampires who suck up your energy and you should avoid them as much as you can. You can try to talk to them, make them understand how you feel about their constant need to always make everything about them. Maybe they are unaware of it and want to change that. If they don’t, though, they will keep on draining you, and is it really worth it?
Give yourself a frequent time out. Dedicate the day or a part of the day only for you. It could be an hour or just a half hour, but that time frame is just for you. In that break, pamper yourself, whether you like to soak in a nice, hot bath with essential oils, sit back in the Jacuzzi, swim in the pool, get a massage, meditate, or enjoy a relaxing foot bath.
No one can disturb you in that little Me time. Relax, unwind, re-charge your batteries, and basically spend some time with yourself. Make this a daily habit. You can change activities per day, but always make it about you and just for you. You work hard, you deserve this.
Burnout can be caused by any of the above mentioned factors or by a combination of them. We have to look after ourselves. Eat healthy, meditate, choose our friends, and sometimes make drastic life changing decisions that may appear frightening at first but will ultimately improve our lives.
This is your life. How do you want to live it?