We’ve all heard of stress and how loosely we mention that word to describe our day to our friends and family. But after a point, it stops being just stress. It can be a bigger tumour called burnout. Are you suffering from burnout? Is it stress or chronic stress? We are going to note down everything that can help you trace your mental status and actionable to turn the map of your mental and emotional well-being!
What is burnout?
According to WHO, it is ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. Burnout and stress differ in how they feel. Stress is when you have too much on your plate and you don’t know how to manage or meet those deadlines. Burnout is when you feel emotionally and mentally drained. You may have 10 things on your to-do list but not enough energy or care to do the tasks. Burnout is more prone to those who have low self-esteem, working in a high-pressure job where your department is understaffed, or if you’re stretching your limits every day at work to meet your manager’s expectations.
What are the stages of burnout?
Burnout isn’t a sudden feeling. It happens over a period of time. In the initial stages, you may not even realise that you’re actually burning out. But in the last stage, it hits how knee-deep you’re in this. Let’s understand these stages-
1. Honeymoon stage
This is when you’ve entered a new job role or started a business of your dreams. You may feel energetic but also anxious to deliver the best to this new beginning. This is the stage where you can step in and devote some time to your wellness.
2. The onset of stress
It’s when the honeymoon phase of your new role has ended and you notice that your days have started to become difficult. Some days are tougher than the rest. Fatigue sets in and you may feel mentally tired all the time.
3. Chronic stress
It gets worse. You’re moody and you lash out anytime. You’re never on time and always late in delivering work. Every second you feel like the stress just keeps on increasing. This may also affect your social behaviour. You will be more distant from your friends and family and often feel lonely.
This is when you will experience more self-doubts and a lack of confidence. At this point, work has consumed you. You want to be left alone and you often experience physical discomfort like chronic headache, stomach pain, and feeling restless even after sleeping. It gets so evident that everybody around you can notice the burnout effect.
5. Habitual burnout
This is the last stage when you no longer believe stress could be occasional. It has become a part of your life and you can no longer function up to your utmost ability. You can end up losing your dear ones or even your job status if you continue leading on this path.
How to cope with burnout?
Let’s take a holistic approach to treat burnout and stress. It shakes your mind, body, and soul, and that reflects in your daily routine. Here are some actionable tips to keep in mind when trying to cope with burnout:
1. Focus on external recovery
External journey is all about taking care of your body. This includes everything. Often stress and burnout are visible on our face. You can see those frown lines forming, dark circles, problematic skin, dullness, your hair could be in shambles and so much more. To cope with burnout is to start caring about what you’re doing to your skin, and hair, and what are you wearing every day. You can also include a small workout session to give your body a break and rejuvenate. Treating your body is the first step to treating burnout.
2. Get enough sleep
When we sleep, our mind and soul refreshes. Much like how a laptop needs an ‘F5’ button to function well. Sleep also does wonders to our skin since it gives our body time to heal from the damage that we’ve caused to ourselves throughout the day. However, when you’re burning out, it is easier said than done to get a sound sleep. We recommend eating light at night, drinking fewer fluids at night, and cutting off sugar and salt at least 2 hours prior. These small changes with a healthy juice to help you put to sleep can get you to sleep soundly. Ideally, 7-8 hours of sound sleep is like meditation which can heal your mind and body.
Sublime recommends Nyumi Beauty Sleep Gummies. Packed with great amino acids, vitamins, and botanical extracts, this is the one for your stressed system. They do taste good too!
3. Set boundaries
We mean all kinds of boundaries. Let your friends know that out of four Saturdays, you will be available for two to go partying or for dinner. Let your manager know that you will be dedicating 8-9 hours to work and cannot take calls after a certain time. But this also needs to come from within. Some of us are pushovers or too ambitious to say no and set boundaries. We fear that it could hurt others or it could hurt your career graph. But leap. It will just teach the people around you how to behave and respect your time.
4. Talk about it
Do we ever like doing tough calls or speaking about what is going wrong in our lives to even our closest friends? Nope. But, adulting comes in all forms. Letting your near ones know what is going wrong in your life, can give you an outside view of your situation to help you pin it if it is burnout or not. If you’re not sure about letting it out in front of others, you can maintain a mood diary. This will give you a fair idea that you’re burning out and you need to do some damage control to save yourself from complete frailty.
5. Focus on internal recovery
Internal recovery journey asks you to focus more on your mind and soul. It encourages you to meditate and be more conscious of your thoughts. Journaling about your day, and limiting your accessibility only to a few people around you. It’s also setting a routine that can help you connect with your true higher self. Lay out your morning for everything that can help you feel good and at peace. It could be praying, eating super healthy, drinking your favourite cup of drink, meditating or just sitting on a bench in a park and observing nature. Focusing on internal recovery can help you improve your focus, productivity, and emotional state of mind.
6. Take time out for friends and family
Our loved ones can sense trouble with the slightest change and that is why you don’t need to tip-toe around them. Plan your weekend sometimes. Call your friends or cousins and go out with your pet to a nice park. It’s all about creating sweet memories with them to let go of all the past grief.
7. Devote time to doing what you love apart from work
What are your hobbies? What did you do during your summer vacation? Maybe it is time to revisit them. Make sure that you devote a considerable chunk of your time daily to that particular activity. It could be just something as simple as sitting with a cup of coffee and a book or playing badminton every evening.
8. Create a ‘me-time; routine before sleeping
Right before sleeping, create a small routine for yourself. This is where you disconnect from the world and focus on what makes you feel good. It could be a simple stretching exercise routine or a skincare routine followed by a prayer. Our favourite is doing a good skincare routine and then sitting down with a book and our pet!
We formulated this simple, no-fuss short Korean routine based on their principles. This could take you 10-15 minutes at night, making it a perfect small break for yourself. Read it here.
9. Cut down harmful habits
Stress and burnout make us lean more toward harmful habits. It could be drinking multiple cups of coffee, smoking, eating junk, or lots of chocolate. That may make you feel good for a few minutes or even hours but then the anxiety and stress will creep in even more since all these habits can make you more jittery. More triggers to burnout!
Learn more about how stress and stress triggers can affect your skin here.
Burnout is pretty common to those who are living in a rat race. There’s constant comparison, shaming, competitiveness, and people around judging your ability. But in this fast life, we must remember that life is about living and not running or proving anything. Our above notes go out to everybody who is ambitious or a pushover who never gives time to themselves or sits back and analyses their day’s emotions!