Burnout resulting from too much work or putting pressure on yourself can be very isolating.
It depletes the energy reserves you depend on to interact with others to lead socially enriching lives.
The painful part is that people you care about may end up feeling neglected because you create scenarios in your head to justify your excessive focus on work.
Sometimes you end up burned out because you burden yourself with unrealistic expectations by embracing hustle culture.
And before you know it, you’re too strained to have a proper perspective on life and sacrifice your deepest values for work.
Luckily, if you listen carefully to your physiological responses, you can notice symptoms of burnout before they get worse.
The next step is to take a moment to re-evaluate if what you’re doing is making you feel fulfilled.
The Main Causes of Burnout
If you’re feeling disillusioned, irritable, or complain of more physical ailments than usual, such as headaches or stomach issues, you may be in the middle of burnout.
Other symptoms include trouble sleeping, lack of satisfaction with your achievements, and dependency on substances to help you feel better or completely numb in more severe cases.
Burnout can result from various factors, including:
- Lack of control over your schedule or workload
- Superiors who micromanage your work
- Unclear expectations about your job duties
- Work that consists of consistent high energy expenditure
- Lack of a supportive environment at work or in your personal life
- Lack of work-life balance that causes you to be separate from family and friends for extended periods
Increased levels of stress and burnout can lead to several significant health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Substance abuse
- Type 2 diabetes
As you can see, it’s crucial to take burnout seriously. Read on to learn about potential remedies and solutions.
Here Are The Best Ways To Avoid Burnout And Feelings Of Loneliness
1. Set Boundaries On Your Work Commitments
If you’ve been a chronic people pleaser your entire life, setting boundaries now may seem scary or impossible. But taking this leap can change your life for the better forever.
People-pleasing doesn’t just stem from wanting to get some external validation; we say yes to everything because we genuinely want to help others.
Next time you’re presented with a request, consider how much time you have realistically, and say no if you must.
Otherwise, if you say yes, you’re probably not going to feel all that great when you’re rushing to squeeze everything into a short timeframe.
You should also set boundaries on the time you spend at work daily. Just like you have a work start time, it’s good to set a definite stop time, so you can relax and do something else.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is easy to neglect when you’re preoccupied with reaching tight deadlines, but you must prioritize your sleep to avoid burnout.
That may seem hopeless when your anxious thoughts about the future run amok in your mind. You may also make yourself available for calls or emails late into the night.
But the fact of the matter is unless you’re an emergency doctor on call, chances are that it can wait until the morning.
Besides, sleep is crucial if your boss or client wants you to perform well at work, so you can use that to help you sleep easily at night.
3. Make Time To Socialize
A night out with your friends may just seem like another task to tack onto your workload, but it’s not working at all; it’s fun!
Fun, joy, a bit of hedonism – plan for more of these feelings in your weekly schedule.
When you prioritize your personal enjoyment, you suddenly have something exciting to look forward to outside of the humdrum of your professional commitments.
Make it a goal to surround yourself with people who want similar things as you in life, and that will support your passion projects and lift you when you’re down.
Any time you spend with these people is like a very important business meeting for the future you want to see yourself in.
Want to find another way to prioritize social interaction for your mental health? Read more on BetterHelp to find out how to combat loneliness in healthy, productive ways.
4. Take Breaks When You Need To
Your mind and body need adequate time to heal from prolonged exposure to stress. Therefore, taking breaks is vital to free yourself from repeating the cycle of burnout.
It might seem more intelligent to forgo a lunch break and work through the entire hour so that you can get more done.
But in hindsight, how much more did you accomplish, and was it worth it to give up a chance to have a nice lunch and take a breather from work? Probably not.
Take your lunch, talk to your co-workers, take your 15-minute breaks, and take your mental health days. In the grand scheme of life, your happiness and peace of mind are truly what matters most.
5. Talk To A Professional
If it’s within your capabilities, or if your job has any mental health resources, take advantage of them.
Speaking with a mental health professional can help you put your life into perspective, besides gaining advice about how to manage your time better and how to cope with feelings of anxiety, depression, or being overwhelming.
It’s also just a great way to vent about things that are troubling you in your work and personal life because, as we all know, sometimes just being able to get something off our chest is half the battle.
Burnout is a serious problem that shouldn’t be underestimated. Whether you work as a freelancer, or as a regular 9-5 employee, you need to take time to take care of your mental health.
Remember to set boundaries on work time, not your work stuff after hours, prioritize sleep, have time for friends and family, take regular breaks, and talk to a professional if needed.
Your health matters most, so don’t sacrifice it for a few more dollars or email replies.