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In the present day, hard work is encouraged and expected. Whether this be pressure to have straight A’s in school or to go above and beyond at work, most people have experienced burnout. Burnout can present itself in symptoms such as having feelings of negativity, feeling exhausted, feeling detached or ineffective, and even having physical symptoms of headaches or stomachaches. Individuals who are perfectionists are also more likely to experience burnout. 

While there are ways to reduce burnout, there are some risk factors that are helpful to avoid. Jobs or school environments that have unreasonable time pressures and unmanageable workloads are more likely to lead to overwhelming stress and eventually burnout. It is also more likely to experience these symptoms if you feel like your manager or teacher isn’t supporting you or communicating to you clearly enough. Another important risk factor for burnout is working or learning in an environment where you experience unfair treatment, such as favoritism, sexism, and unequal pay. 

There are ways to avoid getting to this burnout stage. Developing and maintaining self-care strategies is always beneficial. After a long day at work or school, it is important to take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep each night. This self-care can begin as soon as you get home by implementing a daily wind-down ritual to transfer your mindset from work to home. In some work and school environments, you can also approach your manager or teacher and discuss ways to reduce stress in order to have a healthier environment. Structuring your day with a schedule or to-do lists can also help you feel more organized and less overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to get done. 

During work or school, you can make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed by taking short breaks from what you are working on. These breaks can be as short as five minutes, but they should occur frequently to give yourself time to clear your head, stretch your legs, and potentially get a change of scenery. Breathing exercises can also be beneficial when you begin to feel overwhelmed or anxious. You can always come back from being burnt out. By implementing self-care, taking frequent breaks from your work, and distancing yourself from stressful environments, burnout can be overcome and you can get back to a happier, healthier, and more productive lifestyle. 

– Haidyn Emmerich
Nourish Your Mind Blog Contributor
Neuroscience & Psychology Student – Syracuse University
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