How to avoid burn out - AIESEC in The Netherlands

How to avoid burn out

What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress in your job or have worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time.
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Burnout is a word that we hear more and more in our day-to-day lives. Maybe you have experienced it yourself, or maybe you have a friend or family member who’s been through it. Many times, it’s possible to recover from burnout, and luckily, it’s also something that we can work on preventing by taking appropriate rest. However, rest is not as simple as sleeping enough! In this article, we will share with you Dr. Dalton-Smith‘s theory, which presents the idea that humans need equal restoration in seven key areas of their lives to avoid burnout.

Physical rest
Lack of sleep and overtraining deplete your body’s energy. if you lack this rest, you might feel fatigue and body aches and pain. Physical rest includes both an active and passive component.

  • High-quality sleep
  • Taking power naps as you need

Active (improve the body’s circulation and flexibility):

  • Stretch
  • Get a massage
  • Do some yoga
Mental rest
ou may notice you lack mental rest if you’re unable to quiet your racing mind when lying down to sleep or forget why you’ve entered a room.
Some tips on taking this rest:
  • Schedule breaks throughout the day to remind you to slow down
  • Write down your to-dos (helps your mind know a step has been taken, especially if you feel this at night before sleeping)
  • Have a ritual to close your working day
  • Meditate
Social rest
The name can be misleading; this is not so much about the quantity of your social interactions but the quality! It’s about evaluating your relationships.
  • Spend more time with people who give you energy, that are positive and supportive
  • Spend less time with people who steal your energy
  • If you’re an introvert, block out time to be alone
  • Invest in “quality time” moments (from the theory of the 5 love languages)
Spiritual rest
Spiritual rest is related to the fundamental need for belonging that we have as humans. If you’re lacking this type of rest, you may feel lost and that life lacks purpose.

Be part of something bigger than yourself

  • Volunteer (with aiesec.)
  • Work a job that feels purpose-driven
  • Participate in faith-based activities (if aligned to your belief system)
Sensory rest
One of the most common needs of our generation due to our involvement in today’s technology modern world – we are in a constant influx of sensory stimulation (bright lights, computer screens, background noise, etc).
  • Simple actions as closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day
  • Take a break from social media
  • Turn off your notifications for certain hours of the day (sounds and visual alerts)
  • Limit video meetings and screen time
  • Set a relaxing evening ambiance (soothing music, candles, etc)
Emotional rest
Emotional rest deficit occurs when you feel like you can’t be authentic. As humans, we need time and space to freely express our feelings and cut back on people pleasing.
  • Spend time in safe space environments with people you can be authentic around
  • Remember you are more than enough!
  • Seek the help of a therapist if you feel trapped to release emotional labor
Creative rest
This is the type of rest we feel as we are experiencing and appreciating beauty in any form, reawakening a sense of awe and wonder. It’s especially important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas.
  • Take in a sunrise or sunset
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Spend time with animals
  • Visit a museum or art festival
  • Engage with inspiring music, books, documentaries, etc
  • Turn your workplace into a place of inspiration by displaying images of places you love or works of art

If you suffer from burnout or know someone who may be experiencing symptoms, please rest. Please seek help.

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