Balance is elusive. Especially for people like me who immerse themselves in work. For me, my work is therapy and it gives me respite, its also my escape and my solace. But there is a fine line before it becomes an obsession and begins to turn toxic.
The last few months have been trying and that is an understatement. There is fatigue and there are also long hours to pull off. Some level of insecurity sets in when you are dealing with an uncertain future. There are days that will be good, and you are in control and there are days that spiral out of control and no matter how much you fight it, it engulfs you.
All around us are stories of strength and resilience and of giving up and depression and mental health… There are a lot of things that pile up and do not get done and getting from one task to the next becomes a chase. So, when you near that feeling that you are exhausted and burning out, wake up to it, listen to the mind and body and take a break or a day off or just do something that makes you happy and gets you going.
What is burnout? It is severe physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by high levels of stress. It sets you back as it makes you incapable of dealing with the average everyday needs.
How do you read the signs?
- Recognise that burnout is a possibility
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Lack of concentration and focus
- Low immunity and hence falling ill often
- Anxiety and anger
- Loss of appetite
- Pessimism and lethargy
How do you work to improve and prevent such a situation?
- To tackle something that needs addressing, recognising it is real is a huge step to getting better
- Relook at your goals, drive, and ambition and what you are trying to achieve
- Put a hold on pushing yourself too hard and go easy on yourself
- Do not neglect your needs and ensure to give time for personal care
- If there are reasons for conflict, try and address them by protecting your emotional health
- Give time and space for yourself and for non-work needs
- Take a walk or exercise to keep the endorphins going
- Watch yourself, your behaviour, your emotions and keep a check on them
- Get help or a neutral ear if needed to listen to you
- Watch your performance at work and check if you are at your usual best
As a leader, it is also your prerogative to watch out for your teams and be reasonable and guide them through so you can extend care to them…
- Plan the week as a team and ensure everyone has comfortable deadlines and is assigned the tasks fairly and that you get their nod for what is expected from them
- Communicate with the team and extend support and an open-door policy so they can come to you if it is for help or counsel
- Make sure all the roles assigned are clear and communicated well
- Stay away from assigning unmanageable workloads
- Also always be fair to the teams and treat everyone the same way.
We need to be empathic both to ourselves and to those around us always.
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