Micro-Practices for Burnout

What is Burnout?

Burnout can be defined as emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion in our lives. It’s often confused with stress, but burnout is caused by long-term overexertion in demanding situations. Stress is a short-lived emotional response to a given stressor. Burnout occurs when stress becomes a prolonged experience. Think of burnout as “going through the motions” instead of being present and engaged. It can occur when we try to push ourselves too hard for too long while lacking a sense of satisfaction or purpose. Living in a state of burnout can wreak havoc on our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Burnout can leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and purposeless. 

What Happens When I’m Burnt Out?

When we experience burnout, we may face many adverse mental and physical health effects. One of the most prominent signs of burnout is fatigue, either mental or physical. Fatigue is excessive and persistent tiredness. Another big sign of burnout is feeling purposeless or lost in life. Being burnt out can cause us to slip up with responsibilities such as proper sleep, eating healthy meals, practicing self-care, and maintaining relationships. 

Burnout makes it more difficult for us to complete tasks, whether at home or in the workplace. Our energy and motivation levels are low, and we can struggle to concentrate. We also experience a lack of enjoyment in life when we’re burnout. Existing in a state of burnout for an extended period of time can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It can also lead to adverse physical health effects such as hypertension and heart disease.
Micro-Practices for Burnout 

Are you burnout? It happens. Luckily, there are many ways that we can reduce and even prevent burnout from occurring. Below, we’ll discuss micro-practices you can implement to help combat and prevent burnout. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the thought of implementing extensive and time-consuming practices, then this is the right article for you.

The word “micro” comes from the Greek language, meaning small. So, micro-practices are small ways you can reduce and prevent your levels of burnout. 

Breathing techniques: Breathing techniques are basically a superpower we can utilize to calm our nervous systems. Since burnout is closely related to stress, lowering our stress levels reduces our feelings of burnout. Next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a few moments to breathe deeply and calmly. Diaphragmic breathing, or breathing from the stomach, can reduce our stress levels in minutes. 

Focus on the present: The power of the present moment is often overlooked. When we’re stuck in a cycle of stress and burnout, most of our time is spent worrying about future possibilities. Instead of excessively worrying about tomorrow, try living in today. This concept is referred to as mindfulness, and it has many mental and physical health benefits. 

Practice time management: We get it; handling many responsibilities can be exhausting. Practicing time management allows us to properly plan and set aside the appropriate time to complete all of our responsibilities and tasks. Utilizing a calendar or to-do list can go a long way in reducing our stress. 

Practice gratitude: Gratitude is the act of expressing appreciation for the things we’re grateful for. It’s easy to focus on negativity, so this practice reminds us of all the good things we have in our lives. Keeping a gratitude journal can assist in this process and is a great way to remind yourself of the good in your life.

Validate your emotions: When we don’t properly address and cope with our emotions, they tend to build up within us until they burst. Make sure you’re giving yourself the time and space to feel and cope with your feelings. There’s no shame in taking a mental health day when you need one.