Many people these days work in fast-paced industries or offices. Working in such a setting can keep employees on their toes and excited for the challenges ahead. Productivity can soar when you strike the right balance between high intensity and efficiency.
Problems arise, however, when this type of vigor starts to sour into anxious and overwhelming feelings. Mental burnout is a silent stalker, and if you’re not on guard, you could find it catching up with you as you head towards stress-related conditions.
Burnout equals poor memory and low energy. Mental burnout is a state of mental exhaustion caused by ongoing stress and anxiety. You feel out of control, lose interest and motivation, have little energy, and have a difficult time concentrating. Physical symptoms include neck strain and indigestion, and you may feel lonely, irritable, helpless, and hopeless.
Don’t just mask burnout symptoms. Oftentimes employees and employers alike believe that mental burnout can be made up for by staying longer hours at the office, but that’s just not how it works, and in fact can lead to worse symptoms. Mental burnout is all about making lifestyle changes that don’t just mask the problem but tackle it full-on. For many, mental burnout requires a few small steps to achieve change, so let’s look at some coping skills to help you or your loved ones overcome mental burnout at the office.
1. Adjust your Workstation. Research has shown that there is a strong relationship between stress, burnout, anxiety and limited office resources. Start with your office chair and the way you sit in it, which plays an important role in both your mental andy physical well-being. Your back needs to be supported by the chair’s back rest to avoid back pain, irritability, frustration, and stress. Good posture involves sitting up with your back straight, shoulders back, and buttocks touching the back part of your chair. Other factors such as lighting and an attractive environment can also have an impact on your attitude and feelings at the office. If the lights around you are too glaring, ask management to change them for something softer. Add a few plants and photos of friends and family to keep your workspace calm and joyful.
2. Power Snacks Throughout the Day. What you put into your body throughout the day will have a serious impact on how you’re feeling, so make sure to fuel yourself right. Instead of big meals, try eating small meals during the day for a much-needed boost. Fruit promotes metabolism, a handful of nuts boost memory, tuna and fish curb depression, sliced chicken helps with alertness, and whole grains keep blood glucose levels stable. Nootropics help with mental burnout by maximizing the brain’s potential and improving memory, concentration, and energy levels. Rather than reaching for a cup of coffee after lunch, try a cup of green tea which is packed with antioxidants and still contains a little caffeine for a brain boost. Just in case you feel the urge to grab a cookie or candy bar from the office vending machine, always have backup snacks like fruits and crackers available.
3. Stay Active. It’s well documented that exercise improves alertness, concentration, and mood by increasing blood flow to the brain and releasing “happy” hormones called endorphins. If waking up early isn’t your thing, try to go to the gym on your lunch break for thirty to sixty minutes of aerobics, yoga, or aqua training. If you’d rather workout later, go straight to the gym after work so you don’t get comfortable at home and change your mind. There is simply nothing better than a good run or yoga session to refresh you mentally!
4. Hydrate. This one seems obvious, but many Americans don’t drink enough water throughout the day. While a cup of coffee in the morning is great for immediate alertness, try first grabbing for a big glass of water. Doctors recommend about two liters per day, so bring a 1-2 liter water bottle to work everyday, fill up at office water coolers, and try to drink all of it throughout the day. You might find yourself craving coffee and sugary snacks less when you’re well hydrated.
5. Relaxation Time. Apart from getting plenty of sleep, relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and ayurveda will activate the body’s own healing mechanisms. These self-help therapies are beneficial for focusing one’s thinking and harnessing one’s mental planning and problem-solving processes. They bring about increased mental awareness and they are good for reducing anxiety, depression, and tension.
Feeling good and avoiding mental burnout is important if you want to protect your mind and body from deficiencies and old aging.