Wellbeing

When burnout strikes! How to tackle burnout when working from home

- September 25, 2023 3 MIN READ
burnout concept: mrs doubtrfire has too many things to do and burns her shirt

Are you burnt out? And no, not just at work. But at home, too? Yes, burnout can strike outside the office too, explains Vesna Hrsto, wellness expert and peak performance specialist.

Burnout is the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when your demands exceed the amount of energy you have available – this can happen in the office and at home.

Before COVID, burnout was considered a workplace issue. But research by UNSW has identified burnout in people outside of the office, including those dealing with other life stressors, such as caring for loved ones full-time.

Rates of burnout are also on the rise, especially since working from home means being online and available more often.

If you’re experiencing this, there are a few things that you can focus on to regain energy.

Nutrition and burnout

Day-to-day, what we put into our bodies can often have the biggest impact on how we feel and respond to everyday stressors.

How often do you eat out? Order takeaway? These quick meal fixes rob our bodies of nutrition.

Cooking at home has been shown to be protective against burnout. You can control the ingredients and ensure no ultra-processed foods or sugars are in your meal.

Batch cooking is the easiest way to do this, or preparing simple and easy-to-cook meals.

Have healthy snacks ready to go at your desk, to keep you fuelled with energy all day long.

Sleep

One of the greatest athletes of all time, Rodger Federer, recently made a huge comeback after dealing with chronic injuries. His comeback was so good that he won Wimbledon and The Australian Open. His secret weapon? A relentless focus on sleep.

Sleep is essential to help avoid burnout and remain at your peak mental and physical performance. The key to getting a truly good night’s sleep is being in before bed before 10 pm and getting anywhere between 8-9 hours. This is ideal for your body to go into deep sleep and do all the repair work required. Wind down at least 30 minutes before bed, avoiding any screens which interrupt sleep hormones.

Silence the mental chatter

How many hours of the day is your mind quiet, calm and at peace? Most of my clients say they would be lucky to have 1-hour.

Chronic mental stress, or a mind that is busy, overthinking, overanalyzing, negative or filled with worry, will have an impact on your physical and mental energy.

Limit mental stress through journaling at the end of the day, talking to a friend, and practising breathing exercises, or yoga.  Even going for a walk in nature can be helpful to relax the mind.

Exercise has been shown to reduce anxious feelings and improve mood and mental wellbeing. Make time to move your body or exercise regularly.

The role of gut health in burnout

Our gut health is one of the first things that gets noticed when people experience burnout. And the most common symptom? Bloating. It gets to the best of us. The connection between our gut and brain impacts our overall mood, our ability to cope with stress and our mental wellbeing.

To support our gut health, we need to maintain a healthy diet, and vegetables are key to feeding the gut microbiome. It may sound ‘too’ simple, but the Western diet has the least vegetable consumption and variety. And variety is key, it provides more nutrition to feed our gut and produce the feel-good hormones, like serotonin.

It’s also essential to avoid foods that disrupt the microbiome like ultra-processed foods (most packaged foods), sugar, and alcohol. Even excess caffeine will affect the integrity of the gut lining.

Downtime and rest

There are many types of rest, like physical and mental rest, that we need in order to recharge. Get to bed earlier, sleep in on the weekends or take regular breaks during the day to switch off.

Having boundaries around your time or saying ‘no’ when you don’t really have the capacity also allows space for rest and peace of mind.

Create space in your day to decompress, even 15 mins to walk and get out in nature.

Making small changes have the biggest impact when done consistently.

This post originally appeared on Kochie’ Business Builders. you can read the original here


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