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Coping with burnout
It can be a balancing act to manage different areas of your ...
Having balance is about understanding your personal ‘sweet spot’ about whether you are working/studying too much or too little. (Everybody makes these judgments for themselves within reason, because we’ve all got bills to pay.) Doing too much can lead to burnout and anxiety. Doing too little can lead to boredom and even depression.
Working shifts, especially unsociable hours, can make it harder to have the work/life balance you want. Shift work can reduce social connections and have multifaceted impacts on health and mental health (especially if it disrupts sleep cycles). Here are some things that can help:
Have a routine. Routines can help you meet your needs in a simple, no-fuss way.
Prioritise self-care. Getting this right can go a long way towards managing some of the effects of shift work.
Make the most of the good bits. Having a sleep-in while everyone else is starting work at 9am can definitely be a perk. Focus on and take advantage of not being at work during the day.
Take off the rose coloured glasses. It’s normal to think the ‘grass is greener on the other side’, but all work comes with good and bad bits. Working during normal business hours is no different. It’s important to have a balanced view.
Working and/or studying from home can make balance more complicated! You may not get the ‘mental break’ from switching off and going to a different location. Here are some things that might help:
Get organised. Being organised reduces stress, saves time and can make you more productive.
Problem-solve the bad bits. Make a list of the things you don’t like and get creative around how to solve them.
Make the most of the good bits. If you’re working from home, you may as well enjoy the perks! Lunch-time naps, and exercising instead of commuting, anyone?
Prepare for setbacks. Things are going to go wrong. Technology will fail, misunderstandings will happen. Having backup plans can help you use setbacks as a learning opportunity.
Have a routine. Our brain loves routines because they are safe and familiar and form habits. A habit requires less energy from our brain, which frees our mind up to do (and think about) other things. It can also help to have a post-work routine that allows you to put aside work and focus on your personal life again.
Take off the rose coloured glasses. It’s human nature to forget the bad stuff when you start to miss something. It’s normal and natural to miss aspects of in-office work, like having a coffee break with a work friend, or not having to do video meetings. But just remember there are negatives as well, so having a balanced view is important.
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