B U R N O U T
By Rachel Parodneck
Let’s face it—we’re New Yorkers. We work hard and play hard. Some of us burn the candle on both ends. With the crumbling MTA making commutes longer than ever and demanding hours across nearly every industry, it is no wonder New Yorkers are feeling the harmful effects of burnout.
Burnout is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. This can look different for everyone. Do you feel exhausted all the time? Does the thought of getting up in the morning seem overwhelming? Have you been feeling increasingly cynical and defeated? Have you been working overtime? Has this caused you to be isolating from friends and family?
Prolonged burnout can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and even addiction. This is why it is so important to address burnout when the first signs and symptoms hit as well as implement preventative measures.
Many people feel they can only be successful by overworking themselves. “Burnout is not the price to pay for success.” The CEO of Thrive Global, and founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington said at the ASCEND summit in NYC. She went on to say, “Harming yourself in the name of getting things done will only hurt you in the long run.” You’re probably thinking yeah, yeah, we know that. But how do we fix it?
There are many strategies that help people prone to burnout. This is where boundaries come into play.
Setting boundaries is of the utmost importance in all situations and relationships; this could be the case with your boss, with your partner, and with your mom.
Set limits and stick to them.
Limit your contact with negative people. Those who bring you down contribute to decreased mood and motivation.
Limit your use of technology. Set a time each day when you completely disconnect. Put away your laptop, turn off your phone, and stop checking email.
Get plenty of sleep. It can be tempting to stay up late and watch Netflix but the rewards you get from getting a good nights rest are priceless.
Limit a sedentary lifestyle. Aim to exercise for 30 minutes or more per day or break that up into short, 10-minute bursts of activity. Even a 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.
Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol temporarily reduces worry, but too much can cause anxiety as it wears off.
Limit your high intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, trans fats, and foods with chemical preservatives or hormones.
Take time off. Most companies allot vacation, sick, and personal days. Most employees do not take anywhere near all available days. Use your paid time off! A mental health day definitely counts as a sick day. Use the day to indulge in self-care, reconnect with loved ones, and recharge.
Asking for help. This is not a bad thing and does not make you a weak person. Asking for help can result in feeling more connected to others and taking a weight off your shoulders. Reach out to family, friends, coworkers.
Seeing a therapist can be integral in the fight against burnout. Choose one of our many amazing therapists to fight alongside you. Book online today.
Bondy, H., (May 2019). This is how Arianna Huffington fights burnout. NBC News. Retrieved from:
Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Lawrence Robinson, and Robert Segal, M.A. (June 2019). Burnout Prevention and Treatment. Help Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm