Finding balance in an always-connected world: 4 Essential Tips for escaping burnout and prioritizing well-being
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the current situation of work well-being. We’ll learn to recognize the signs of burnout and discover practical strategies to set boundaries and prevent burnout from happening in the first place. So, let’s dive right in and find our path to balance and well-being.
The current situation of a work-life balance
As technology keeps advancing, it has become simpler and more convenient for us to stay connected to our work. We are always 2-3 clicks away from accessing emails, documents, and various tools, enabling us to remain “plugged in.” While staying connected has its perks, it’s essential to be mindful of the importance of unplugging.
Many of us like to believe that we have mastered the art of detaching ourselves from work. We diligently put our phones aside and disable notifications when we have free time. If we have self-control, we may even stop sending work emails during non-working hours. While these habits are very welcome, let’s be honest. The truth is, we still can’t resist the temptation to check our inbox for new emails, even when we have muted notifications. We find ourselves constantly anticipating those messages, always keeping an eye on that red inbox badge.
According to a LinkedIn study, a staggering 70 percent of professionals admit to not fully disconnecting from work. Furthermore, a recent Microsoft-commissioned study involving 1,400 information workers revealed that 40 percent of individuals engage in work-related activities beyond their regular hours, leading to interference with their family time. Even designated vacation periods are not spared from work intrusion, as 67 percent of respondents in the LinkedIn survey stated their willingness to contact colleagues regarding work matters while the colleagues are on vacation.
Be on the lookout for these signs of burnout
But before you go on the lookout, let us define burnout first. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, burnout is not a medical condition. It is defined as “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes toward oneself and others.
You may not realize you’ve hit burnout until it’s too late. When you cross that line between “really tired” and “I can not function in everyday life”, you’ll have to do a lot more work to dig yourself out of the hole you dug for yourself. So let’s discuss what you can do to prevent from falling in that hole.
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The first and most often symptom is fatigue. Your brain is so overwhelmed you might feel like sleeping all the time, or you find your simple tasks take longer to complete. Working from home during Covid made things only worse. Parents had to take care of their children while being bombarded with e-mails.
Common headaches for no reason
People often say that they experienced short but hard headaches multiple times a day before they experienced burnout.
Feeling uninterested or unhappy with your job
Here and there, everyone has a day when they don’t feel like getting out of bed. That is completely normal, but when this becomes a habit, we have a problem. If you are constantly questioning yourself, a question like this: What is the meaning of my work? Does it bring any value? What’s the point? you may want to dial it down a notch and prioritize self-care. This can happen to workers at all stages of their careers and any job level you can imagine. Funny enough, it is more common for people with higher-paying jobs to experience burnout sooner and more often.
Sleep pattern way off
Are you waking up in the middle of the night? Sleeping past your alarm clock? Can’t fall asleep for 2 hours after going to bed? On a regular basis, these are red flag signs for you to start doing something different regarding work-life balance.
4 CRUCIAL STEPS TO PREVENT BURNOUT
We have discussed the current situation among people around work-life balance. We have identified the signs we need to be on the lookout for, and now let’s find out the 4 most beneficial steps you must take to prevent burnout.
Embrace the Practice of Unplugging:
In today’s digital age, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of disconnecting from screens. Set specific times each day to detach yourself from digital devices. Whether it’s during meals, an hour before bedtime, or designating certain weekends as “unplugged” time, create dedicated moments to recharge and focus on non-work activities. You deserve it!
Cultivate Mindfulness in Your Routine:
Incorporating mindfulness activities into your daily regimen can significantly contribute to your mental well-being. Consider integrating practices like meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature. These mindful moments offer an opportunity for relaxation, stress reduction, and a heightened sense of inner calm. A 15-minute meditation a day goes a long way.
Engage in Personal Hobbies:
Work shouldn’t be the only thing that defines you. It’s crucial to find joy and fulfillment outside of your professional life. What activities truly light up your heart? Whether it’s painting, cooking, playing sports, or learning a musical instrument, let your passions take center stage. These hobbies will serve as a delightful escape, allowing you to recharge and find a sense of purpose beyond the workplace.
Prioritize Meaningful Connections:
Building and nurturing relationships with loved ones is essential for your overall well-being. Make it a priority to spend quality time with family and friends. Engage in shared activities, have meaningful conversations, and cherish the moments of connection. These interpersonal connections serve as a source of support, happiness, and a reminder of what truly matters in life.
Let’s take a moment to go beyond just discussing these steps and put them into action. I want to encourage you to set aside your phone or step away from your computer for a brief 10-minute meditation session. Close your eyes and just breathe for the next 10 minutes. Accept every thought and just BE. Ready? Let’s begin.