How to avoid burnout in a super competitive corporate world

What are two things which one gets as a result of working the whole month and getting short breaks in the middle in the form of fleeting weekends? 1. Salary, and 2. Burnout. Previously, this might not have been a huge deal, but ever since the pandemic, burnout cases have been on the rise.

Apart from this, ever since the pandemic, a larger number of people are facing symptoms of the condition. According to Indeed, in a pre-covid survey they found out that 43% of the respondents experienced burnout, but a survey held post-covid increased the respondents to 52%, which is a drastic 10% increase in just over a year. Such an increase could be a cause of the current overly competitive and corporate society where few people are required to do the jobs of the many who are let go because of Covid, and even without the virus, the situation has been quite drastic.

Dealing with burnout can be quite draining, so here are a few ways through which you can avoid burnout through self-care and prioritizing your own needs.

1. A proper schedule is more important than you might think

Scheduling things when it comes to a tough workweek is important, but schedules are more than just that. Adding your own personal free time to your schedule is just as important as adding appointments and important tasks. Add an hour or so to your everyday schedule as a break from the day’s stress. It could be spent on anything that you enjoy. At the end of the day, during your break, just forget about whatever work you have at least for that duration of time, and do whatever makes you feel rested and gets you to a good mental space. For me, it’s reading a good romance or fantasy novel or taking a walk while listening to music (music which I don’t listen to while working because they’re weirdly associated with stress…)

2. Prioritize your sleep hygiene

Thinking about prioritizing your sleep hygiene is way easier than actually doing it, but this is the most important step to avoid burnout, and it is also the one that people mostly ignore.  It is quite difficult to stop your mind from thinking up scenarios and not let you sleep, or even doing your work at odd hours at night and without thinking of the greater consequences that can largely affect you because of sleeplessness. But here are some things that can really help you develop a proper sleep routine:

  • Blue light and grayscale filters on laptops, phones, and other such devices are lifesavers.
  • Don’t work on your bed. Work or any other such activity (like reading, making art) on your bed can make you feel sleepy while working and active when you want to sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine before bed. Avoid any other such tasks which can make your mind active right when you have to sleep.
  • Sleeping and waking up late can spoil your sleep hygiene, even on weekends.

3. Never too late to pursue your passions

No, this is not about turning your art/interests into your job. Other than work, you should also have time to practice your hobbies and interests. It could be singing, painting, reading, cooking, or anything which can act like your happy place when you want to take a break from your professional and hectic life. Practice these hobbies when you have more time to yourself, especially during the weekends, to enjoy a break away from work. Try not to turn these hobbies into your work, as that is just another way to make your hobbies feel toxic.

4. Learn to say no

You must always have boundaries, both in your personal and professional life. You don’t always have to help out your colleagues if you don’t have the energy to do so. It is always okay to make boundaries and say no when it is affecting your mental health.

5. Asking for help is okay

When you feel like your stress is affecting your life too intensely, know that it is always okay to ask for help. May it be therapy or any other means which might seem helpful.

What is necessary to realize is that you matter and are a priority. A lot of people normalize burnout and say that it’s just a necessary step towards success, but that’s completely pointless if you’re too burnt out to feel any joy when you succeed, isn’t it?

Let us know what you think!

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Zahra Rehman

Social science undergrad and amateur artist who has a soft spot for cats, dogs and philosophy.

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