The Signs of Burnout and How To Prevent It — Self-care Activities

Always tired? Feel a bit ‘off’? Are you finding it hard to concentrate as you read this? 👋 Burnout has a nasty habit of sneaking up on you. Sure, you’re exhausted and stressed out, but you’re still standing, right? You keep pushing forward, then bam, burnout hits and you’re out for the count. You are burning the candle at both ends, and it’s not something you should ignore.

Although it may seem like burnout hits suddenly, the truth is that there are numerous moments leading up to it that we often ignore or brush off. Acknowledging these moments is crucial because it enables us to take prompt action and address the issues before they become too much to handle. By being more aware of these warning signs, we can effectively prevent burnout from taking over.

The 10 Warning Signs of Burnout ⚠️

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. Here are some common warning signs of burnout:

  1. Feeling exhausted and drained, both physically and emotionally.
  2. Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment at work.
  3. Loss of motivation and interest in work-related tasks.
  4. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
  5. Increased cynicism and negative attitudes towards work and colleagues.
  6. Physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, and insomnia.
  7. Increased irritability and impatience with colleagues or customers.
  8. Isolation and withdrawal from social situations.
  9. Feeling helpless, trapped, or defeated.
  10. Decreased productivity and effectiveness at work.

10 Self-care Strategies To Cope With Burnout 🧘

Burnout builds over time. Burnout can accumulate gradually from stress at work or in other areas of your life, which can make it tough to handle your job and other duties. Once you have recognised the warning signs of burnout, there are various strategies you can try to avoid a breakdown:

  1. Speak to your boss. Communicate work-related concerns with your company's human resources department or supervisor. If possible, communicate with your boss about how you're feeling and discuss a more reasonable workload. Clear communication is essential for creating a healthy work atmosphere.
  2. Explore alternative roles or tasks with lower stress levels within your organisation. If you're experiencing burnout, it may be because you're overworked, doing tasks that are too stressful, or feeling unfulfilled in your role. One solution is to explore alternative roles or tasks within your organisation that may be less stressful and more aligned with your skills and interests. This could involve speaking with your manager or HR representative about different positions that may be a better fit for you.
  3. Take frequent breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. When you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be tempting to work harder and push through it, but this often leads to further exhaustion and burnout. Taking breaks can help you rest and recharge, which can increase your productivity and creativity in the long run.
  4. Practise mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment without judgment. It can be a helpful tool to reduce stress and manage burnout. One technique to practice mindfulness is meditation. Meditation involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breath or a specific mantra. By bringing your focus to the present moment, you can reduce the impact of negative thoughts and emotions that contribute to burnout. Mindfulness can help you identify when you're feeling overwhelmed and take stock of your emotional well-being.
  5. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is an important strategy for coping with burnout. When you're burnt out, it's easy to reach for comfort food or skip meals altogether, but these habits can actually worsen your symptoms over time. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly and support your mental and emotional well-being. For example, foods that are high in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, can help combat inflammation caused by stress.
  6. Engage in regular exercise to alleviate stress and improve your overall wellbeing. Exercise can help to alleviate stress by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Exercise also helps to improve physical fitness, which can help to combat some of the negative physical effects of burnout, such as fatigue and muscle tension.
  7. Prioritise healthy sleep habits and make sure to get enough restful sleep each night. Sufficient sleep is critical for both physical and mental well-being. Anxiety about your job may make it difficult to sleep, which can lead to burnout. Make it a priority to get enough sleep.
  8. Take a holiday or time off from work. This time away can give you a chance to recharge and refresh your mind and body, allowing you to return to work feeling more energised and focused. When planning your time off, try to disconnect from work as much as possible. This means avoiding checking work emails or taking work calls, and instead focusing on activities that help you relax and unwind.
  9. Engage in relaxing activities. Yoga, meditation, or adult colouring are excellent ways to relieve stress. Engaging in these activities can help you release tension.
  10. Find support. Talking with trustworthy colleagues, friends, and family members is a critical way to share how you are feeling and seek help. Their support can assist you in dealing with job stressors. It is also beneficial to seek a therapist to talk about your feelings and receive support.

Developing clear strategies to manage stress can be beneficial in coping with a high-stress job. Practicing self-care techniques such as maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and establishing healthy sleep habits can help mitigate some of the negative impacts of stress.

Self-care Activities for Burnout

Draw The Line — How Adult Colouring Books Can Help Prevent Burnout 🖍️

An image of the cover of the Affirmations Colouring Book by Neville Goddard, featuring various intricate designs and patterns for adults to colour. The book is focused on promoting self-care and addressing burnout, and includes uplifting affirmations to help users relax and de-stress.

My job demands a lot from me. Long hours, tight deadlines, and constant pressure to meet targets. I started to experience burnout. I felt tired, anxious, and overwhelmed. I felt like I was on a treadmill that never stopped.

While scrolling through Instagram (which I would not advise if you are suffering from burnout), I stumbled upon The Affirmations Colouring Book featuring affirmations of Neville Goddard's Law of Assumption. At first, I was skeptical. I had heard of adult colouring books before, but I never thought they would be helpful for someone like me. I decided to give it a try and bought the book.

I sat down with my coloured pencils and started to colour. While working through the pages, I noticed that each illustration had an affirmation on it. The affirmations were based on Neville Goddard's Law of Assumption, which is a theory that states that if you assume something to be true, it will eventually become true.

As I coloured, I repeated the affirmations to myself. "I am enough," "I believe in myself", "I choose my state of being”. At first, I felt silly. But as I continued to colour and repeat the affirmations, I felt my anxiety start to melt away. For the first time in a long time, I felt relaxed and at peace.

I started to make colouring a part of my daily routine. Whenever I felt stressed or overwhelmed, I would take a break and colour for a few minutes. The affirmations on each page helped me to shift my mindset from one of stress and anxiety to one of positivity and confidence.

I started to notice changes in my work life. I was more focused, more productive, and more confident. I was hitting my targets and my colleagues were noticing my improved attitude. Bonus: the colouring book helped to beat the Sunday scaries, too.

My job is still demanding, but now I have a tool that helps me to manage my stress and maintain a positive mindset.

An image of the Affirmations Colouring Book by Neville Goddard, featuring various intricate designs and patterns for adults to colour. The book is focused on promoting self-care, and is a great idea for a relaxing Sunday activity. The cover includes uplifting affirmations to help users relax and de-stress while colouring.

The Affirmations Colouring Book will bring some positive vibes and artistic fun into your life. Get your hands on it now for the unbeatable price of £11.11 on Amazon.

What do the experts have to say?

Colouring books for adults can be a helpful tool for coping with burnout as they provide a calming and meditative activity that can help reduce stress levels. Colouring has been shown to have a similar effect on the brain as meditation, which can help to relax the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

Colouring can provide a sense of accomplishment and creative expression, which can help to boost mood and self-esteem. While colouring books for adults may not be a complete solution for coping with burnout, they can be a helpful tool to incorporate into a self-care routine alongside other strategies such as exercise, mindfulness, and taking breaks.

Be At Piece — How Jigsaw Puzzles Can Help Manage Burnout 🧩

An image of a colourful mandala jigsaw puzzle, which can be used as a tool for mental health self-care. The puzzle has many intricate pieces and patterns, and can be a challenging yet calming activity to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Goodbye, watercooler. Hello, Star Wars jigsaw puzzle.

As the boss of a small marketing firm, I had noticed a concerning trend among my employees. They were all working long hours, taking on extra projects, and generally burning themselves out. I knew I needed to do something to help them relax and recharge. I was determined to find ways to keep our employees engaged, I knew we needed something small yet effective to keep everyone connected.

That's when I decided to bring in a jigsaw puzzle for the break room. And not just any puzzle, but a Star Wars puzzle of The Death Star. If someone was having a bad day, they could go to the communal area and work on a puzzle. It may seem like a small thing, but it really makes a difference.  At first, some of my employees seemed skeptical. They didn't understand how solving a puzzle could help with burnout.

As the days went on, I saw a noticeable difference in their stress levels. They seemed more relaxed and focused, and they were able to tackle their work with renewed energy. Even I found myself taking a break to work on the puzzle when I needed a mental break from my own workload. 

The puzzle became a source of camaraderie and relaxation for the team. They would work on it together, laughing and chatting as they pieced it together. And when the puzzle was finally complete, there was a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that lifted everyone's spirits.

Jigsaw puzzles may not be a magic wand for burnout, but they have been a great way to help employees connect with each other on a nonwork project. It gives them an opportunity to build trust and relationships, which is crucial in any workplace. We are currently working on a colourful jigsaw puzzle of a mandala. 

An image of a colourful jigsaw puzzle, featuring various shades and hues of orange, purple, pink, and yellow. The puzzle has many interlocking pieces and can be a fun and relaxing activity for individuals of all ages to enjoy.

With its intricate design and bold colours, you'll be captivated from start to finish. Don't wait any longer to add this mandala masterpiece from Rest In Pieces to your puzzle collection!

What do the experts have to say?

Jigsaw puzzles can be a good way to manage burnout for some people. They provide a calming and meditative activity that can help reduce stress and anxiety. The process of piecing together a puzzle can be satisfying and offer a sense of accomplishment, which can boost mood and self-esteem. Jigsaw puzzles can help improve cognitive function, including memory and problem-solving skills.

By being more aware of the warning signs and taking steps to prevent burnout, you can effectively manage your stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

More from Rest In Pieces

Rest In Pieces is a specialty store that offers a wide variety of jigsaw puzzles, including difficult-to-find and out-of-print puzzles. We have puzzles with themes ranging from animals and landscapes to pop culture and fine art.

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