How To Avoid Burnout
We all feel burnout now and then. Stress from work, working from home, family responsibilities, and pandemic anxiety has left us all feeling the need for renewal. While burnout might seem like nothing to worry about, it has significant effects on our quality of sleep and our quality of our life. Burnout leads to sleepless nights, and sleepless nights lead to burnout. To avoid being the Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail, let’s take a look at how we can avoid burnout altogether–and keep our sleep routine intact.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND BURNOUT: AN ENDLESS CYCLE
Studies show that only 10% of Americans prioritize sleep, meaning 90% of us still need to put some focus on our sleep routines and sleep health. Because sleep deprivation can cause anxiety levels to rise by up to 30% or more, this can lead to even worse burnout syndrome.
Burnout and sleep deprivation go hand-in-hand, but they’re a dysfunctional, life-disrupting couple. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation is one of the best predictors of job burnout.
COVID BURNOUT: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL
In addition to work-related burnout, COVID burnout, or “safety fatigue” is also very real, as many Americans have lived with a prolonged sense of stress since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.
Keeping up with the CDC’s recommendations for mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent handwashing can be overwhelming. It’s one thing to have precautions in effect for a few days or even weeks, but sustaining those precautions on top of our daily routine over an extended period of time can prove extremely difficult—not to mention stressful.
WHAT EXACTLY IS BURNOUT?
Burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis. It is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion in response to a prolonged period of stress. Some warning signs of burnout, whether it’s from work or pandemic stress, include:
Sleep disorders: Restlessness, insomnia, or a general decrease in sleep from anxiety and stress can contribute to the endless cycle of stress-induced insomnia and insomnia-induced stress.
Immune Response: The more stressed and burned out you become, and the less sleep you get, the weaker your immune system can become, potentially leading to more frequent illnesses.
Fatigue: Stress and sleep deprivation affect your physical and mental health, which may lead to sluggishness.
Dietary changes: Research has proven that stress can cause increased appetite, especially for junk food. On the other hand, stress can also cause some individuals to have decreased appetite. Both instances mean fewer key nutrients to fuel your mind and body, contributing to the endless cycle of stress, fatigue, illness, and insomnia.
Mood disorders: The chronic cycle of stress and sleep deprivation can cause mood changes such as irritability, anxiety, and depression.
HOW TO HELP AVOID BURNOUT
Deal with stress as it happens. Burnout happens when we don’t deal with the occasional stressors that pop up in our daily lives, so it accumulates and can lead to burnout professionally and personally.
- Get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep feeds the ever-hungry beast of stress-induced insomnia, which can lead to more stress during the day, then less sleep at night.
- Tweak your diet. Eating healthy, nutritious meals and snacks is one of the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. It can help you manage stress and help avoid burnout.
Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, increase energy and productivity, and get a restful night’s sleep. Adding small increments of activity throughout the workday is also a great way to help keep stress levels low.
Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness exercises like mediation, yoga, or breathwork can help calm you when you’re feeling stressed. Don’t wait for a vacation to unplug—build small breaks into your day to help you recenter yourself before stress and anxiety are all-consuming.
some healthy lifestyle tips that will have you sleeping and feeling better.
HOW TO IMPROVE SLEEP
- Get off screens at least one hour before bedtime
- Practice relaxation techniques before bed
- Sleep in a cool, dark room (67º is considered optimal)
- Exercise during the day
- Don’t use your bedroom for work purposes
Improving the quality of your sleep is one of the best ways to help avoid burnout. However, all of these sleep tips won’t help without the foundation of a great night’s sleep: a comfortable, affordable, mattress like DreamCloud.
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