As the world continues to navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s never been a better time to rejuvenate your mental health. While you might not be able to escape to an all-inclusive tropical getaway just yet, you can still take a mental vacation to prevent burnout. Discover creative ways to give your mind a break, as recommended by experts.
How often should you take a break?
Everyone is different. There’s no designated amount of time that has to pass before you give yourself a break. Most important is to learn how to identify when your mind and body need a break. What are the signs of burnout you should look for?
According to the World Health Organization, burnout is a syndrome categorized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion caused by chronic stress. Following such a hectic year, filled with unexpected workplace and life adjustments, the rate of burnout has increased nationwide. According to the recent Indeed Employee Burnout Report, 67% of all workers believe burnout has worsened during the pandemic.
How can you avoid burnout?
According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, the three main symptoms associated with burnout are:
Whether you’re encountering these symptoms or actively trying to avoid them, try these strategies to prevent burnout.
1. Switch up your schedule
At the start of each day, do your best to avoid any decision-making anxiety by creating a daily morning routine. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, establishing a morning routine can increase energy, productivity, and positivity. Even more, a morning routine generates overall momentum, helping your brain better prepare for cognitive work.
2. Adopt energizing relaxation methods
There’s a common misconception that relaxation must be a stagnant activity. Instead, try a calming yet physical method of relaxation such as yoga, tai chi, or qigong. These physical activities can improve your mental focus and distract you from the racing thoughts that encourage feelings of burnout. If physical techniques are too challenging, consider these next two recommendations.
3. Change your daily scenery
Day in and day out, recurring activities and scenery can become exhausting and fuel feelings of burnout. According to research, partaking in new and diverse experiences is linked to enhanced happiness and a greater correlation of brain activity. So, whether you embark on a local staycation or an immersive museum experience filled with interactive visual and audio components, changing your daily scenery can go a long way to staving off burnout.
4. Blast some upbeat tunes
While it’s safe to say everyone loves music, burnout can distract you from the things you love — leaving some of your favorite tracks crying out for some playtime. If you need a better reason to listen to positive music, research indicates that music around 60 beats per minute causes the brain to synchronize with the beat and induce alpha brain waves. These brain waves are comparable to what happens in our bodies when we’re relaxed. So go ahead and crank up some feel-good music!
Take your mental vacation today
Burnout can take quite a toll, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. To avoid the onset or recover from a bout of burnout, give yourself a mental vacation by following a few of these recommendations today.