Is It Possible To Suffer Burnout While Working From Home?

by | May 15, 2020 | Life

It’s important to have a realistic outlook about our current lockdown situation and identify potential factors that may cause burnout if it is something you’re concerned about, especially since we are WFH. Reality is that some of us are playing many roles and taking on various responsibilities while at home. We no longer have the luxury of having children at school and spouses at their place of work. Everyone is at home with many distractions and at times unconducive environments to meet certain work demands. Counselling Psychologist Lungako Mweli weighs in…

Being productive whilst not depleting your energy

  1. Establishing a daily routine (dedicate certain hours to particular tasks) to create a structure for yourself.
  2. Manage your time through daily to-do lists and prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. “Try not to be hard on yourself should you not be able to achieve everything on the list and be realistic when writing you a to-do list to avoid discouragement,” says Lungako.
  3. Communicate your personal boundaries to yourself and those around you (take a lunch break as an opportunity recuperate) and decide when you end your workday.
  4. Fit in self-care activities (reading, spending time with family, take a silent break, meditate, workout, etc)
  5. Delegate tasks that don’t require you personally.
  6. Visualise what a balance would look like for yourself (achieve your work goals and meet demands whilst also considering your overall health and wellbeing) and work towards that.

Signs of burnout

Burnout presents through a lack of energy, negative attitude towards work, demotivation, lack of focus, irritability, reduced productivity, and efficiency in work also displayed through mistakes. Consult with a medical doctor to ascertain.

READ MORE: 10 Signs You’re Suffering From Mid-Year Burnout

How to prevent burnout

Lungako says monitoring yourself and listening to your body is one to prevent burnout. “It’s like your phone battery, no-one wants to see their phone shutdown if they still want to use it, so pay attention to your own body and keep it recharged. Just like the phone battery, you want to reserve its best to give the phone a break from usage, so give yourself a break as well,” she says.

Finding healthy ways to fill your “cup” so that it doesn’t become empty is important. “Incorporate healthy activities into your routine-eg. Silent breaks, practising mindfulness, journaling, explore creative side or yoga to manage stressors,” she adds.

Women's Health Mindfulness Manual (digital version)

Ways to cope…

  1. You may seek help from a medical practitioner or you may need to take time off.
  2. Identify unhealthy patterns that result in burnout and replace those with healthier patterns of behaviour.
  3. Relaxation time is recommended.
  4. Always keep self-care in mind.

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