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Burnout Alert: 5 Mistakes That Leads Highly Sucessful People To Burnout

Burnout is becoming increasingly common these days. It is a syndrome that occurs due to chronic stress that has not been properly managed over some time. Burnout is generally characterized by three aspects – first, feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, second, increased mental distance and avoidance from responsibilities, and third, feelings of negativism, cynicism, and despair.
The underlying cause of burnout could be anything from mismanaged stress to untimely changes in the mindset due to trauma.
We conducted interviews with a few medical and PhD students and discovered that they often believe that if they are not on the verge of a breakdown, they are not working hard enough. For instance, a CRO who was waiting to pick up her children from school felt anxious about wasting valuable time.
Similarly, an engineer may feel pressured to skip meals at times to remain competent and relevant.
According to therapists in Harvard Medical School’s psychology department, people who exhibit signs of toxic productivity often experience anxiety and depression.

Let’s talk about Toxic Productivity

Productivtiy becomes toxic when you feel pressure to be productive all the time and priotitze your perpetual to-do list at the expense of your well being. While it isn’t an actual diagnosis, this mindset can take its toll in your physical and mental health, in some cases also leading to anxiety and depression. Sometimes it also leads to a complete burnout, insombia and self-esteem issues.

Here are five signs that you’ve become prey to toxic productivity and need to get out of it as soon as possible. We have also included some of the things you can do about it.

1. You are on the go all the time

Many people feel like they are always in a rush to get things done and there’s never enough time. This false sense of urgency can cause anxiety because the part of the brain that detects threats misinterprets the signal as “danger,” leading to a fight-or-flight response.

To combat this feeling, you can try a simple pacing technique. Repeat the phrase “slow down” to yourself like a mantra, and take the time to focus on your breathing (five seconds in, five seconds out) while doing any activity.

2. You feel guilty or ashamed about not getting enough done

Toxic productivity” refers to the negative feelings you experience when you haven’t accomplished everything on your to-do list. This can lead to feelings of guilt and shame when you don’t meet your own high expectations. This cycle can make you push yourself beyond your limits, leaving you exhausted and frustrated.

To combat this, try journaling and examining your thought patterns. If you notice that you hold yourself to higher standards than others, practice self-compassion by acknowledging that you’re doing your best, just like everyone else.

Avoid thinking that everything has to be perfect or that it’s all or nothing. Remember that partial success still counts and that what you’ve done for the day is enough.

3. Your self-worth is deterined by how productive you are

Productivity levels change every day, and even throughout the day for reasons out of your control. But I’ve heard people tell themselves, today was a bad day, or I was completely useless today. These thoughts might indicate that people rely on productivity for a measure of their self worth.

What you can do about it: Monitor your inner dialogue and practice talking to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend or loved one, using your own name.

4. You have a hard time relaxing is a major burnout sign

Many of us associate productivity with receiving praise and reward, which can trigger the release of “feel-good” chemicals in our brains, such as dopamine. This can make us addicted to the feeling of being busy. However, there are ways to combat this burnout situation, especially in the case of busy life.

Instead of always trying to fill every moment with tasks, try to see downtime as an opportunity. For instance, if you arrive early to an event, you can utilize this time to relax and recharge.

You could close your eyes, take deep breaths, and listen to the sounds around you. This way, you are still using your time productively, but in a restorative way.

Also read: Mental Habits of the Highly Successful 

5. You’re ignoring self-care

It is quite common for some individuals to have a mindset that puts work above everything else, including basic needs such as eating, drinking water, or taking breaks. They may prioritize work, even at the cost of their health and well-being, and skip meals or delay going to the bathroom. This approach can lead to exhaustion and restless nights, making it difficult to get restorative sleep.

To address this, it is essential to give yourself the permission to relax every day. Restorative sleep requires feeling relaxed, so it is crucial to prioritize rest and relaxation to improve your overall health and well-being.

Create a bedtime routine that includes sleep-inducing activities, like listening to relaxing music, reading a novel, journaling, taking a bath or shower, dimming lights, cooling the air, or drinking herbal tea can significantly reduce burnout symptoms and the major cause of burnout.

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