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With the year now in full swing and offices filling up again, most people have had the chance to have some sort of break over Christmas and New Year in order to recharge their batteries. But it’s a luxury that not everyone’s been able to enjoy.

Are you feeling like you haven’t had the chance to enjoy a proper break? Or perhaps you took a few weeks off, but you’re still feeling sluggish. Or maybe your job feels like it’s gone from zero to 100 in an instant and you’re struggling to keep up.

Burnout can creep up on you and then suddenly you can find yourself lacking in motivation, or worse, physically unwell. Here are a few of our tips for recognising and tackling burnout:

Burnout can take many forms

When most people think about burnout, they think about feeling exhausted. But there are other physical symptoms that might present themselves. You might experience digestion issues, headaches, difficulty focusing, or a whole range of other physical symptoms. 

Alternatively, the signs may be more mental. You might lose enthusiasm for things you’re usually passionate about, or suddenly find yourself unmotivated in areas that have long been a source of passion. Or you might find yourself getting angry more rapidly than you ordinarily would.

It’s not always work-related

Burnout is often associated with work, but significant changes in your personal or home life can also be primary contributors. Take the time to check in with yourself and consider what it is that’s causing you stress – is it your job or is it something outside of work? If you spend the time to truly reflect on all areas of your life, the answer might surprise you.

What can you do about it?

These tips are mentioned so often they’re almost a cliché, but it’s undeniable that if you can manage to get your body moving, increase your exercise, ensure you get a great night’s sleep and spend time outdoors, you are sure to notice improvement. Even if you just manage to improve one of those things, you’ll notice a difference.

But the most important tip is don’t be afraid to change circumstances that are upsetting you. It sounds simple, but many people suffer unnecessarily, because human beings are generally averse to change. 

We will endure all sorts of hardship in our personal and professional life to avoid making a change. More often than not, when we take the plunge and make a change in order to escape something that’s upsetting us, our life improves dramatically.

If you’re hating your job, go and seek a new one. If you’ve got too many extracurricular activities on your plate, see if you can try and reduce them. If friends in your personal life are continually upsetting you, then perhaps it’s time to cut those people loose. If there’s something about your day-to-day routine that you’re not enjoying, consider whether you can change it.

Sometimes it’s easier than you think and the answer is staring you right in the face.

And remember, if you are feeling consistently low, be sure to consult a GP or reach out to one of the terrific organisations that can help you; such as Beyond BlueLifeline and Anxiety Australia.