It’s not just people with mental health troubles that are effected with burnout. It can happen to anyone and everyone in their lifetime.
Burnout is a form of exhaustion, it’s a result of prolonged mental, emotional and/or physical stress.
Life can get busy, working, training, helping others, or things happening in our personal lives. Sometimes, we get too busy and forget to take a step back and rest. This can cause burnout.
You may not even know you’re burning yourself out until it’s too late and by that point you can start to feel unproductive, exhausted, hopeless and even unwell.
It can happen when you’re feeling emotionally drained, stressed and overwhelmed. You feel like you can’t keep up with everything around you.
I know first hand when starting out as a beginner in development you can get swept up in the excitement of learning.
You might be,
- Taking on too much too soon,
- Not feeling appreciated,
- Under a lot of pressure at work to learn something or get a project finished on time,
- Comparing yourself to others..
It can be one or multiple things that may not feel like much at the time but slowly it can cause you to burn yourself out.
It’s important in these times to remember you’re only human.
There’s unfortunately a lot of stigma around mental health and so it can be hard to admit when you’re struggling, when you need help or to even allow yourself to step away and take a break.
In the development world not everyone understands what it is to be a developer/programmer so trying to explain that it is a mentally tiring job can be hard.
Understanding what causes your burnout is a form of self care, at first you may not know how or why it happened but knowing your triggers can really help with prevention.
We’re really bad at checking in with ourselves, being on the go and just getting on with everything. It’s good to sometimes just take a moment to stop and ask yourself, are you ok?
Speak to your manager
If you’re in a position to do so, speak with your manager or team lead. It’s good to be open and honest with how you’re feeling and your workload. You can then discuss how to manage it better and move forward.
You’re no use to your team or manager when you’re not at your 100% so it’s best to work together during these times so then you’ll be back on your a game sooner.
Are you sleeping enough?
When you don’t get enough sleep you may feel more stressed, anxious or tired. Making sure you get enough sleep is super important.
Speak with someone you trust, it could be a colleague, friend or family member or a community you may be part of. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling and even asking for help is a great way to overcome what’s troubling you. Let others support you during this time.
If you don’t have any of the above, there are some great mental health charities you can speak with or even look on their website for advice, two that I’ve used personally are
Do something you enjoy
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in everything so taking some time to yourself if you can to have a cup of tea, read a book, play a game, listen to a podcast or go for a walk. These things can really help focus on something else, something you enjoy doing, it can really help your mood.
I know the above might seem like a lot but I know from experience how easy burnout can happen and so I wanted to share this with you to hopefully help or prevent it from happening to you.
Finding a life, work balance is very important. I know it’s easy to get sucked into what we do but it’s very important to take breaks.
Set a timer every hour to just stretch your legs for 5 minutes,
Schedule learning time in your day where you can focus purely on that during that time and only that time.
Most importantly look after yourself and listen, your body always knows when things are too much.