Work/Life burnouts and how to cope

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At Glow HQ we are passionate about wellbeing, understanding emotional intelligence and learning strategies to help us best perform and avoid a burnout, it’s one of our values! Chatting to our peers, friends and associates we can say that 2023 has been a pretty challenging year for many.

The global economic downturn and cost of living crisis have made it harder for lots of businesses and customers to maintain a consistent flow of work. Plus, navigating the ebbs and flows of life, admin and families, can take its toll. There’s a lot going on.

But there is always more to learn so we’ve checked out a few strategies for boosting mental health and finding balance in the creative journey:

To add to this swirl, there is the ever-changing digital landscape and pressure to stay relevant, stay ‘on’ which all adds to the stress. Lots of people are experiencing burnout, feeling overwhelmed and in need of support.

We work with executive coaches, avidly promote daily ‘nature walk’ breaks; we have weekly pilates sessions and whole heartedly work flexibly, to suit our work and personal needs.

What is burnout?

It’s not just exhaustion; it’s chronic physical and emotional exhaustion resulting from prolonged stress and overwork. Burnout can affect anyone and is common in high-pressure fields like the creative industries. Symptoms include fatigue, detachment, cynicism, declining performance, lack of concentration, irritability, and reduced motivation or satisfaction in work.

To cope with burnout and find a happier direction, try these tips:

Spend time outdoors

Even in urban areas, to gain a new perspective, inspiration, and physical benefits. If you’re unable to go outside, practice meditation/ mindfulness or relaxation techniques.

Take breaks from digital distractions

Turn off notifications and your phone, or leaving it behind. Use automation tools for maintaining an online presence while on vacation.

Focus less on social media

Engage in face-to-face interactions. Attend events, have coffee with contacts, and prioritise building meaningful relationships.

Consider CBT

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help manage negative thoughts and emotions. CBT challenges unhelpful thinking patterns and promotes positive affirmations. It’s proven and it works.

Practice your work and personal life as one

Be a ninja at managing your work and personal life. Lisa Lavis, our CEO is a big believer that work and life is just one, with one diary. And she is highly disciplined in knowing when to give 100% to each, throughout the day, evenings and weekends. Lisa’s belief is life and work is fluid as neither runs in a straight line so needs to be agile. But this does involve focus. You cannot be ‘at work’ all the time. So set yourself boundaries.

When you’re on chosen holidays, go on holiday! Switch off (or move / hide) email notifications, What’s App, Trello, Teams, Slack. Tell your team and key clients when you are off and not to contact you. Equally, it is perfectly ok to still be at work if you want, need or desire to be, while away. For example, on shorter breaks it may be less stressful to actually check in. But the key is being in tune with your emotional intelligence and to recognise when you need to totally switch off. When you are, tell your team, clients, associates that you are not contactable and to ask them to limit comms while you are off too (so you don’t dread the first day back!)

For day-to-day work and life management build a strategy that works for you e.g. phones left downstairs at night, no checking after 9pm, and doing plenty of non-work activities so you don’t have the opportunity to ‘just check in’.

Learn something new

When you train the brain, it will respond positively. Our brains are amazing and there is always more room to learn. Take up a new hobby, learn a foreign language, or simply sign up to a new podcast. The learnings don’t have to be grand or take up loads of time but while practising them it will take you away from that work stress you just can’t seem to shift.

Talk it out

Whether that’s with your friends, family, doctor or peers. If you struggle doing this face to face write a message or even an old fashioned letter. We are so much more resourceful when we’re vulnerable and open up. And a quick tip, don’t let it fester. Act when it starts to bother you.

Prioritising mental health is crucial for creatives. By implementing these strategies, seeking support, and taking time to recharge, you can regain balance, energy and rediscover your creative passion.

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