How to Avoid Burnout as a Young Adult

Burnout describes a severe stress condition that leads to severe physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Much worse than ordinary fatigue, burnout makes it challenging for people to cope with stress and handle day-to-day responsibilities.

People experiencing burnout often feel like they have nothing left to give and may dread getting out of bed each morning. They may even adopt a pessimistic outlook toward life and feel hopeless. A 2020 article tells us: “There are three main areas of symptoms that are considered to be signs of burnout:

  • Exhaustion: People affected feel drained and emotionally exhausted, unable to cope, tired and down, and don’t have enough energy. Physical symptoms include things like pain and gastrointestinal (stomach or bowel) problems.
  • Alienation from (work-related) activities: People who have burnout find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may start being cynical about their working conditions and their colleagues. At the same time, they may increasingly distance themselves emotionally, and start feeling numb about their work.
  • Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home, or when caring for family members. People with burnout are very negative about their tasks, find it hard to concentrate, are listless, and lack creativity.”

Anyone who experiences large amounts of stress can experience burnout, and these days, young adults are dealing with more stress than ever. Between a global pandemic, managing classes online, seeing friends and family less, and working through the pandemic or at home, there are many stressors that young adults are facing. 

Avoiding Burnout

Having the right tools and awareness can help you be aware of the warning symptoms of burnout and avoid those pitfalls:

  • Healthy Habits: Exercise, good sleep habits, and healthy eating habits can help you manage stress. Exercise can give you an emotional boost, and even just a short walk can help improve your mood. Healthy eating habits can help the body feel energized and working properly. Our bodies need time to rest and reset, which is why good sleep habits are important for dealing with stress. 
  • Find Your Purpose: If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work and burnout is setting in, take a step back and think about why you are doing your job in the first place. Were you drawn to your company’s mission statement? Did you feel a sense of accomplishment that made you feel proud of yourself? Rediscovering your purpose can play a part in avoiding burnout and keeping stress under control. 
  • Stress Management: Find ways to reduce your stress in your day to day life. Stress management techniques like yoga, journaling, deep breathing or meditation can help you calm down when you’re feeling stress in your day. 
  • Ask for Help: During times of stress, it is important to reach out for help. It can be from a co-worker, a friend, or family member. When you’re experiencing burnout it can feel difficult to ask for help, but having a self-care “check-in” can help your mental health during trying times. 

Foundations Asheville Can Help

Foundations Asheville serves young adults age 18-24 who are looking to acquire the tools to make the transition from adolescence to life as an independent adult. Foundations help young adults aspire to find meaning, direction, relationships, and self-reliance in their lives.

At Foundations, we strive to create a full and rewarding life through an individualized combination of education, vocation training, community service, healthy lifestyle skill, relationship building, and participation in a genuine community of peers. For more information please call (877) 318-7273.

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