For optometrists running independent practices, it is easy for burnout to become a real thing. Burnout is more than a sign that you need a vacation, it’s your body’s response to constant stresses of work and home.
What is burnout and what causes it?
Merrian-Webster defines burnout as “Exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”
Two common causes include:
- Lack of rest or rejuvenation/Overwork
- Lack of motivation or reward
Tips to prevent burnout:
- Hit the gym. In addition to helping keep your heart in check, a study released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that cardiovascular exercise increases well-being and decreases psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotion exhaustion.
- Stay hydrated. A majority of Americans live in a consistent state of dehydration. The effects of dehydration includes negatively impacting you body, emotions, and cognition.
- Get a good night’s sleep. The benefits of a good night’s rest bring a great number of health benefits. Not having enough sleep can make a person more prone to being less patient and more easily agitated. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
- Set priorities. Make a list of the things you want to work on and rank these tasks by importance.
- Cut back. Assess your commitments and cut back on ones that are draining.
- Take breaks. You’re busy, but taking a couple of 15 minute breaks throughout the day can help recharge you. Take a walk, grab a coffee, or watch a funny video.
Avoiding burnout makes taking preventative measures and setting actionable steps to hold yourself accountable.