Burnout. We've all been there. We've all experienced that state of extreme physical and mental stress that makes it impossible to focus on any other thing other than the pain we were going through. Burnouts, especially as a result of job stress (the commonest) are not desirable, but all too many people have them.

Burnouts result from many factors building up over time which people fail to pay attention too. Our bodies are not machines and are not designed to work for hours without end, or with little breaks. Even machines can't work that hard before they wear out and become useless, how much more humans. What can you do to avoid and overcome burnouts? Read on.

The primary cause of burnout is stress, be it physical, mental or emotional. Therefore, to deal with burnouts, you have to deal with stress and things that make you stressed.

Relax Often
I've mentioned above that the human body is designed to take breaks often and not go on and on. It cannot be emphasized enough. As you prioritize work, prioritize relaxation too and plan for it. After a long work week, your idea of relaxing may be doing some fun activities at the weekend, like reading or hanging out with friends and family. Yearly vacations help you unwind after months of work and work.
Spending time with family is especially relaxing. Even if you have a demanding job, such as being CEO of a large company, family times should be and can be, prioritized above all else. Anything works, as far as it takes your mind off the hustle and bustle of the workplace. Each day too, have break times at work. Hold your meal times sacred. Ignoring simple things like this cause stress to build up.

Think Positively
Many people wrongfully assume that only the body can be stressed. Hence, they pay no attention to what goes on in their minds. On the contrary, research has proven that our minds can be stressed too. How? Negative thoughts. Negative thoughts bring worry and anxiety which in turn affect our attitude to work and every other thing.

To overcome this, you have to work actively towards thinking positively and maintain an optimistic outlook. What if things are genuinely wrong and worry is a valid response? Then you can practice gratitude. To overcome worry and fear, going through a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy helps you able to replace toxic thoughts with positive ones.

Sleep Longer
Sleep is the body's best form of rest. Sleeping well and longer keeps the body relaxed and the mind sharper. Popular clinic with a great online presence, Mayo Clinic agrees with every other health expert who recommends 7 - 9 hours of sleep for adults. Anything shorter would be you doing yourself harm. And don't just consider sleep as a necessary evil; instead, actively prepare for it.
First, that means getting off your devices (smartphone, laptop, TV, etc.) at least an hour before you sleep. The blue light these devices emit can hinder good sleep. Instead of checking emails and social media just before you sleep, you might consider reading or meditating, which are healthier options. And don't take your work home; almost everyone is guilty of that. Sleep is not trivial; don't treat it as such.

Reduce Workload
The American Institute of Stress claims that a high workload on an employee is responsible for up to 46% of cases of stress. In that case, you need to understand that you're not superhuman. You can only do so much before your body breaks down. That has been my emphasis right from the introduction to this article.

Therefore, cut some of your work. Delegating some of your jobs to other workers does not hurt. In fact, it makes work go faster. Also, have a habit of saying 'no', and firmly to requests that you know would impact you negatively. You don't have to do it all. Indeed, you can't do it all.

Practice Mindfulness
When you talk about mindfulness, many think about spirituality and religious meditation techniques. But it doesn't have to be so. Mindfulness is only trying to gain a better awareness of your body and mind. Some practice mindfulness by meditation, others by different means. But meditation is more common and experts even attest to its effectiveness. Even in the workplace, mindfulness for employees is something employers should seriously consider.

If you don't know how to go about this, there are many mindfulness and meditation apps that have been proven to help greatly. These apps includes Humm.ly which keep you relaxed by combining music therapy with mindfulness techniques. Music? Yes, music has been proven to help people experiencing burnout. Consider it a sort of daily therapy that keeps you from losing it.

The only principle that matters in preventing or overcoming burnout is that you take your body and mind health seriously. Don't wait until things go way wrong before you seek help. As you probably already know, burnout isn't really nice. So, as soon as stress begins to step in, retreat a little and take things more slowly.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Usiagwu is a Digital Marketing Expert / Consultant with almost a decade worth of experience. He majored in Accounting at the National Open University and is currently a self-employed entrepreneur. A huge part of his expertise involves research, writing, and public speaking. Some of his writings can be seen on Readwrite, Hackernoon and Innovation Enterprise among others. He can reach on Twitter and LinkedIn or email him: michaelusiagwu@gmail.com