Zoom in and out of your computer screen? Constantly zooming in and out on the same task is a sure way to burn out. Virtual burnout is a term used to describe the overstimulation associated with engaging in computer-mediated communication and virtual environments.
The prevalence of technologies, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops often awakens the brain at night and interferes with sleep – one’s ticket home from work. But how do you prevent it?
Use your phone in moderation
Phones are great devices that keep us connected with our friends, colleagues, and clients. However, there is a fine line between being productive and spending too much time on the phone.
It is easy to get attached to your phone. There are so many things you can do with it. Still, if you’re staring at the screen too long without any rest in between, you are likely to get burned out soon. Try not to use it next time when you feel like this happens. You could even set an alarm reminding you to take a break.
The question is, how do I know if I’m using my phone way too much? Here are a few signs that help you understand if you are spending too much time on your phone:
- A sudden drop in your work performance. You may notice that your mind seems to be everywhere else except where it should be.
- Anxiety or nervousness, especially when you know that your phone’s battery is running low.
- Strong cravings to use your phone – you want to pick it up even if you are not expecting an important call or message.
- You feel unable to follow conversations in person as you are too distracted by the thoughts of your phone.
- You are constantly checking your phone for updates or notifications while spending time with other people.
Avoid watching videos and scrolling random articles for too long
How many times have we watched an eight-minute video and felt like we just lost our time? There is nothing wrong with watching a quick video as these can be quite educational. However, since watching videos is fun, we usually forget how much time has passed. You should also try your best to avoid scrolling viral articles for too long. They might be fun to read at first but it will become a habit that is hard to stop if you keep doing it every day, so when in doubt, take a break.
Acknowledge when you need some rest
You can’t expect to last all day without some rest. It’s impossible. If you’re feeling tired, take a break and do something else for a while. Try not to push yourself too hard as it will only make things worse.
But, why is it hard for some people to acknowledge that they need rest?
Firstly, it might be because they are afraid to admit defeat. They are afraid that if they take a break, the others will see them as someone who is not good enough for the job. Secondly, some people just can’t abandon their work no matter how hard they try. Even though they know that they have reached their limit, there is just something inside them that just doesn’t want to stop working. The result is the same though – burnout.
You should try as hard as you can not to compare yourself with others. Acknowledge your own pace and understand that sometimes you might fall behind everyone else. Still, that is not a reason to push yourself too hard. You will only make things worse as you might feel as though everything is out of control. It can become dangerous for your overall health.
Rest is important for a multitude of reasons. It allows the body to regenerate. It includes repairing damaged cells, clearing out unwanted substances from the brain, heart, and blood vessels, resting muscles to prevent fatigue, and aiding in mental ability. In many ways, rest is what makes us feel well-rested.
Many of us probably think that sleep is the only time when our body rests. It is not true. Every time we blink, whenever our eyes are closed even when we’re not sleeping – this is rest for our eyes. The brain also needs to rest to process information and learn new things.
Get enough sleep each night
Each night, try to get yourself to sleep by ten. It will give you enough time in the morning and throughout the day to be productive. If you can’t fall asleep then, take a warm shower or drink some tea before going to bed. Just make sure when it’s time for bed, you go to sleep.
Proper sleep is needed to allow your brain and body time to create the hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals in their natural cycle. The drastic changes in these chemical levels in virtual burnout occur when people’s sleeping habits become irregular. It causes the release of adrenaline during waking hours, known as hyper-arousal, which reduces mental performance and general well-being.
It also makes it difficult for the brain to shut down at night leading to insomnia or poor quality sleep. One way that proper sleeping can help prevent this is by regulating circadian rhythms so that they don’t get too far off track.
Exercise and proper diet help combat burnout
It is something that I think everyone should know, but it’s also quite common for people to ignore. Exercise and proper diet help the body release endorphins, which reduce stress levels and boosts mental health. It also allows the brain to produce dopamine which is responsible for your sense of happiness.
It might be hard at first if you’re not used to exercising, but you should try and push through it. You will feel much better after your workout, trust me. If you don’t know where to start in terms of exercise, go for a jog or join a gym.
Don’t forget about proper diet though. Try to eat more fruit and vegetables as they provide your body with important vitamins and minerals needed for the proper functioning of the brain. Don’t skip breakfast either, as it provides you with much-needed energy in the morning.
Also, remember that there are other ways to prevent burnout than just sleep, exercise, and diet. Remember to take some time off for yourself once in a while. It doesn’t matter if it’s for an hour or two during the weekend, just make sure that you do something that will relax your mind and body before you get back to work.