We’ve published a dozen technical articles explaining how to handle common issues experienced by webmasters, developers, and online entrepreneurs. Sparingly, we’ve touched on the problems of productivity and efficiency. We also featured the best resources to learn web development, which was of great help to many of our readers. Yet, we neglected an important aspect—burnout and the mental health of those in IT.
Burnout doesn’t care if you are a freelancer, contractor, or full-time employee. Nowadays, more and more people are affected by burnout and stress. Covid, the uncertain economic situation, inflation, and military conflicts have amplified our problems. We don’t have any choice but to be more supportive and open to the problems of our family members, friends, and coworkers.
Before helping other people, you should be aware of your mental health. It’s quite unfeasible to help people in need if you are affected by burnout. Check out the following strategies and tips to avoid mental burnout. Prevention is always better than treatment!
Your Own Way
You have probably read a bunch of articles about freelancers who work 12-14 hours a day. Some of them have accomplished things way faster than most of us. Perhaps, you were impressed by the amazing results of your superiors or coworkers. Certainly, you asked yourself how Elon Musk manages to do so many things in a single day. More or less, you are assaulted by models of highly successful people.
It’s not bad to get motivated by these examples. Yet, these can turn into real psychological burdens and it’s pretty hard to cope with them. So many examples of amazing individuals don’t leave you enough room for failure. You feel challenged—like if you don’t keep the same standards, you’re a loser!
Comparison is the surest path to frustration, stress, and burnout. You are your own universe and don’t compare to other people. Be aware that mass and social media present only successes. There are significantly more failures than successes. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have the same amazing results. You have your own way—be consistent, and you will become successful sooner or later!
Health Is Vital
As boring as it seems to say that health is vital, many people simply ignore it! The rat race makes us ignore our more precious assets: time and health. The Internet evolves at a fantastic speed, and we simply can’t keep the same rhythm. We’d better accept it, or else we will be permanently under stress. The strong desire to stay relevant in your industry implies spending more time at work. Usually, we first start skipping walks and physical activities to allocate more time to work. Do it regularly, and this is the road to hell! You get fatter, less productive, and physically fragile.
Accept that spending more time at the office or in front of your computer isn’t equivalent to working or learning more. We are humans and our productivity is limited and variable. Don’t ignore your health! No need to be a marathonist or a boxer—daily walks do miracles for both your physical and mental health.
Are you tired of the expression “work-life balance”? Everyone disregards it because it’s more difficult these days to balance work and personal life. In the end, bills are paid by the client’s work, and not by time with family or chats with friends. Stick to a schedule and respect it by all means! It’s a simple and effective way to avoid burnout. Try to be as productive as possible when you’re working. This way, you will have time for family, friends, and hobbies outside of work. It’s not easy to increase your productivity, but it’s the only way to get more time for what you love.
Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
It may seem like time spent socializing is wasted time! However, this time boosts our morale and helps us overcome less pleasant moments. Hence, we must socialize and have fun with family and friends. Treat the time spent on socialization as a method of recharging your batteries. Ideally, try to chat with your friends and relatives after your work schedule. Online meetings are a solution, but certainly, face-to-face gatherings are the coolest!
Avoid Toxic Customers
Less-experienced people have difficulties spotting toxic customers. Altogether, you will identify them with precision in a year or two of activity. Even though customers pay the bills, you shouldn’t accept rude customers! Don’t be afraid of saying NO. As an employee in a design agency, it’s more difficult to reject a customer. Explain to your co-workers and superiors that rudeness and exaggerated requirements aren’t acceptable! As a freelancer, it’s simpler to reject a customer. Toxic customers put your nerves to the limit and usually ask and pay less for your work. It’s relieving to turn down bad customers and it’s a long-term method of educating people by rejecting rudeness!
Watch Your Finances
Let’s be honest, finances affect our morale in a significant way. You can’t focus on your work when you are on a tight budget. A poor financial situation forces you to accept toxic customers, doubling the weight on your shoulders. A budget and a strong commitment to stick to it are the perfect combo to secure your financial situation. Emergency savings is golden to make sure you can safely face unexpected problems. In plain English, a poor financial situation generates pressure which brings you to burnout.
Breaks and Vacations
You may feel that you don’t deserve a break when you are unproductive or have too many things to do. It’s natural to feel this way, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a good approach. Breaks and vacations are essential to our health. If possible, combine breaks and hobbies—do what you like in your spare time.
Vacations are also a great way to reduce stress and recharge yourself. You aren’t a robot and you need time to create amazing memories with family and friends.
Over to You
You are right—there are many other articles about burnout. Many of them are more complete and provide better solutions. Yet, another article about burnout isn’t useless. Rapidly evolving technology and the current global context generate more stress for everyone. The purpose of this article is to make readers take a few seconds to think about their mental health. These kinds of articles should be published on each and every blog, similarly to the bottom bar asking you about cookie acceptance on most websites.