Managing your mental health may be the very most important aspect of life. Furthermore, a healthy mental state is imperative in order to be effective at work and experience consistent career growth. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s an excellent time to take stock of your personal health and evaluate your goals going forward.


Studies have shown that employees who aren’t able to achieve a proper work-life balance and make time to meet their mental health needs are more susceptible to burnout, which in turn leads to even more physical and mental health issues. There are many steps you can take to help prevent burnout and manage it, should it occur; these measures can also help you cultivate a fulfilling private life that ensures you can do your best in a professional capacity at all times while exceeding expectations.


What are the symptoms of burnout?

Burnout can be easily recognized by the feelings of exhaustion, apathy, and ineffectiveness it creates. People who are burned out in their job often feel unfulfilled, and frustrated, and are physically unable to be maximally productive. This can, in turn, lead to experiencing anxiety, depression, or sleep problems. If you are encountering any of these issues as a result of your profession, you may be experiencing burnout.


What causes burnout?

In most cases, burnout is caused by feeling unfulfilled in a professional capacity. This can be due to things like boring, repetitive tasks, a prolonged period of stress and overwork, or unacceptable work environments. Employees who experience harassment by their colleagues often burn out quickly, as do people who are expected to work long hours at difficult tasks, like nurses and doctors. 


How can you mitigate burnout?

The most important thing to remember when mitigating burnout is to take care of yourself and prioritize your needs. It may be beneficial for you to take a break from work, or talk to your company about creating a routine that works better for you. If you find your work itself unfulfilling, you should consider looking into other career prospects. If you are feeling isolated, try to reach out and build new connections with people who understand your situation and build yourself a supportive community. If you are experiencing workplace harassment or discrimination and the leadership has refused to enact meaningful change, it may be time to change companies.


Making changes in your personal life can also help to alleviate the effects of burnout. If you don’t exercise regularly, consider incorporating it into your routine. Make sure that when you aren’t at work you’re spending time on things you truly enjoy and giving your attention to the people you care about. When you’re off the clock, make sure that you’re not consistently available to your employer, as that can make you feel as though you have no free time.


Burnout can be a serious impediment to your career and goals, but it’s only one of the ways that poor mental health can manifest in the workplace. Professionals, especially those who are part of minority groups, frequently experience a condition known as imposter syndrome, where they feel unqualified for their responsibilities. This can hold people back from achieving their full potential and is particularly detrimental to those interested in advancing their careers.


What are the symptoms of imposter syndrome?

People suffering from imposter syndrome are often reluctant to attribute their accomplishments to their own talent and are instead more likely to say that they were simply lucky or that someone else deserves the credit. It can be difficult for someone with imposter syndrome to take compliments or accurately represent their own abilities.


How can you combat imposter syndrome?

It can be useful when combatting imposter syndrome to engage in positive self-talk and affirmations. Tell yourself what you’re doing well, and keep a list or folder of things that you’ve accomplished. If you’ve received positive feedback from your coworkers, try keeping ahold of it and looking over it whenever you feel as though you’re not qualified for your position. It’s important to consistently remind yourself of your abilities in order to build a pattern of behavior and thought to replace your self-doubt.


Taking care of your mental health is an important step towards overall well-being and greater satisfaction with your life. If you are experiencing imposter syndrome or burnout, it’s vital to examine your behaviors and lifestyle to make sure that you are in the best position to achieve your goals; also be sure to consult a mental health professional if any symptoms persist. While it may not seem as important to advancing your career as hard work, mental health is a vital component of exceptional professional performance and growth.