7 ways to avoid burnout for women in tech

    In the ever-evolving tech landscape, a harsh reality surfaces: burnout is a persistent adversary, and it appears to be hitting certain groups harder than others. According to Future Forum, two distinct demographics face a greater risk of succumbing to burnout - women and individuals under the age of 30.

    Concurrently, women (46%) report higher levels of burnout in comparison to their male counterparts (37%). This gender gap in burnout has been a persistent issue, as highlighted by Gallup, and it has more than doubled since 2019.

    In this article, we delve into this pressing issue, particularly within the context of the tech industry, where women are disproportionately affected. We will explore seven strategic approaches to not only combat burnout but also empower women in tech to thrive in their careers. It's time to level the playing field and equip women with the tools they need to navigate the tech landscape with resilience and vigor.

    Here are 7 ways to avoid burnout:

    1. Set Realistic Expectations:

    It is important to set realistic expectations for oneself and one's job because if you don't, you might get too stressed out and burnout might happen. It is imperative to set realistic expectations for yourself and your job, because if you don’t, you may end up very stressed with a pile of tasks to do, which you had said “yes” to, probably in an attempt to be polite or proactive.

    Here are a few key things to keep in mind when setting realistic expectations:

    • Understand your limitations and know your strengths
    • Don't try to do everything at once - spread out your goals and tasks
    • Be patient - Rome wasn't built in a day!
    • Don't compare yourself to others but to your own previous performance
    • Set aside time for yourself every day to get recharged

    2. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle:

    ​​​​​​​One of the best ways to prevent burnout is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This means eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. When you take care of yourself, you're less likely to burnout. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine not only boosts your physical health but also enhances your mental resilience, enabling you to tackle the challenges of the tech world with renewed energy and focus. After all, a balanced and well-nourished body is the foundation upon which a successful and fulfilling career can flourish.

    3. Find A Supportive Network: 

    Building a supportive network comprising friends and colleagues can prove invaluable in sidestepping burnout. Such a network extends emotional support and a profound sense of empathy, particularly during the most challenging phases. When you find yourself teetering on the edge, do not hesitate to connect with them and openly discuss your experiences and concerns. Sharing your thoughts can offer fresh perspectives and assist you in navigating the unique trials of the tech world with resilience and poise. Keep in mind that your journey is not solitary, and the presence of a supportive network can serve as a pivotal factor in sustaining your well-being and professional triumph.

    4. Take Breaks: 

    Maintaining a healthy work-life equilibrium is pivotal in staving off burnout. Recognize the significance of taking breaks as a crucial part of this equilibrium. During your breaks, engage in activities that bring you joy, allowing you to detach from work-related thoughts. Here are some refreshing ideas:

    • Stroll in Nature: Take a leisurely walk amidst the tranquility of nature. The rustling leaves and chirping birds can provide a soothing break from the hustle and bustle.
    • Harmonize with Music: Tune in to your favorite music. Let the melodies transport you to a different realm, revitalizing your mind.
    • Dive into a Book: Immerse yourself in a good book, exploring new worlds and ideas between the pages.
    • Connect with Loved Ones: Use your break time to spend quality moments with friends or family. Cherishing these connections offers a sense of fulfillment and rejuvenation.
    • Relaxation through Massage: Consider indulging in a therapeutic massage to release pent-up tension and refresh your body and mind.

    5. Journal Your Emotions: 

    We all have emotions, and it's important to check in with ourselves regularly to see how we're feeling. Journaling is one way to do this. It can be helpful to set aside time each day, or even each week, to sit down and write about your emotions. This can be a great way to release any pent-up emotions and avoid burnout. Additionally, journaling can help you to learn more about yourself and what makes you happy or upset. Over time, you may even start to see patterns emerge in your emotional state. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, journaling can be a valuable tool for managing your emotions and taking care of yourself.

    6. Be Aware Of The Signs: 

    Awareness of the signs of burnout is crucial for early detection and intervention. By identifying these signs, you can take proactive steps to mitigate burnout's impact on your well-being and seek assistance if needed. Here are some common indicators to watch for, along with actionable tips to address them:

    • Persistent Overwhelm and Stress:

    Actionable Tip: Prioritize tasks and create a realistic schedule. Delegate when possible and practice stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness or deep breathing exercises.

    • Feelings of Inadequacy or Failure:

    Actionable Tip: Challenge negative self-talk and set achievable goals. Seek constructive feedback and remember that mistakes are opportunities for growth.

    • Loss of Interest in Enjoyable Activities:

    Actionable Tip: Reconnect with hobbies or interests you once cherished. Make time for these activities to reignite your passion.

    • Sleep and Appetite Disruptions:

    Actionable Tip: Establish a consistent sleep routine. Avoid screens before bedtime and limit caffeine intake. Consult a healthcare professional if sleep or appetite issues persist.

    • Persistent Irritability and Anxiety:

    Actionable Tip: Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. Consider speaking with a therapist or counselor to address underlying anxiety and irritability.

    Recognizing these signs early and taking concrete steps to address them can help you regain balance and prevent burnout from taking a toll on your physical and mental health. 

    7. Seek Help If Necessary:

    If burnout is starting to take a toll on your life, it's important to seek professional help. Burnout can have serious consequences on your health and well-being. If you're feeling burnt out, reach out to a therapist or counselor who can help you manage your stress and emotions.

    Here are also three additional online resources that can provide guidance, support, and actionable strategies:

    1. BetterHelp: Touted as the world’s largest e-counseling platform, BetterHelp connects you with licensed therapists and counselors who can provide tailored advice, right from the comfort of your home. Their expertise spans stress, anxiety, and other burnout-related challenges.

    2. Headspace: This mindfulness and meditation app is designed to combat stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. With guided meditations and courses tailored for work and productivity, it's a pocket tool to maintain your mental equilibrium. 

    3. 7 Cups: If you’re seeking a safe space to express your feelings without judgment, 7 Cups connects you with trained listeners for free. Sometimes, all you need is someone to talk to.

    Remember, burnout isn't a sign of weakness. It's a signal that it's time to reassess, reevaluate, and recharge. Take the first step by exploring these platforms and prioritize your well-being.

    ​​​​​​​We hope that you find these tips helpful. Don't let burnout rob you of your purpose and passion in the tech industry! Women are important in this field, so keep up the good work!