How (not) to… avoid burnout at work

06 December 2023

How to avoid burnout at work
What starts as burning passion could end as a burnout. Restaurant and hospitality jobs can be demanding; up to one in five report suffering poor mental health, physical and emotional exhaustion from work. Anastasia Artamonova is a bar industry influencer who speaks from personal experience. We ask her how to maintain motivation at a healthy limit.

Don’t… get overly excited 
Excitement about a new project or employment is admirable, just be wary of emotionally or physically exerting yourself over long periods. Anastasia cautions about early burnout symptoms such as stress, weariness or fatigue, and sustained bodily aches and pains. “Pay attention. When your body says no, if you push it to the end of the burnout spectrum, it's really a long way back.”

Get into a relationship… with yourself
Prioritise what’s important to you. Being conscious of your wants and needs at even the smallest level can be key to your wellness at work, Anastasia says. “Ask yourself, ‘What do I want right now? Do I want a glass of water? Do I want to sit or lay down?’ Get into a relationship with yourself and you’ll discover the motivation within.”

Say Yes to saying No  
A bar establishment can be endlessly stimulating. “You are always saying ‘hello’, doing guest shifts or running around like a chicken.” Saying ‘no’ can be a powerful way to avoid being overwhelmed, the influencer says. If someone shouts you a shot, “You can still say cheers, and not drink it.” 

‘Cigarette breaks’ can be healthy
It's okay to take a ‘cigarette break’ without having a smoke. For Anastasia, taking a micro moment to breath is a simple means of regaining emotional control in a stressful situation. “Go outside and stare into the void. Take breaks from the crowd, from people at work, and pay more attention to yourself.” (Ed’s note: No, we are not condoning smoking)

Mindful scrolling
We’re all guilty of mindless scrolling on social media. But what about mindful scrolling? Consciously checking your social media can be a healthy way to maintain those all-important friendships and cultural connections outside of the workplace, Anastasia says.

Keep friendships by keeping boundaries 
Want to separate your work and social life? In Anastasia’s view that misses the point: “For years I believed that my life was my work – every hobby became a job, every friendship a collaboration and vice versa.” 

Following her burnout, she re-evaluated her relationship to work. “Today, I still don’t try to separate work from life, but I have learned to put boundaries.” 

These may include not agreeing to last-minute staffing changes if they upset pre-existing social plans, cultural outings, or family occasions. 

Her ideal balance today is roughly “70% life, 30% work”, though she concedes for many that’s rarely the reality. 

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