5 Tips to Relieve Burnout at Work

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Could any of the following phrases apply to you when you’re working:

-You feel emotionally exhausted or depleted
-You feel cynical or detached from the people around you
-You feel like you’re just not effective when you’re on the job

If so, then you may be suffering from burnout. Much more than just experiencing a couple of rough days at work, burnout carries with it symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, physical fatigue and difficulty focusing.

Even worse, the symptoms begin spilling over into your personal life. You may experience anxiety or depression, and many people try to cope with their feelings by resorting to drug and alcohol use. Thanks to the chronic stress that’s associated with burnout, you might even be diagnosed with illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease.

The majority of people who experience work burnout are in high-demand professions. They may work as doctors, lawyers, police officers, teachers or social workers. However, it’s possible for absolutely any worker to get burned out at some point in their career.

If you’ve been dealing with the chronic stress, depression and anxiety of job burnout for quite some time, then it’s time to take action. Here are some tips for combating burnout.

1. Are You Really Burned Out?

It’s impossible to discover the right treatment unless you know what’s wrong. Ask yourself these questions:

-Do I treat my coworkers with distance and cynicism?
-Do I dread going to work?
-Do I experience extreme fatigue and stress while working?
-Do I constantly worry about work?
-Am I having an increase in physical symptoms like headaches and indigestion?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions, then you’re probably burned out.

2. Enhance Your Sleep Experience

When you’re not getting enough quality sleep at night, your immune system falters, your thinking becomes cloudy and you’re more prone to cancer and heart disease. Lack of sleep also has a detrimental effect on your outlook, which only contributes to the burnout you feel on the job.

This means that it’s time to get to the bottom of any sleep difficulties that you’re experiencing. Measures such as establishing predictable waking and sleeping times, reducing blue light exposure in the evening, limiting or eliminating afternoon caffeine intake and taking a melatonin supplement all may make a difference.

If you try these strategies and still can’t get a decent night’s sleep, then it may be time to seek the help of a physician or therapist.

3. Work up a Sweat

When was the last time you had an amazing workout? Between your schedule at the office and your responsibilities at home, you may have let go of your motivation to move.

It isn’t necessary to exercise six days a week for an hour every time. Start in a small way by committing to a 10-minute walk every day. Look for creative ways to put more movement in your life, like taking the stairs instead of the escalator or finally signing up for that dance class.

It doesn’t matter which physical activity you choose to do. The point is that you engage in some increasingly intense activity each week. All of those positive endorphins will spill over into your work life.

4. Make Meditation a Habit

If you think meditation is just for people who practice yoga, think again. The physical and emotional benefits of meditation are well-documented, and you could get these benefits for yourself with just 10 or 15 minutes a day.

Numerous apps contain guided meditations, but you also could just find a quiet spot to sit and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. This keeps you calm and centered while also relieving your overworked stress response.

5. Keep a Journal

This is another practice that only requires a few minutes a day. You don’t even have to do it every day if you’d rather not. All you need is some blank paper and a pen.

Does that sound a little too old-fashioned? Science suggests that the act of physically writing something down actually helps you to process it. Accordingly, maybe you could write about what’s bothering you at work or brainstorm ideas for how to make your time in the office more enjoyable.

There are no limits or boundaries on what you write about. Remember, this is for your eyes and health only.

Try one or more of these practices for about four weeks to begin to notice a change in your outlook at work and in your personal life.

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