3 Tips to Avoid Burnout
Feeling anxious about work? Do you lack energy/motivation? Is it hard to concentrate? You may be suffering from job burnout. Burnout is defined as physical or emotional work related stress. It can be hard to identify burnout, many of us tend to blame our stress on other things. Before we jump into avoiding burnout, let’s talk about some possible causes and how it can affect you.
Causes of Burnout
So, what truly causes work burnout? It’s not a simple answer but we’ll talk through some of the common causes. Lack of work-life balance is likely a factor. If you’re spending too many hours at work, and can’t do things you enjoy such as exercising, hanging out with family and friends, or whatever your favorite activity is, you'll burnout rather quickly. Another potential cause could be due to lack of support. Many of us are working remotely, and lack the support you’d get from an office setting. Walking by someone’s desk has been replaced with mundane Zoom calls. If you’re feeling isolated, that can definitely add some stress to your plate. Some work environments are just toxic, job expectations are unclear, colleagues and bosses micromanage or undermine your work. If any of those scenarios resonated with you, then changes need to occur to protect your mental and physical health.
Setting boundaries at work may seem daunting, but it’s a must in order to avoid burnout. This means having tough conversations with your managers and colleagues. Set expectations of your work hours, be very clear when it’s too late to schedule a meeting, or when you have conflicting priorities. Oftentimes, people don’t speak up and the person on the other end thinks you are ok with late meetings or excessive hours. If you find yourself working on tasks that are outside of your scope, or constantly picking up someone’s slack, it’s ok to call them out. Let them know you can not take on that project due to “xyz” or, be clear in stating that it’s not within your wheelhouse. There’s a thin line between going above and beyond at work and being taken advantage of. Try to align yourself with tasks that you enjoy, and allow you to grow. These conversations are never easy, but your colleagues and managers will actually respect you for speaking up and may actually relate to some of your woes.
Schedule Breaks & Unplug
Sometimes you have to remind yourself to take a break. Schedule free time on your calendar, just like you would schedule any other meeting! It's important to take at least 30 minutes a day for yourself. This will allow you to get back to work feeling recharged and chances are, you'll accomplish a lot more than you would if you didn’t take a break.
While taking a mini break is good, taking some extended time off is even better. Try to schedule a vacation or if you prefer, a staycation. Studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress,a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. It's important to put on an out-of-office message, too, and not respond to emails. Really take the time to disconnect!
We all know that health is wealth, so it’s important we put ourselves first. Putting yourself first could be as simple as taking a walk, a long bath, or reading a book. Selfcare is unique to each individual, do whatever brings you joy!
Prioritizing yourself just doesn’t mean doing things you enjoy, it means asking for help when you need it. This could mean asking for help at work in completing projects or getting help from a therapist or mental health professional. Speaking to a therapist encourages open and honest conversation about issues that cause you stress. In building a relationship with your therapist, you will be able to identify and understand how stress can impact your life and develop strategies to cope with your issues.
Burnout is real, and it’s important we prioritize our mental health and have open and honest communication with ourselves, our colleagues, and our loved ones. Do you have tips or questions on addressing burnout? Feel free to comment, like, and share!
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