5 Ways to Avoid Burnout
If you are feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, cynical or negative towards your work, you may be experiencing work-related burnout. Burnout can occur when you feel too much pressure to the point of exhaustion and stop caring about work. While many factors can contribute to feeling burned out, working from home can cause burnout to occur at a more rapid pace.
According to Forbes, the rate of work burnout has doubled from March to April. In this post, we will discuss the most common practices that can cause burnout and how to avoid or combat those practices.
1. Being “on” all the time – Feeling that you need to be “always-on” can be exhausting. It is important to designate work time and personal time. These should be what your normal hours used to be like. If you used to work 9-5, shut off your computer after 5 pm and stop checking your work email. Most employers do not expect to receive replies to emails outside of normal work hours. If this schedule does not work for you because you have kids, then communicate with your employer to work out a new schedule. Let your colleagues know what times you will be unavailable and how to reach you in case of an emergency. This will help you feel less pressured about work and more focused on your kids.
2. Not having a designated workspace – Not having a set space to work can lead to spreading out all over the house. This practice will leave you feeling like your work is taking over your personal life. Ideally, choose one room or area to be your chosen workspace. Make it comfortable and calming. Put a plant on your desk or some of your favorite pictures to make you smile throughout the day. This practice will also help you feel like you are “going to work” and then “leaving work” and will further solidify your work/life boundaries.
3. Days feel monotonous – Make slight changes to your usual routine to spice things up. For example, if you usually have a yogurt for breakfast, make yourself pancakes one day. Or if you always drink a coffee, try the whipped coffee drink that’s trending right now. You can plan to make little changes in advance to have something to look forward to or make them spontaneous, whatever gets you more excited. This will help the days feel different from each other and less repetitive.
4. Feeling isolated – Keep connected with your colleagues so that you don’t feel like you are alone. Ask them your questions, give and get support from them and try to keep up the feeling of camaraderie. This will give your work life a social aspect as well as help you feel less isolated.
5. Not having time for yourself – Make sure that you are taking care of yourself. When you feel good, you will work better. Ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition throughout the day. Try to prepare healthy snacks for yourself that will help you feel fuller for longer. Getting a good night’s sleep is also important for your well-being. Fitting in a workout two to three times a week is also tremendously beneficial. These practices will help you feel energized and focused. You will feel more productive and satisfied with your work, which is key to avoiding burnout.
Catching symptoms of burnout early is important to avoid a crash. Be sure to communicate any of these feelings to your manager and try out the tips above to get out of your rut.
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Written by Michelle Tessler, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern