Between work stress, an on-going pandemic, and other personal and social demands, it's important to prioritize your mental health, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about workplace “burnout.” Burnout is a syndrome caused by repeated workplace stress that results in a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion, among other symptoms. Disclosure 1
Workplace burnout can severely affect your work performance, personal and professional relationships, and your mental and physical health.
Below are some tips on how to avoid, detect, and treat workplace burnout. If you’re struggling with burnout, please contact a mental health professional for help.
How to avoid burnout
- Have a dedicated workspace: If you’re working from home, it can be difficult to have a dedicated workspace that feels sufficiently separated from your home life. Find tips for a productive home office here.
- Take regular breaks: Your body and mind need ample rest throughout the day. You can’t expect to perform at your best if you don’t give yourself time to recharge while working. If you find yourself unable to focus, step away from your desk for a few minutes.
- Plan a vacation: Take time for yourself. Use your vacation days to relax, have fun, spend quality time with friends and family, or to take time for yourself. Doing so will help release tension and improve your mood. Disclosure 2
- Organize your time: Prioritize your tasks and establish a routine that works with your varied energy levels throughout the day.
How to detect burnout
Some common symptoms of workplace burnout include:
- Emotional, mental, physical exhaustion
- Negative, cynical feelings about your job
- Feelings of failure, inadequacy, sadness
- Avoidance behavior, procrastination, increased irritability
How to recover from burnout
Recovering with burnout is not like treating a common cold – it doesn’t go away after a week or two. You need to make intentional changes in your professional life in order to start feeling better.
- Seek support: Voicing your feelings and concerns to friends, family, co-workers, or a therapist is a great first step. Simply talking to someone about what you’re going through can be extremely healing by reducing stress and even strengthening your immune system. Disclosure 3
- Assess the stress of your job: Discuss your concerns with your boss and work together to come up with a solution that keeps you happy, healthy, and productive.
- Relax: Some activities that can help alleviate stress are yoga, meditation, therapeutic massage, and exercise programs
- Prioritize self-care: Invest your time and energy in what brings you joy, such as spending time with your family or taking up a new hobby. Establishing a healthy work-life balance is crucial to combating workplace burnout.
Use these tips to help invest in your wellbeing, promote a positive work environment, and prevent workplace burnout. It’s important to remember that a balanced work culture is key to staying happy and healthy.
World Health Organization, “Burn-out an ‘occupational phenomenon’: International Classification of Diseases,” https://www.who.int/news/item/28-05-2019-burn-out-an-occupational-phenomenon-international-classification-of-diseases
Hinge Health, “8 Ways to Combat Burnout & Improve Your Mental Health,” https://www.hingehealth.com/blog/8-ways-to-combat-burnout-and-improve-your-mental-health/
Psychology Today, “Why Talking About Our Problems Makes Us Feel Better,” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-personal-renaissance/201906/why-talking-about-our-problems-makes-us-feel-better#:~:text=Studies%20have%20shown%20that%20simply,%2C%20%26%20Glaser%2C%201988).
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