Overwork is a very real problem within modern society. From Japan to Americans who report that workload is the main cause of stress, it has become apparent that fatigue is a problem for workers in every industry. Unfortunately, the state of the world economy is not commensurate with the idea of more time. However, it is important to do what you can to avoid combustion and put yourself in first place as much as possible.
Here are 5 actions you can take to avoid burnout from a busy career.
1. Make Sleep a Priority
Sleeping times were invented for some reason, and it wasn’t just to give a break every night at 10 pm. Science has shown time and time again that maintaining a proper sleep schedule is vital to both your physical and mental health. Both play in the performance of your work and the ability to relax. Even if your schedule demands and outrageous amount of travel coupled with evening shifts, you need to take control and make a commitment to sleep.
Create a sleep schedule that guarantees consistent sleep patterns. If you’re one of the many who struggles with getting restful sleep, take measures to ‘turn your brain off’ by avoiding screen contact at least an hour before bed or cutting back on the coffee after 4 pm.
2. Maintain a Routine
Maintaining a routine doesn’t have to mean planning out what you’ll do every day at every moment. It means making a commitment to take action for your health by setting boundaries. People who don’t observe any form of routine often suffer from excessive stress, poor sleep, poor eating habits, and ineffective uses of time.
Creating a routine can help manage stress levels, even if it can’t offer a cure to stress. After all, people are creatures of habit. Your commitment to sleep can be as simple as creating a sleep schedule or creating a schedule for when you’ll work out every week. For example, if you work every day at 9 am you may want to consider making a plan to lay down by 10 PM every night.
3. Eat Better and Cut Your Caffeine Intake
While you’re creating that routine and refining your sleep schedule, take a look at your diet and see what you can do to make healthier choices. Again, you don’t have to go to the extreme of becoming a raw vegan overnight, but you should make an effort to opt for healthy choices wherever is possible. Even if that means ordering a salad at a steakhouse. The same sentiment extends to what you drink. Especially in the caffeine department. Caffeine can put your nervous system on high alert, which means when stress strikes you’re more likely to have a horrible reaction if you’re high-strung on caffeine.
Swap out that coffee cup for herbal tea or a fruit or vegetable. Keep snacks on hand and do your best to stay fueled by healthy crabs and nutrients. Your body will thank you.
4. Get Organized
Balancing 500 tasks and 20 assignments? Get a planner and start prioritizing. Note what absolutely must be done today and what can be finished tomorrow. Use your planner (or notebook) to make sure that you’re always working on the most important task first.
If a planner simply isn’t an idea you can commit to, try looking for mobile apps and alternative solutions to stay organized. Even if you make a rough to-do list everyday, you’ll feel much more in control of your work tasks and responsibilities. In the same light, you have a record of your success and accomplishments through a planner, app, or stack of to-do lists that have now been completed.
5. Make Time to Do Nothing
When you work in a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles, chances are you’re going to spend a lot of time stressed and on the go. If you’re a stock advisor in New York, you’ll likely never have a relaxing day at the office. That’s exactly why it’s important to schedule a little time to do nothing.
For some, this comes in the form of meditation. For others, this means taking a walk every evening and just breathing. Whatever your preference, taking the time to disconnect from work can do a lot to alleviate stress by giving you a moment to just exist.
Conclusion: Put You First
At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than your mental health. Do yourself a favor and stop putting it on the backburner. Take control of what you can and prepare the best you can. If you’re suffering long-term symptoms, make sure there isn’t an underlying mental health issue. Seek professional anxiety or depression treatment if you’re experiencing a lot more than workplace burnout or are struggling to manage the symptoms of mental illness.
What do you do to avoid burnout? How do you maintain balance and work through stressful times? Share your story in the comments.