Burnout is one of the most common, but preventable conditions in the world. According to a recent Gallup poll, about two-thirds of people with full-time jobs feel burned out often (23%) or sometimes (44%).
The stress and anxiety from overworking can lead to significant physical and mental health problems. It’s important to understand the common signs and symptoms of this issue if you hope to win the battle against workplace burnout. Some common symptoms include:
- Constant physical and/or mental exhaustion, even if you’re getting enough sleep
- Cynicism and detachment from your job and responsibilities.
- A sudden decline in feelings of self-confidence or worth.
We know that many of you are struggling with all or some of these symptoms. Today we are going to take a look at four things you should keep in mind if you want to overcome workplace burnout and live a more enjoyable, fulfilling life. It’s important to remember that despite our differences in position or career choice, there are steps all can take to improve our mental health and well-being.
Let’s dive in!
Learn to Say No
Do you find yourself answering “yes” to questions, even if you know it will lead to more stress? We all have the desire to help others thrive, and one of the ways we do this is by agreeing to support others when they are in a bad situation.
We can all learn something from a quote by the late professor and author, Randy Pausch. In his book The Last Lecture, Pausch said: “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
Simply put, the quote means you need to make sure you’re in a good position before you can help others. You might be tempted to help your co-worker with their big project, but if you already have too much on your plate, you’re setting yourself up for burnout.
When someone asks you for a favor, think about whether you’re workload and body can handle the additional tasks. Don’t hesitate to tell co-workers or friends no if you believe that helping them could increase your workload to the point where you compromise your health.
Disconnect after Clocking Out
Smartphones and the internet have introduced revolutionary ways to communicate, but they are also massive contributors to workplace burnout. Now when you leave the office, all of your work accounts follow you home through your smartphone and laptop.
If you find yourself responding to messages from your business email address long after you’re home with your shoes off, it’s time to take a step back. Remote teams suffer from this issue more than any other group. These people work from home, so they can’t leave work at the office.
Social media contributes to this issue, as well. The average social media user spends two hours and twenty-two minutes on their accounts every day. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine someone managing a social media account to spend double or triple that time on their profile every day.
Micromanaging your social media accounts is one of the quickest ways to burn yourself out. The sheer volume of information that travels across these platforms is enough to leave anyone exhausted.
The best thing you can do in this situation is to learn to disconnect from your work profiles after you’ve clocked out for the day. If you have to, leave your phone in a desk drawer to avoid responding to work messages and emails that can wait until morning.
Pursue Your Interests and Hobbies
Pursuing your interests and hobbies is a great way to avoid burnout at the office. Many of us end up in a loop that seems almost impossible to break. We wake up, go to work, come home, and go to sleep. While that might sound good to a select few, participating in activities you love can break up the monotony and improve your mental health.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money or invest in something that takes hours of your time every day. The goal isn’t to turn your hobby into a second job. But make sure you take some time out of your day to do whatever is you love. If you like to paint, read, watch movies, play video games, sculpt, or anything in between, include them in your schedule instead of swearing that you’ll make more time next week.
Finally, you should always practice self-care in ways that are helpful for your body and mind. There are countless self-care tactics and rituals that people practice daily. Some of us love to meditate, while others like to go to the gym and have an early morning run.
When you don’t take steps to care for your mental and physical health, you drastically reduce the time or stress that it will take you to feel burned out. Eating right, exercise and mental health exercises like journaling all constitute self-care, and each has a unique benefit.
Feeding your body the right nutrients will help improve your cognitive function and physical health, both of which play a significant role in how we handle stress. Exercise gets the blood flowing and helps your body make use of those nutrients, all while improving the condition of your body. Mental health exercises provide the same benefits as physical exercise, except these tricks bring relief and comfort to our minds.
Remember, we are supposed to work to live, not live to work. We are all capable of overcoming burnout; the key is learning what tactics help you manage stress and live your best life.