Burnout has recently been acknowledged by the World Health Organization as an “occupational phenomenon.” Burnout is a result of chronic stress, and— although it’s not currently classified as a medical condition— it is a very real threat to Americans in the workplace.
The pressures and expectations of our careers often lead to chronic stress. You may not be able to change the demands of your job, but you can learn to manage your stress effectively. Here are some tips to help you manage stress and avoid burnout as a business professional.
Keep Yourself Healthy
To avoid burnout, it’s critical that you keep yourself healthy. Regardless of your schedule, make time to exercise a minimum of four times per week. Even short workouts done at home are effective for managing stress. Eating healthy foods will also help your energy levels and keep you feeling your best. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, be sure to get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a leading cause of burnout, so don’t compromise on this, no matter how busy you are.
Know Your Limits
You may like to believe that you can do it all, but— if you want to do your best work— you need to be aware of your limitations. If you take on too many projects, you won’t have the time or energy to do them all well. Ask for help as needed and don’t be afraid to delegate when you’re tight on time. Delegating smaller tasks frees you up to focus on your most important obligations and ensures that you are always doing your best work.
Be Aware of the Signs of Burnout
To successfully avoid burnout, take the time to learn the signs. Some signs that you may be on the road to burnout include losing interest in your work, chronic fatigue, insomnia, frustration, cynicism, declining job performance, health problems, and more. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms of burnout, you have to take action quickly.
If You’re Close to Burnout
If you suspect that you’re close to burning out, it’s time to take a step back. Be honest with your co-workers about what’s happening. If at all possible, take some time off. During your time off, unplug. Don’t answer text messages, check your email, or scroll through social media. Avoid any activities that will cause you to think about work.
This is the time to do some activities that recharge you. If you love the outdoors, go for a hike. If you prefer to be at home, enjoy a relaxing day in your pajamas. If spending time with friends refreshes you, then make some plans with friends. No matter what activities you choose to do, make sure that you are able to return to work feeling restored and stress-free.