How Job Burnout Can Be Prevented
Everyone feels frustrated and frazzled with their jobs from time to time. But burnout goes beyond the occasional bad day — or a bad week.
“Burnout is a ‘silent condition’ induced by chronic stress that is characterized by emotional [or] physical exhaustion, cynicism and a lack of professional efficacy,” according to Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World.
Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged stress. Given the nonstop barrage of stressors these past few months, many of us are probably well on our way to developing burnout, if we aren’t there already.
“Burnout is chronic stress gone awry,” says Sheryl Ziegler, a psychologist and author of the book “Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process.”
You may be on the road to burnout if:
- Every day is a bad day.
- Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
- You’re exhausted all the time.
- The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
- You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.
Symptoms Of Burnout
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time
- Sense of failure and self-doubt
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world
- Withdrawing from responsibilities
- Isolating yourself from others
- Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
- Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
Here are different ways you can start preventing burnout during work:
Not only is exercise good for our physical health, but it can also give us an emotional boost.
Even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re burned out, exercise is a powerful antidote to stress and burnout. It’s also something you can do right now to boost your mood.
Aim to exercise for 30 minutes or more per day or break that up into short, 10-minute bursts of activity. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.
Stretched for time? You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to reap these benefits. Mini-workouts and short walks are convenient ways to make exercise a daily habit.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a healthy diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids can be a natural antidepressant. Adding foods rich in omega-3s like flaxseed oil, walnuts, and fish may help give your mood a boost.
Practice good sleep habits
Our bodies need time to rest and reset, which is why healthy sleep habits are essential for our well-being.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual, and banning smartphones from the bedroom can help promote sound sleep hygiene.
Ask for help
During stressful times, it’s important to reach out for help. If asking for assistance feels difficult, consider developing a self-care “check-in” with close friends and family members so that you can take care of each other during trying times.
Be more sociable with your coworkers.
Developing friendships with people you work with can help buffer you from job burnout. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smartphone, try engaging your colleagues. Or schedule social events together after work.
Limit your contact with negative people.
Hanging out with negative-minded people who do nothing but complain will only drag down your mood and outlook. If you have to work with a negative person, try to limit the amount of time you spend together.
Take a daily break from technology.
Set a time each day when you completely disconnect. Put away your laptop, turn off your phone, and stop checking email.
Don’t forget to take care of your mental health on a regular basis. In these tough situations, we need to be cautious of how much input we give to our brains.
For any job-related queries, feel free to reach out to SOAL Technologies.