Burnout in the workplace is reaching epidemic proportions. A Gallup poll showed 23% of people experience burnout most of the time, and another 44% feel burnt out sometimes. All in all, this means around two-thirds of the workplace is experiencing some burnout.
Why is burnout so pervasive? If you work a job, you might experience times when you’re stretched too thin and can’t keep up with the pace. You feel overworked and underappreciated. Although you might hope for things to change on the job in a way that brings you peace, you can’t depend on it. Instead, it’s important to fight burnout yourself and find your way back to balance. Below we discuss a few ways to regain balance again on the job.
Schedule Me Time and Make Sure You Show Up
If you’re putting every inch of effort into your job and not making time for you, it’ll come back to bite you. It’s impossible to be mentally healthy and content on the job if you aren’t taking the time to take care of yourself. Schedule time in your day to do something just for you. It could be anything from going for a walk to scheduling time to read a book or talking to a friend.
Indulge in a relaxing bath, read a book or go for a walk when you’re feeling stressed. Taking time to do these things for yourself is important because it will help reduce stress and help you feel relaxed and balanced. Even short periods of me-time will help reduce stress, give you some perspective on life, and make you feel more balanced and happy.
Express Your Feelings on Paper
Writing in a journal can be therapeutic for burnout prevention. Take an hour or two out of your weekend, and schedule time on your calendar to reflect on how the week went. Write down any thoughts that come to mind and answer questions about how you feel. Taking this time will help you identify any areas of stress and prioritize areas where you would like to work on taking care of yourself.
Research shows that regular journaling helps release mental blocks that get in the way of mental health and happiness. When you start writing your feelings down, you become more in touch with them, and you may discover things about yourself that you didn’t know. Get those feelings and frustrations down on paper and they’ll lose some control over your mental well-being.
Learn to Say No
Try to learn to say “no” when you need to, and don’t work on more than one project at a time. This will help you avoid being overwhelmed and feeling stressed by the amount of work you have to do. Emphasize that you can’t do your best if you’re consumed with too many projects and your energy shifts in too many directions. Also, learn to say no to social demands if you’ve had a long week at work. Some people try so hard to please at work and socially that they jeopardize their own mental health and well-being.
Change Your Working Environment
Is it possible to work in a different environment for a few days? If you work in front of a computer, maybe your boss will allow you to work remotely a day or two each week. Changing where you work and getting out of the office can be transformational. Plus, working in a new environment will enhance your creativity too. If you already work at home, take your laptop to a coffee shop or bookstore. Some people find the sound of background noise and chatter improves their focus and sense of well-being.
Take Breaks to Be with Loved Ones
Spending time with family and friends is one of the best panaceas for burnout. Schedule regular time off, and when you’re off, put work aside and enjoy life. Take a vacation to a place you’ve never been and soak up the scenery. Life is too short to focus entirely on work. When you take a vacation, it allows you to gain a fresh perspective on things and helps you recharge and reenergize. Taking a vacation is more than a chance to get away, but also an opportunity to reflect on how life is going. It’s one of the best ways to reignite your passion for your work and increase your stamina for the year ahead.
Take the prospect of burnout seriously and take steps to prevent it. Burnout is a threat to your mental and physical health if you ignore it. Take your health and mental well-being seriously, and don’t let burnout get the best of you.
Forbes.com. “Workplace Burnout: Here’s What’s Causing It (And How To Avoid It)”
Maslach C, Leiter MP. Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry. World Psychiatry. 2016;15(2):103-111. doi:10.1002/wps.20311.
“Burnout” Psychology Today.
“Employee Burnout: The Biggest Myth” Gallup.com. 13 Mar. 2020.