It’s that time of year. The weather is changing, your kids may be on vacation and you want to round out the quarter. You’re tired, overwhelmed and running around. No matter what’s going on, you might feel like this all year long. The stress consumes you so is that considered burnout?
Loosely defined as physical and emotional exhaustion due to chronic stress from the workplace, burnout includes symptoms like fatigue, low energy levels, dissatisfaction, insomnia, depression, and moodiness. Recurring illness, such as frequent colds, could also be a sign that you’re working too hard and not caring for yourself enough. Burnout comes from severe stress and it spreads out from work to mean you’re less motivated and more negative than usual even in your personal relationships too. It can impair your cognitive abilities and make your irritable and unhappy. It can happen gradually and persist for a long time if unaddressed.
Employers are seeing widespread burnout across industries, even though research suggests that it is predominantly found among those in helping professions. Even if you aren’t really suffering from full-fledged burnout, you could probably benefit from some of the best tips to prevent or fight burnout.
Take an hour and do something for yourself. Schedule a massage. Catch up with a friend. Pick up your favorite meal. Whatever self care means to you, just step away from the to-do list and do it instead. It might seem impossible, but it is vital!
Studies say going outside reduces stress levels. This study from Japan found that spending time in a forest reduces cortisol, the stress-busting hormone. Another study found that being outdoors increased working memory in people with depression. Do a quick Google search for all the research being done on this– there are various studies showing that interacting with Mother Nature brings improvements to those suffering from fatigue, anxiety, inflammation and more.
As we already mentioned, getting a change of scenery could make the difference. Stuck in a deadline? Take your work to a new place, whether it’s a cafe or a local coworking hub. If needed, go feng shui on your office, do some decluttering or buy yourself a small gift to keep at your desk. Find something that will help reignite the enjoyment you once had about your work.
You might think you are too tired, or too busy for exercise. But one study found that cardio exercise reduced the effects of burnout in about one month. The right kind and amount of exercise can actually boost productivity and satisfaction. Regular yoga practice, for example, can turn the dial on emotional exhaustion.
Meditation helps you direct your mind and cleanse out any toxic thoughts. You bring your attention to your breath to find peace within your mind. There are dozens of apps and guided audio tracks to facilitate a meditative ritual. It takes some practice, but researchers say that mindfulness meditation encourages better relationships, reduces blood pressure and fosters better emotional stability.
It all starts with noticing how you are feeling. Has your attitude changed? Do you feel like you’re dragging or dreading going to work? No matter how drastically stress is impacting your quality of life, these tips can help you feel better about yourself and your job before burnout consumes you.
Submitted by Daniela