Burnout in the workplace is becoming more and more common. The pandemic has created new factors that cause stress at work, such as: E.g. juggling private and professional life, working under sub-optimal conditions and economic insecurity. With no physical separation between work and home, these feelings of stress begin to take over personal life as well—an unfortunate recipe for burnout.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent burnout and overcome it when it’s trying to creep back up.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed or frustrated during the day, take a short break.
When you start to feel things boiling up inside you, step away from what you are doing for five minutes. This brief pause helps prevent negative feelings from building up to the point where they take over. You can meditate, run laps around your house, dance, sing, make a cup of tea, listen to your favorite song, or anything else that puts you in a good mood and takes your mind off what’s frustrating you.
The distinction between working and private time is crucial for burnout prevention. These boundaries should be both physical and mental. Physically, you need to reserve a specific space to work. This space could be a home office or just a desk in your living room if that’s all you have space for. It’s about creating a space dedicated solely to work, so that you’re in work mode there.
Mentally you need to be able to switch off your working brain. When you leave your workspace, it’s time to switch to personal mode. Outside of your working hours, it is important to be fully present in your personal life. Whether you’re sitting down to dinner with your family or watching Netflix alone, the most important thing is your ability to completely detach from work and give yourself a mental break.
Create a routine.
A routine helps prevent burnout because it keeps you on track and ensures you don’t devote all your time to work. You want to establish a routine for the whole day, not just for work. Find out what you can do in the morning to fuel yourself for the day ahead. Take at least a 15-minute break during work hours. Make sure you have a reasonable lunch break and spend this time away from your computer. For additional stress relief, create an evening routine that includes meditation, exercise, or anything else that helps you relax.
Prioritize health and well-being.
The better you take care of your body, the better you can deal with stress and prevent burnout. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to health and well-being, so it’s important to find out what works best for you. Sleep is vital to almost everything, so make a point of getting enough hours of sleep each night. Grab healthy snacks and try to eat at regular times throughout the day. Any form of exercise for just 15 to 20 minutes a day has been shown to boost mood and energy, so find something you enjoy and stick with it.
Contact a friend.
You’re not alone in feeling burnt out, even if it feels like it. With remote work and less direct communication with others, it’s easy to feel disconnected and alone with what you’re experiencing. Chances are, no matter how composed someone seems on a Zoom call, on social media, or even via text message, they’ve also experienced burnout. By reaching out, not only will you feel better about yourself, but you could have a huge impact on someone else’s life.