Would you agree that our work lives are more pressured than ever? Many of us struggle to cope with these constant pressures and then risk reaching the point of burnout. Stresses in the work environment at times are normal. However, burnout occurs when an individual experiences a state of constant, prolonged stress. It is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.
Burnout can slowly occur and creep up on you by impacting your health, relationships, happiness and job performance all together at once. Therefore, it’s useful to first know some of the common warning signs. These include:
- A negative and critical attitude at work
- Blaming others for your mistakes
- Low energy, and little interest at work
- A feeling of emptiness
- Physical complaints such as headaches, illness or backache
- Trouble sleeping
Keeping in mind these early warning signs, how do we prevent burnout at work to ensure optimum efficiency and happiness? Read on to find out some solutions to implement before it escalates.
Change your environment
Many modern jobs require staff to sit at a desk for extended hours. Doing so without short breaks all day is not only bad for stress but also bad for overall health. Taking time away from your desk by going for a walk or getting fresh air will help to release all negative emotions. Taking the time to go for a walk or get some fresh air will help release any negative emotions.
If your stress levels are still high and you are struggling to cope with the pressures of being in the office, you may be able to speak to your manager about implementing remote work (if it is not already offered). Remote working is a great way to find a better work-life balance as well as help keep you engaged in your work. It also will give you more control over your own activities, resulting in you being able to balance work and personal responsibilities with ease. will give you a better work-life balance and keep you engaged in your work.
Why not check out our complete tool kit for remote working. You can view it here >>
Poor (and lack of) sleep will have a direct effect on your mental and physical health, as well as on your productivity, emotional balance and much more; your brain needs sleep to work!
Researchers at the University of California found that although some people can function on six hours of sleep a night, this is due to a specific gene that they have which is very rare, appearing in less than 3% of the population! So, while sleep requirements do vary from person to person, most healthly adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night if they want to function at their best. scientific research has shown that most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
Enough good-quality sleep will be crucial to avoid burnout.
There is countless evidence proving that routine exercise leads to great health benefits. If that isn’t enough to get you to the gym or out for a run, recent research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that there is additional evidence to support the benefits regular exercise can bring to a stressed staff member.
The conclusion of the study was as follows: “Exercise has potential to be an effective burnout intervention. Different types of exercise may assist employees in different ways. Organisations wishing to proactively reduce burnout can do so by encouraging their employees to access regular exercise programs”. You can read the full study here.
When you’re struggling to get active consistently, consider following a wellness schedule or buying a fitness tracker. This will help to give you a sense of accomplishment whilst knowing that you are taking care of yourself. What’s more – regular exercise will also help you get a good nights sleep!
As humans we rely on close relationships; communication is a vital element of this, especially in business. Because of this, it is important us not to suppress any frustrations we may have in the workplace. Be assertive and communicate with your manager and colleagues if you need help with something – politely of course – No one expects you to be able to do everything on your own.
Communication also involves cutting back on certain things and learning to say ‘no’. Take time to consider which areas of your life you can be minimised to avoid you taking on more than you can manage. This will also allow your full attention to be on key tasks and projects.
If your work life encroaches on your personal life, you will soon feel emotionally disconnected and drained. Make sure that you see personal time as a significant part of your day, and prepare accordingly. This could include dinner one evening or Saturday morning yoga lessons – whatever you’d like!
If you create a clear plan at the end of each day for the next, you will be able to track progress and breakdown projects more easily. Take 5-10 minutes to do this so you can leave the office with clarity on how you are going to tackle the next day. Without a plan, you can end up taking all of this home with you which can end up in the long-term impacting your personal life and overall health.
Burnout can pose significant challenges to your work and personal life. Help prevent it from reaching that stage by implementing the solutions we have mentioned above.