Burnout can significantly impact performance and productivity. It’s a combination of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion that can wear on you if left unaddressed. Those in highly-demanding jobs often feel burnout the most — however, it can affect anyone for various reasons.
The workplace shouldn’t be a place you dread going to and certainly shouldn’t wreak havoc on your mental health. That’s why preventing and tackling burnout is crucial to feeling less stressed at work and improving job satisfaction.
No matter what your job is, how old you are, or how much money you make, burnout is a very real and very difficult feeling to work through.
Red Flags Signaling Burnout at Work
Workplace burnout isn’t a sign of weakness — it happens to more people than you think. According to Deloitte, 77% of employees experienced burnout
in their current jobs, with over half of the respondents saying it’s happened more than once.
How can you tell if burnout is affecting you? There are some crucial tell-tale signs, such as:
Taking care of your mental health is essential if you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms of burnout. Letting burnout consume you can feel overwhelming and affect other aspects of your well-being with time.
7 Strategies for Preventing Workplace Burnout
A little self-care, healthier routines and setting boundaries can make a difference when tackling burnout at work. Here are seven helpful tips to face burnout and improve your mental health.
Remote work became popular as the world shut down during COVID-19. Although many companies have called their employees back to the office, some have shown openness to ongoing work from home or hybrid work. In fact, hybrid workers have increased by 24%
in the United Kingdom since the pandemic.
Ask your manager if you can work from home for several days to recuperate from burnout. Sometimes, being in the comfort of your home takes the edge off and enables you to return with a positive attitude and more energy to complete your tasks.
When the workload piles up, it can send you into a downward spiral. One person can’t accomplish everything. While people often find difficulty in asking for help, it’s vital for preventing burnout.
Sideline perfectionism and place your trust in your co-workers to assist you in completing essential tasks. Getting into the habit of delegating work will take a load off your shoulders and allow you to do other parts of the job more efficiently.
You may need help keeping track of projects or concentrating on your work. Thankfully, several applications, free widgets and other digital tools can streamline your workflow and make the day smoother.
Certain apps can block distracting websites to improve your focus, while others make blocking off time in your calendars easier to avoid an influx of meetings. There are even useful noise-blocking tools that cancel out distracting sounds with ocean waves, rain or coffee shop ambiance.
Sometimes, you get so preoccupied with your work that you forget to take breaks. In high-stress situations, it’s possible you blank on eating, too. Working continuously without stretching your legs and drawing your eyes from the computer screen can lead to burnout.
Force yourself to take a couple of short breaks throughout the day. Although it may be challenging for some, it’s best for your mental health. Take a walk and visit someone in another department. You might also stop at the corner cafe for a cup of coffee. Stealing moments for yourself is an excellent way to recharge your batteries.
Feeling fatigued and as though your energy was zapped are typical signs you’re hanging by a thread. While adults should get seven or more hours of sleep
every night, burnout and stress at work can ruin sleep patterns.
Sleep apps can provide crucial information about your nighttime habits, pointing to various conditions that may need addressing. For instance, apps that detect movement can identify periodic limb movement disorder, in which you may be thrashing around in your sleep
without realizing it. This activity can make you even more exhausted the following day.
Studies have shown social media is associated with feeling burned out at work. Therefore, consider logging out of your accounts for the foreseeable future.
Social media has long promoted social comparison — comparing oneself to another
person’s social status, wealth and success. When viewing other users’ posts, you may feel exhausted and less accomplished, which can cause burnout and job dissatisfaction. Social comparison may also cause you to give up on seeking promotions, increasing feelings that you can’t achieve your professional goals.
Be honest about whether you overuse social media and if you tend to compare your life to strangers. If so, it may be time to step back.
The most important mental health tip for preventing burnout is prioritizing self-care. Yes, even you deserve to be pampered and have room to breathe. Stepping back from work and focusing on things that bring you joy — spending time with family and friends, meditating, pursuing a hobby or simply doing nothing — can be the best remedy.
Self-care without guilt is vital, though. You must permit yourself to concentrate on your well-being while doing the activities that help you rejuvenate.
Work Smarter, Not Always Harder
You should always put your best foot forward and strive to perform well within your company. However, effort should never come at the expense of your mental health. Preventing burnout and managing it as it appears will make life easier and enhance your love for the job again.