5 Ways To Avoid Workplace Burnout
Can you imagine a time in life where people didn’t have a phone glued to their hand? Me either. Being available 24/7 is the new norm which puts us at risk of being sucked into the dark hole known as burnout. Are you guilty of answering emails from the moment your feet hit the floor to the second your head hits the pillow? How about using your lunch break to fit in some form of physical activity and chugging a third coffee simply to keep your eyeballs open? If you answered yes you aren’t alone. Burnout is an epidemic in the modern workplace of feeling mentally and physically exhausted due to the demands of your work load and whether your boss wants you to know it or not, there is more to life than putting your well-being on the line for the sake of a job.
Here are a few ways to stay on top of your health while hustling:
1. Put Your Phone Down
We carry our office in our pockets, no matter where we go. You have completed work for the day and are sitting at happy hour with your friends when it happens …
It’s the moment of truth. Do you have the strength to resist checking your inbox and stay present or do you succumb to the pressure and read the email? Once you walk in the front door of your home, put your phone on silent and set it down. That doesn’t mean set it down so you can scroll through Instagram and stalk strangers for 30 minutes that means put it down and don’t pick it up. Make it a priority every single day to set aside time to unplug. Allowing your brain to rest and limiting your time on any sort of device will be a breath of fresh of air for your mental health.
You know those times during the work day where you feel completely overwhelmed and frustrated at the task at hand so you instantly reach for your phone to see the latest and greatest on social media? Stop doing that!! I’m as guilty as the next person but I have found the second I do that I get completely side tracked and it’s 10x harder to refocus – you feel me on that? Instead of turning to social media as a crutch take a deep inhale and exhale, take a lap around the office if need be and then put your hands back on the keyboard and get the job done!
2. Take Daily Breaks
Taking a step away for a rest is key to survival in the workplace. Stepping away from your computer and or work space will prompt you to see the bigger picture and recharge your mental batteries. I would suggest eating lunch away for your desk and breathing in fresh air when possible. When I was living the cubicle I set my alarm every hour on the hour as a reminder to stand up and stretch or go for a walk depending on my work load in the moment. Taking breaks throughout the day can mean different things to different people so find what works for you and incorporate it your day to day work schedule.
3. Have A Social Life
Say this out loud, “How I spend my free time matters.” Make plans with your friends. Sign up for a workout class. Host a potluck dinner. Start to read the book that has been sitting on your nightstand collecting dust. Go to the museum exhibit that’s in town. Put a check on our bucket list. Doing things for yourself, outside the offices, will have a positive effect on your work days.
4. Go On Vacation
You are given vacation and sick days for a reason, use them!! Need a mental health day? Take it. Feeling sick as a dog? Stay in bed. Have the travel bug? Buy the plane ticket. When you are taking your much deserved days off, make sure it’s just that … a day off. Do not check your email. Do not call the office. Contrary to popular belief, the work world will still go on with or without you.
5. Reflect On Your Job
Look in the mirror and ask yourself why this job matters to you. Is it a source to put food on the table? Is it a true passion of yours? Is it because your following in your parent’s footsteps? Is it because your strengths are being magnified? Is it because the position is a stepping stone to landing your dream job? Whatever the answer may be, reflect on it and refocus the meaning to what will best serve you.