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How to Avoid Burnout in the Workplace

By Admin | 7 March 2018 |

Knowing how to avoid burnout in the workplace is essential to keep in control of your life, avoid illness, and be productive at work. Unfortunately, burnout is becoming all too common at work. Very often it’s the highly motivated and dedicated employees and managers who seem to suffer. Preventing unresolvable job stress that leads to burnout is essential for any person in the workplace.

Before we look at ways to prevent occupational burnout, it’s important to define what burnout actually is.

What is burnout in the workplace?

Workplace burnout was a term coined in the 1970s to describe the results of severe stress and trying to achieve high goals. According to information published by PubHealth, feeling “burned out” can happen when a person can’t cope with stress at work. This can result in symptoms that affect a person physically and mentally.[1]

According to researchers, some of the symptoms of burnout include:

  • Feeling drained emotionally and not having enough energy
  • Distancing oneself from work and job-related activities
  • Difficulty concentrating and reduced productivity
  • Abdominal pain and bowel problems

4 ways to avoid burnout in the workplace

Most doctors agree that it is possible to avoid burnout and manage situations that can lead to feelings of work-related frustration. Here are some ways to avoid “burning out” at work and learn how to manage stress better.

1. Basic maintenance

One of the first ways to avoid burnout in the workplace is to take care of your body. We could call this basic maintenance. These are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Keeping hydrated

With so much to do, there is a tendency to skip on some of the basic rules of physical maintenance. However, you can do a lot to prevent burnout if you get adequate sleep, don’t skip on meals or start eating junk food, and drink plenty of water.

2. Prioritise

Getting your priorities right and sticking to them can help to prevent unresolved stress at work. Most people would agree that their health and families are among the top priorities. However, it is usually health and family life that are the first to suffer if you get burnout.

You also have to realise that your boss will have different priorities that you have. So, how can you set priorities to avoid burnout?

One way is to ask yourself “What is important now?” While you are at work, you will have tasks that you have to finish to a high standard. However, when you get home or are relaxing on the weekends, ask yourself “What is important now?” This can help you say no and set boundaries on your free time so that you can “recharge your batteries.”

3. Realise the importance of exercise

Exercising is a great way to clear your mind, reduce stress, and ultimately help prevent workplace burnout. You might think that in a busy day you don’t have time for an hour workout at the gym. But, there may be ways that you can get more exercise into your daily activities.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Park further away from your office or get off the bus a stop or two earlier and take a brisk walk to work
  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator
  • Keep some light dumbbells in your car and exercise when you are stuck in traffic
  • Do light exercises while speaking on the phone or sitting at your desk

4. Strengthen your social network

One of the causes of burnout is feelings of isolation in the workplace. This can have the added effect that it causes you to isolate yourself from others which just makes matters worse. So, spend some time interacting with people you care about or who care about you.

This could be something as simple as spending 15 or 20 minutes a day talking with someone you are close to or taking time out to regularly socialise with friends. Whatever the case, remember that the most important things that matter to you need your time and attention to make them last. This can be one of the best ways to prevent burnout at work.

  1. Source: PubHealth. Depression: what is burnout?