Workplace burnout is on the rise, and this isn’t a wave anyone should have to ride. Since when did working in an exciting, challenging, and supportive environment become the minority?
According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 52% of workers reported experiencing burnout in 2021 – which is a 9% increase when compared to 2020 data. That’s almost 10%, and who doesn’t love to get 10% off at their favorite store? I know I do. Now imagine a 10% increase….that is anti-fun!
What is Workplace Burnout?
Although it sounds like some strange team morale camping trick, that couldn’t be farther from reality. Workplace burnout is a state of physical and/or mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress at work.
This phenomenon can happen to anyone, from CEOs to entry-level workers. Unsurprisingly, 80% of workers believe the pandemic had a significant impact on experiencing workplace burnout.
Amid the uncertainty of these turbulent times, I want to share 8 invaluable tips that will help you avoid falling into the tunnel of workplace burnout.
1. Recognize the Signs of Burnout
Unfortunately, many people ignore the signs until it’s too late, but there are many ways to use your self-awareness to avoid burnout and treat it early. If you suddenly begin feeling uninspired and de-motivated at work, this could be a sign of burnout.
For some reason, there are people out there who think it’s “wimpy” or “weak” to be negatively impacted by your workplace environment. Please do not mix up “hustle culture” with genuine burnout.
If you feel beckoned to take a break, take the break! There’s no reason to lose sleep over someone who wants you to keep running until you break down.
2. Take Some Time to Recharge
If you want to overcome stress-induced workplace burnout like a champ, focus a little time and energy on yourself for once. There are no rewards for surrounding yourself in a dark cloud of despair and frustration.
Indulge in what you enjoy best and release some much-needed steam. Take a warm, bubble bath, try out a new recipe, or go window-shopping at the mall.
3. Set Boundaries with Your Co-Workers
How often do your co-workers cross the line in the name of a joke or constructive criticism? These can also be a not-so-clever cloak in an attempt to cover any microaggressions that were said.
Healthy boundaries are extremely important at work, especially if you work a full-time job in a store or office. When you’re spending 8 hours a day around dozens of strangers, some form of conflict isn’t out of the norm.
Address the situation like professional adults before a toxic environment spawns from the madness, which will lead to more and more burnout.
4. Prioritize Your Work Schedule
It can be difficult to balance your tasks at work sometimes. Communicate with your team members and supervisor to ensure you can complete your tasks on time.
Focus on the big tasks, which tend to give people the most anxiety, first so you can increase productivity and work performance.
5. Work on Meaningful Projects
Most people aren’t in the careers they envisioned as children, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve meaningful and fulfilling work. Sometimes the best way to avoid workplace burnout is to leave your current workplace.
An environment that drains you isn’t good for your long-term mental health. Never feel like you are stuck in your current position. Finding a job can be unnecessarily difficult, but you’d be surprised at what you can do when you truly put your mind to it.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
Tossing and turning all night isn’t going to make your work situation any better. A lack of sleep has been shown to decrease focus, attention, and awareness. This makes it much more difficult to perform well in high-stress situations at your workplace.
Do your best to discover the root cause of your sleep issues. The difference between 8 hours of restful sleep and 5 hours of restless sleep is like night and day.
7. Eat Healthy Food
You know the old saying: you are what you eat. Indeed. Don’t miss out on your daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Studies have shown that you tend to be happier and more engaged the more fruits and vegetables you eat.
Pack your lunch when you go to work so you’re less likely to take too many trips to the vending machine. That bag of chips might taste good, but it can make you feel groggy and lead to decreased productivity.
8. Leave Your Work at Work
Work-life balance is incredibly important if you want to avoid spreading yourself too thin. If a co-worker said something that bugged you, leave it at the exit door. Don’t bring that negative energy home with you.
This applies to anything that causes you to stress in the workplace. Whatever you do, don’t bring that stuff home! You will feel much lighter and more refreshed.
Bonus tip! Always keep smiling through your struggles. As long as your head stays above the clouds, you can get through anything with willpower and hope.