There’s nothing more exhilarating than pursuing your dreams and scaling the corporate ladder. Butm as you’re pushing yourself to achieve your goals, it’s important not to sacrifice too much of yourself. Failing to get sufficient rest or maintain a reasonable work-life balance might result in burnout.
This is more than just stress; burnout is defined as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace pressure that has not been successfully managed. It is marked by feelings of helplessness, being overloaded, or non-appreciation.
Burnout is gradually becoming a serious worldwide phenomenon: a 2021 employee survey by Indeed showed that 52% of its respondents felt it at work, an increase of 9% since the pandemic began. Another poll by Gallup showed that up to a third of employees often felt overburdened or too strung out at work.
Burnout has been linked to poor mental health, lower productivity, and reduced job satisfaction, and is harmful both to employer and employee. According to the American Psychological Association, workplace stress costs the United States economy more than US$500 billion, with 550 million workdays lost due to stress on the job every year.
Fortunately, burnout is treatable. The first step is to recognise its signs, which include:
- feeling tired or drained often;
- frequent illnesses or lowered immunity;
- frequent feelings of failure, self-doubt and helplessness;
- feelings of detachment and loss of motivation;
- relying on food, drink, or alcohol to cope.
Since it is a new year, why not make it a goal to beat burnout? Here are four strategies to overcome it.
1. Take a break
This is the simplest way to deal with burnout. Take some time out and enjoy yourself for a while. Go for a walk, watch a movie, put on some relaxing music, or have a chat with loved ones.
Seek rest and rejuvenation by going for a short holiday or staycation if possible. Getting away from work for a little while can do wonders.
Breaks, however, usually only solve problems in the short run. If you do not identify and tackle the root cause of your burnout, it is likely to start again when you return to the office.
2. Prioritize self care
Exercise has been identified as a powerful antidote to stress and burnout. Short workout sessions, even 10-minute walks, have been shown to have substantial impact on employee physical and mental wellbeing.
A healthy diet, quitting smoking and excessive drinking, and regular meditation sessions are also effective stress-reduction habits.
3. Ask for help
Most burnout cases stem from workload problems, usually from taking on too much. If you feel overwhelmed in the office, it would be a good time to talk to your supervisors.
Speak to them about task delegation, more flexible timelines, or anything else that will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed on the job.
Also remember that therapy is a viable and recommended option. Don’t be afraid to reach out: there are plenty of resources that can help if you suffer from burnout.
4. Set boundaries
It is normal to want to please your superiors and exceed expectations. Achieving success, however, means nothing if it ruins your quality of life.
While additional duties or a heavier workload may sometimes be unavoidable, it is important not to overwhelm yourself by taking on too much. Prioritise time for yourself after you leave the office. In fact, even during working hours, take short breaks to recharge all through the day.
Help colleagues only when you can, and don’t break your back trying to accomplish goals in unreasonable lengths of time. It’s better to do one task effectively than spread yourself too thinly over several.
Ultimately, nothing is more important than your health and peace of mind. Remember that you are not alone, and that you are worth far more than your work.