Tips to Avoid Burnout and Manage Stress in the Workplace.
Let’s just get this straight, working hard is great, overworking is not. And what we mean by overworking is working so hard that you quite literally run yourself into the ground, repetitively. Trust us, we get having to push ourselves to the limits to meet a deadline or working extremely hard for a period of time to make sure our client or boss is happy, but we absolutely do not condone working hard to the point that you are emotionally and physically drained, day in and day out without a break. It isn’t good for your physical or mental health, no matter what anybody tries to make you believe. If you are guilty of overworking and somewhat cringing right now because of it, then THIS blog is for you.
So, let’s start out with a few questions… Do you ever get so drained that you can’t focus anymore? Do you ever feel so fatigued with work that all you want to do is sleep? Do you ever just not want to show your face at work because you are so overwhelmed? Lastly, does just thinking about work make you want to quit or cry?
Well, we have been there more times than we can count. Not only does burning out affect someone physically, but it affects them emotionally as well, and can lead to other conflicts in life outside of work. This is why it is extremely important to take care of both your physical and mental health both in and out of the workplace.
Get Your Sleep
Sleep is one of the main pillars of health and I am sure you have heard of every health guru or scientist talk about how important it really is. It is recommended that the average person get 7-8 hours of sleep, more or less. If you are getting fatigued at work, one of the best things you can do to recharge is get a full night’s rest.
Create a Consistent Morning and Night Routine
When your days are filled with chaos and stress, it is vital to have at least one grounded activity that brings you back to yourself and calms you down. This is why morning and night routines are SO helpful. Consistency is absolutely essential when everything else seems to be inconsistent. So, if you can do both a morning and night routine then that’s amazing, but if your schedule prevents you from doing so, do the routine when you have the most time or based on what kind of person you are: morning or night.
Here is what an hour long morning routine might look like: get up, brush your teeth, wash your face, drink a liter of water, meditate or journal, do 20 minutes of movement, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day!
And an hour long night time routine may look like: eat dinner, stretch, read, journal or meditate, drink tea, shower, and get ready for bed!
Of course these will look different for everyone based on your preference of what makes you feel good and how much time you have. This being said, making non-negotiables that allow you to take care of you, are the best thing you can invest in. So whether you are a morning person getting ready to tackle the day or a night owl looking to recharge, try to carve out some time to ground yourself and take some stress off so you can be ready for whatever life decides to throw at you.
Take Mini Breaks
Research shows that actually taking breaks in the work day helps with your productivity and there are so many ways one can use breaks to their advantage. For instance, you can go outside and get some fresh air, meditate, call a friend, go on a quick walk or get a quick workout in, play your favorite song and dance (if you work from home) to get stagnant energy out, text a friend, watch a funny video, or just sit in silence and take deep breaths.
Also, quick tip… you can always set a productivity timer for 25 minutes and take a short break for 5 minutes or a longer break for 15, or you can set a timer for 52 minutes and work, then take a 17 minute break that way you are constantly recharging and then working without interruption.
Take at Least One Day Off or Two if You Can
You do not need to work every day in order for you to be considered a good employee. Everyone needs their days off to rest and recover, even the hardest workers. Take a day off to hang out with someone that makes you laugh, do something relaxing, or even go on a little trip and spoil yourself. The point is, do something outside of work that reminds you of why you work so hard in the first place.
p.s. Use your sick days and take that vacation! Afterall, life is meant to be lived!!!
If you haven’t already, please do yourself a favor and set boundaries with your job and the people you work for. It is okay to say “no”. Saying “no'' is a boundary and a lot of times, it actually builds respect for you as a person more than saying “yes” all the time does. Be clear with what you are and are not comfortable with. People will take that into account and it will prevent them from walking all over you. Essentially, saying “yes” all the time is an invitation for a person to take advantage of you.
You are also allowed to make rules for yourself in the workplace and you do not have to feel bad about them. So, set boundaries with people you work with, they don’t have any more access to you than you allow. We promise, even though boundaries are hard to put up at first, they are one of the most useful and beneficial things to a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You got this!
Talk to Someone
If things at work or just in life are stressful, it is a very therapeutic thing to talk to someone, whether that be a coworker, friend, mom, therapist, or anyone you can confide in, talking to someone about stressors is important. Allowing someone to share their thoughts on a situation from an outside perspective or even just listening is extremely helpful. You also may be surprised that the other person has been in your shoes before with a similar situation, said something insightful you hadn’t thought about yet, or made you laugh (which feels sooooo good when life is overwhelming).
Try to Eat Foods That Make You Feel Good From the Inside, Out
If you are extremely fatigued and stressed, we know that the easiest thing to do is reach for oreos from your pantry or get fast food. This being said, we also know that eating these types of foods can actually make your body and mind feel worse than they already do and should be had in balance. This is why it is extremely important to be mindful of what you are putting in your body because food is fuel. The more you eat food that makes you feel good, the better you will feel.
Also, please try not to skip a meal. We know that it’s easy to forget about eating or feeling the need to forge on with your work day no matter what, but like we said earlier FOOD IS FUEL. You need to eat to maintain and gain energy, whether that be through three solid meals a day or eating mindfully and taking nutritious snacks. Please give your body the energy it needs to actually work at its full potential.
Move Your Body for at Least Two and a Half Hours a Week
Moving your body releases endorphins and allows stress hormones to be released. It is recommended that a person gets 10,000 steps in a day or 30 minutes of physical activity in a day for five days. This being said, we know how hard this can be when you are overloaded with work and barely have time as it is, or you are just too tired to do so! That’s why we want to share some ways you can move your body and get your minimum of two hours a week in productive and fun ways.
Go on walks! You can walk on your break alone or with a coworker. You can also do something productive when you are on your walk, like call a client or a friend, listen to a podcast, or just zone out and destress.
Go on hikes! Getting yourself out into nature for an hour or two is probably one of the best things you can do for stress levels.
Dance! You can go out and dance or better yet, you can dance by yourself, in your own home, as hard as you want. Honestly, nothing is better than putting in headphones, blasting music, and dancing. Plus, it is a great workout!
Do some yoga! Talk about an amazing destressor. Connecting your body to your breath is one of the healthiest ways to calm your nervous system.
Try a workout class with a friend! You kind of kill two birds with one stone here; you get to workout and catch up with a friend. This will allow you to get out of your head and it makes your work out a little more fun!
Make Your Workspace Happy and Organized
Have you ever been trying to do work but all you can think about is how messy your room, office, desk, or house is? Or, have you ever been so focused on all the things you have to do that day that you can’t focus on the task at hand? Studies show that clutter can make it much more difficult to focus on a particular task, ESPECIALLY when it overwhelms your visual field. So, start making those to do lists, start cleaning your space, and buy that plant that brightens up the room and puts a smile on your face. Make yourself want to go into your office because of the energy it exudes so you can give yourself that clear and refreshed mental space that you deserve in order to get your job done right!
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
You have one life to live and no one else is going to live it for you; living your life the way you want to is your responsibility. Many people will scoff and turn their noses up to the idea of creating their own life because people feel powerless and life can feel overwhelming, which ultimately makes us feel like we don’t have a say in how we live our own lives. Well, sure, maybe you can’t just switch jobs right now, travel the world, and become rich overnight, but you do have the ability to change your attitude on certain things in your life. You can make small changes that end up drastically changing everything around you. And, you can invest in yourself rather than giving up on yourself. This life is all about perspective.
So yes, you do create the life you want to live, through small and big actions. You decide how you view the world and you can decide to stop involving yourself in certain stressors in your life. Start to laugh at yourself and the world around you. Start smiling at the little things. Breathe in the fresh air and maybe decide to start today off better than yesterday. Make footsteps in the write direction and make happiness your first priority. Most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously and try to have some fun along the way.
Fill up Your Cup
That’s right people, you’ve heard it a million times, but you cannot fill up anyone else’s cup until yours is full. This bullet point is all about self-care and why it is SO important. It is important on Saturdays, Sundays, and EVERY other day. Seriously, it’s especially important on the days you are working. And get this, you don’t have to wait to do self- care tasks until the weekend or when everything is seemingly “perfect” and the house is quiet with all the candles lit. Self-care doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive. No, self- care is a constant thing you work at so you can handle life’s stressful events when they get thrown at you and if you need self-care ideas, just look at all the tips above...yes, those are ALL ways you can care for yourself. Easy, right? So please, don’t feel guilty for doing good things for yourself. Remember, you can’t fill up another person’s cup if yours is empty. So start filling up your own damn cup.
P.s. If your workplace is having a negative effect on your mental health, you can always talk to HR, other employees, or your boss. If it gets too negative, but you don’t know how or who to talk to, please look into getting outside help such as a friend or even a therapist. There is always a way to make work less stressful on your life. We are cheering you on, you got this!