Did you feel overwhelmed and under pressure in your workplace last year, leaving you too exhausted to enjoy your holiday? I believe that it’s essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance for physical, mental and emotional benefits. These six easy tips may help you to avoid burnout this year.
What is burnout?
Before we share our tips on how to help you avoid burnout, let’s take a closer look at what burnout is. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), that has officially recognised burnout as a medical diagnosis, burnout is a syndrome which results “from chronic workplace stress that had not been successfully managed”.
If you suffer from both physical and emotional exhaustion and struggle to be productive, you may suffer from burnout. Other symptoms include headaches, muscle pain, lack of appetite, insomnia, increased illness and depression.
How to help you avoid burnout
- Spend time with others
Spending time with others, who are good listeners and won’t judge you, is one of the best ways to decompress. Of course, it doesn’t help if you surround yourself with pessimists, who do not offer meaningful connections. Make sure to spend more time with close family and friends, and try to build on your relationship with colleagues.
- Work hard? Rest harder!
Burnout often leads to loss of motivation, decreased satisfaction and a reduced sense of accomplishment. Before you start to feel this way, find an enjoyable activity, which has nothing to do with work in any way. Relaxing activities, such as reading or listening to podcasts, may tap into your curiosity and stimulate your mind, especially if you’re stuck in a mundane job. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you make time to recharge every day. If you need to take leave to recharge, do it. You’ll feel better, and your productivity will increase.
- Rediscover your purpose
It’s essential to try and find value in what you do every day so that you don’t feel like you’ve lost control of your work situation. Focus on the aspects you enjoy, or find most meaningful to regain a sense of purpose. For example, do you enjoy mentoring an intern, or working with your colleagues on a team project?
- Set goals and reward yourself
Set small short-term goals and focus on the process to accomplish them. If you complete all of your goals for the day, week, or even month, treat yourself. That way, you also have something to look forward, giving your work some form of personal purpose.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise for about 30 minutes every day to increase your endorphins, which help to alleviate stress and boost your mood. The more often you exercise, the more energetic and focused you’ll feel, and the more productive you’ll be. Regular exercise should also contribute to better sleep.
- Eat well
Sometimes we need to be reminded to eat healthily. Besides obviously eating more fresh fruit and veggies, make sure you get a proper intake of omega-three fatty acids found in fatty fish (like tuna), walnuts and flaxseeds to help boost your mood. Avoid sugar, trans fats, refined carbohydrates (for example, pasta and bread), caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Of course, these are only a few tips to help you avoid burnout, but they are vital to maintain a healthy work-life balance and get the most out of your year. If you experience any burnout symptoms, we recommend that you contact your family practitioner for an appointment.