Avoiding Burnout at Work

For many people, workplace burnout is a very serious issue; often related to or causing conditions such as depression, insomnia, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Burnout can even have highly damaging effects on a person’s relationships and home life. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome burnout in your career; here are just a few tried-and-true methods for getting back on your feet and avoiding the next round of burnout before it happens.

1. Be Assertive About Your Feelings

One of the biggest causes of burnout in the workplace comes from masking our true feelings about the stressors we experience in our jobs. If someone or something is bothering you at work, it is okay to express that you are feeling bothered; be sure to be firm, but polite and considerate of the feelings of others when you discuss your feelings. Don’t bottle your emotions up until you explode as this is when things started to spiral. If you are struggling, then talk to someone you trust, whether that’s a colleague, a manager or someone in HR.

2. Set Healthy Boundaries

It may not necessarily be obvious to us when a person has overstepped one of our boundaries, particularly if we are used to environments where our boundaries were not respected. However, a good rule of thumb is that if someone’s actions make you feel uncomfortable, then they’ve probably crossed a line.

If your boss asks you to come in on the weekend and you feel taken advantage of, for example, try setting healthier boundaries with them calmly and concisely. Remember, you don’t owe anyone your health and wellbeing, except yourself. Trying to please everyone is a surefire recipe for constant burnout and mounting health problems, both physical and mental.

3. Separate Your Work Life from Your Personal Life

If you’re the type of person who thinks a lot about work after you’ve gone home for the day, you might want to try separating your work life from your personal life as much as you can. If you naturally tend to worry about workplace stressors, try engaging with activities such as mindful meditation to get a mental break from your responsibilities

As human beings, we need time away from anxiety-inducing thoughts, and failing to clear our mind of stressors can cause immense psychological distress in the long-term. Also, separating your personal and work life can increase your work productivity. Working after regular hours is proven to be less productive, as your mind isn’t getting the chance to rest and reset, which means we aren’t getting a chance to see work problems with fresh eyes and ideas.

4. If You Don’t Sleep Well, Find Out Why

In the age of streaming and home espresso machines, it has become easy to put off a reasonable bedtime in favour of getting in a few extra hours of entertainment. These lost hours of sleep can add up fast, however, and even one night of poor sleep can have a tangible effect on our ability to function at work the next day. Add workplace stress to a few weeks of poor sleep, and you have a recipe for burnout. If you feel unable to get a full night’s rest try and do some research o how to get a good night’s sleep, as you may find something in your lifestyle or even your diet that it is preventing you from sleeping properly.

If the problem persists, try booking an appointment with a doctor to determine whether you have a condition such as sleep apnea or insomnia. While extremely difficult to experience, both conditions are largely treatable. With help, things can get better.

Everyone feels stress and even burnout at their job from time to time but putting a realistic plan into action for dealing with burnout can save you your health and wellbeing in the future.