Today you’re going to learn how to recover from burnout at work.
If you’re constantly feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by daily life stress, you might be experiencing burnout. This happens when we don’t manage chronic stressors, such as work pressure, or neglect our basic needs due to a busy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, we can’t always escape these stressors by taking a break. The best way to avoid burnout is by taking preventive measures.
We’ve gathered some strategies to prioritize your mental health, manage stress effectively, and make time for self-care in your daily routine. By implementing these strategies and feeling better, you can keep burnout away.
How To Recover From Burnout At Work:
1. It is more effective to take regular breaks from workplace stress rather than taking one long break.
To begin, allocate 30 minutes of your day to yourself when you wake up and another 30 minutes to relax before going to bed. You can use this time to do any activity that you enjoy or find relaxing, such as reflecting on your day or engaging in a hobby. By acknowledging that it is essential to prioritize yourself, it will be easier to make other daily adjustments.
2. Establishing healthy boundaries can help you avoid overextending yourself.
If you find it challenging to disconnect from work or decline additional responsibilities, start by creating a schedule for when you’ll be available to your colleagues. Clearly communicate your availability hours and stick to them.
Consider turning off your phone or silencing work-related notifications outside of your working hours. This will encourage a healthy habit of focusing on work only during designated working hours.
3. Reconnecting with your values and goals can lead to increased satisfaction in both personal and professional life.
This is especially true when someone is working in a field that doesn’t align with their values or prevents them from working towards their goals. Take some time to reflect on the values that give you a sense of purpose and try to incorporate them into your daily routine.
If your current workplace or job doesn’t align with your values, consider discussing with your boss or colleagues about how you can restructure your work environment to take on tasks that align with your career advancement or job satisfaction. If that’s not possible, you can consider volunteering for an organization whose mission aligns with your values and allows you to use your skills. For instance, if you work in front of a computer but love working with people, you can volunteer for a non-profit organization’s fundraising event.
In case you need to recharge, consider taking a break from work. If possible, explore new job opportunities that align with your values and sense of purpose.
4. Create a list of the top five things that bring you happiness and fulfillment in life, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing a hobby, or volunteering for a cause that you care about.
Then, consider how you can prioritize these activities in your daily routine. Burnout and stress can often keep us from enjoying the things we love, causing us to forget about our hobbies or passions.
For instance, if spending time in nature brings you joy but work has been hindering you from going outdoors, you can plan a day trip to a nature park or schedule a walk on a new trail before or after work. This can help you incorporate enjoyable activities into your daily routine and combat burnout.
5. Integrating downtime activities into your daily routine can aid in the recovery of both your body and mind.
These activities are intended solely for enjoyment, require minimal effort, and are not focused on any specific outcome or performance, such as taking a nap, reading a book for pleasure, or watching a movie. These types of activities can help combat burnout by allowing your body to rest and recuperate, while also giving your mind a break from constantly being evaluated for performance.
6. Keeping a stress diary can be helpful in identifying the root causes of stress.
By taking a few minutes each day to record a stressor and why it caused stress, you can identify patterns and gain insights into how you react to stress. It can help you recognize your most common stress triggers (1), allowing you to predict and avoid stressful situations.
When journaling, include the date, time, and location of the stressful event, as well as details like what you were doing, who you were with, and how you felt physically and mentally. You can even rank your overall stress level from 1 to 10 for each entry.
After several weeks, take some time to review your diary when you’re feeling calm. Look for any recurring themes, such as certain people or places that consistently cause high stress levels.
7. Medical research has shown that practicing mindfulness can be helpful in reducing burnout symptoms.
Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment, and studies have shown that being present and grounded can help reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. One simple mindfulness exercise is to focus on the sensation of your feet pressing against the ground, and to notice how they feel without any external stimuli. By feeling grounded, you can apply this technique during stressful situations to help center yourself and stay present, rather than allowing stress to build up.
Another helpful exercise is body scan meditation, which involves lying down with your arms and legs extended and focusing on each individual body part from either the toes to the head or vice versa. This allows you to pay close attention to the physical and emotional sensations that you are experiencing, promoting relaxation and mindfulness.
8. Deep breathing exercises can help you feel more centered and in control of your body, which can alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety and prevent burnout.
To practice deep breathing, find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take notice of your breath and inhale slowly through your nose, sending air to your stomach intentionally. Hold your breath, then exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing the breath away from you.
Repeat these breathing exercises as needed, focusing on the movement of your breath and the sensations in your body. Consider incorporating a breathing exercise into your daily routine, either in the morning when you wake up or when you are unwinding before bed.
9. Engaging in physical activities can help lower stress levels and enhance your emotional state.
Establishing a regular exercise routine can be an effective way to deal with recurring stress and prevent it from intensifying into burnout. In addition, physical activities such as exercising with friends or taking a stroll in the park can be enjoyable. Furthermore, some activities like yoga and pilates (2) combine mindfulness and breathing exercises, which can also be beneficial for preventing burnout.
10. Getting enough sleep is crucial for our physical and mental well-being.
Research suggests that people who are overwhelmed with work responsibilities often sleep less than the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night. To ensure that you’re getting enough quality sleep, establish a regular sleep schedule that works for you and stick to it.
Try to relax and wind down before bedtime to avoid going to bed feeling stressed or anxious. Creating a comfortable sleep environment by keeping your bedroom dark and quiet can also help. It’s also important to avoid using electronic devices before bed as the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your sleep cycle.
11. To avoid burnout, it’s important to prioritize your body’s basic needs, such as nutrition, hydration, and sleep.
Although it may seem obvious, many professionals overlook these necessities and focus solely on work-related tasks. It’s crucial to make eating regular and nutritious meals a habit, rather than relying on quick snacks or skipping meals altogether when feeling overwhelmed. Remember, even urgent tasks can wait; you won’t be able to produce high-quality work if your brain isn’t fueled properly.
To recover from burnout at work, it is essential to incorporate downtime activities, keep a stress diary, practice mindfulness, try breathing exercises, exercise regularly, fix your sleep schedule, and fuel your body with proper nutrition. It is also important to identify and address the root cause of stress and burnout, whether it be work-related or personal. By implementing these strategies, individuals can reduce stress levels, improve their overall well-being, and prevent burnout from recurring in the future.
Thank you for reading this article about how to recover from burnout at work and I really hope that you take action my advice.
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