The modern workplace is notoriously fast-paced, and not everyone is prepared when they enter the workforce for the first time. Many companies pile more responsibility onto their best workers when others quit, instead of focusing on new hires. Many workers take on more than they can handle in order to move up the corporate ladder without realizing the harm they are doing. Severe burnout can keep you from working at all, so if you’re starting to see the signs, here’s how to combat it.
Your food and water intake can impact everything from your sleep quality to your focus and energy levels throughout the day. It may be tempting to grab a donut from the breakroom or order takeout for lunch, but the convenience can make you sleepy by the middle of the afternoon. Start each day with breakfast, even if it’s small and simple, and save money by packing your own lunch. You can also bring snacks to keep your energy up all day long. If you’re still struggling, check out the Thrive Experience to see if it’s right for you and your health goals.
Crappy office equipment and poor posture can set you up for a lifetime of ailments. If you leave each workday stressed and in pain, try getting a new office chair, or try supports for the office chair you already have. Reexamine your typing position to avoid pain and repetitive motion injuries. You may want to try new wrist rests, or even a standing desk. There are inexpensive risers you can buy to raise your monitor and keyboard without getting a whole new desk.
If your office is cold, get a small heater to put on or under your desk. Get comfortable headphones and a drink warmer. Decorate your space so that you’re not only excited to work there, but can also slip into a productive mental zone quickly.
Take breaks often, even if it’s just to stand and stretch. Going for a quick walk over lunch gives your subconscious a chance to work on problems you may be encountering. This change in perspective can help you solve issues more efficiently, leaving you less stressed at the end of the day. You can also use this time to speak with coworkers about projects you’re working on. You can ask their opinions on potential solutions or see if they’re struggling in the same way you are. Utilize objective insight where you can get it.
Separate Work from Personal Life
When your work is something you’re truly passionate about, it can be difficult to separate from the rest of your life. People who score their dream jobs often have trouble setting boundaries between work and their personal lives, and often they don’t see the problem until it’s too late. Try leaving the office at the same time every day, and leaving work there when you go. Answering emails on a weekend or late at night may be helpful for your boss, but it can also ruin date night or family movie night. Your brain needs a chance to relax and forget for a while, so you should take the opportunity to pick up hobbies or personal relationships you’ve been neglecting.
Ask for Help
When all else fails, there’s no shame in asking for help. Mental health specialists can give you powerful tools to help you cope with burnout, but you should also consider confronting the source. It can be difficult to approach your superiors about your struggles, but if they value you and your work, they will work with you to find a solution. If they’d rather replace you than help you, why are you burning yourself out to help them in the first place?
Workplace burnout is becoming more and more common, and it can be disastrous for your mental health. It can take weeks or longer to recover, setting you back on your career goals. When you manage the symptoms as they occur, you have a better chance of preserving your mental health as you grow in the workplace.