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How Can We Be Proactive Against Burnout?

Work burnout is debilitating and frustrating, and it’s on the rise in America’s workforce. A recent study found that 79 percent of workers have experienced job-related stress and that 29 percent describe being burned out “always.” These findings portray a high level of burnout and stress in the average workplace. The more severe the burnout, the more difficult it is to fulfill your professional obligations.

Not being able to fulfill your workplace obligations affects a lot more than just your professional career. Being stressed at work trickles into your everyday life, your routines, and your relationships with friends and family. If you’re experiencing burnout, it can feel difficult to get back on track. It's important to reset your mind before you experience the long-term effects. Here are some ways to be proactive against burnout before it happens, as well as how to treat burnout if it’s already too late.

How to Recognize the Signs of Burnout

If you feel like you are experiencing burnout, you need to ask yourself how you have been feeling regarding your nine-to-five. Have you become more cynical at work? Do you have trouble concentrating and finding motivation to do work? Do you dread doing your job every day? Are you experiencing any physical pain that comes with the stress of your job? If you answer yes to any of these, you may be on your way to experiencing burnout.

The symptoms of burnout are much more serious. People who experience burnout suffer consequences such as fatigue, insomnia, anger or irritability, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. The first step to combating these symptoms is to recognize how they can affect you. The next step is finding a way to prevent burnout from happening.

Ways to Prevent Burnout

Job stress may be unavoidable, but burnout can be preventable. Exercising daily, eating a balanced diet, and getting good rest every night can be beneficial to giving you some peace of mind. Setting boundaries at work can also help prevent burnout and help take some pressure off of your everyday role. These are the things that you can personally do to help alleviate some stress. However, it is not always your sole responsibility, and it’s time we hold companies accountable.

There is a lot that company leadership can do to help prevent burnout in their employees, starting with educating themselves about their workplace environment. Upon what they find, companies can start taking the heat off their employees by providing resources and opportunities to help with stress. Opportunities include making work a hybrid workplace, or providing a reward system can make a big difference in burnout levels throughout the company.

Ways to Treat Burnout

If you are experiencing burnout and don’t know what to do, there’s no shame in seeking professional help. Therapy dramatically reduces stress levels and can facilitate healing from a mental and emotional well-being perspective. If you have tried prevention methods and cannot find a solution, a professional can help cultivate a healthy environment for you to learn stress management techniques.

Source: Erin Eatough (2021) How to Recovery From Burnout and Love Your Life Again

Source: Mayo Clinic (2021) Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action

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