Dealing with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress
Job burnout is a type of stress that can consume you physically, mentally, and emotionally. When you see the signs of job burnout in your life, you should look for ways on how to deal with it because it will not go away on its own.
The first step in combating job burnout is to acknowledge its existence. Yes, it will be hard, especially if you’re just starting out in your career, but there’s really nothing to worry about because experiencing burnout early in your life has no negative long-term consequences compared to encountering it when you’re much older and more seasoned.
The important thing is to prepare yourself for some major life changes since overcoming job burnout requires more than a muscle twitch.
Here are 10 things you can do to help you deal with job burnout and workplace stress.
1. Adopt new perspectives
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Workplace stress is normal, but only to a certain extent. If you feel like all you’re getting from the office are bad vibes and back pains, then maybe it’s time to quit. However, you should only submit that resignation letter when you’re 100% convinced that the misery of your situation is out of your control.
Your boss is rude and incompetent, sure, but is he that important that you would quit a perfectly respectable and decent job? Can’t you maybe tune out his lack of professionalism and just focus on improving yourself? Sometimes, external factors can extinguish your fire, but it’s ultimately you who can light it up again. A little shift in perspective can go a long way.
2. Take a more upbeat lifestyle
Do you feel like anxiety and depression are a part of your work life? You sit in front of the computer all day, barely batting an eye. Technology is supposed to make your life easier, yet somehow you manage to make every day seem more like a drag. A sedentary lifestyle generally has that effect.
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True, job burnout makes it a lot more difficult to get up and move around, but if you really want to be done with it, you should at least exert some effort and try to move a muscle. There are a number of things you can do to make your lifestyle more dynamic. According to the blog of call center company IBEX Global, a good way to amp up your energy is to join social activities like “fun runs, concerts, and out-of-town company vacations.” These activities will not only keep you engaged, they will also lower your stress levels.
3. Do something worthwhile
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If your life revolves around your job, then you will really get burnt out one way or another. You need to divert your attention to something else—say, a new hobby—when you’re not at work. This is one of the best hacks to manage your daily stress. Take up photography or writing. You may even try arts and crafts. Just do something that you love and one that gives you personal gratification. It has to be unrelated to your profession; otherwise, you’re just wearing yourself out further .
4. Take off your superhero mask
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Staring at the computer and wondering what to do when you’re burned out at work will not solve your problem. If you really want an answer, then take a break, turn off your iPad, and just fly off to an island somewhere. You can clear your head better when you’re physically away from your stressor. And no, don’t even try to argue against a real vacation. Even Iron Man needs a trip to the Caribbean. Switch off your work mode for a while and think things through while sunbathing in a faraway beach.
5. Be your own time-keeper
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One of the tell-tale signs you’re burning out is when you’re crammed up with a lot of projects during the weekend. Having a pile of work-related paperwork in your desk doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in demand or that you’re the MVP of your team. It just means that you don’t know when to say no. Letting work eat into your personal time is like giving a stranger a ticket that reads: “Rob me, I’m defenseless.” The thing is, you’re far from being defenseless. You can take control of your time if you will it. You just have to set boundaries that define where your work life stops and where your personal life begins.
6. Savor every minute
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Want tips to recover from career stress? How about take things slowly? You’d really get burnt out if you keep on rushing through everything. Taking things slowly doesn’t mean that you have to be a slow poke. That would undoubtedly affect your career in a negative way. No, taking things slowly means shutting off your autopilot mode while traveling to work. It means focusing on the significance of each moment. Why not look outside the bus window and observe life as it happens rather than scroll through your Facebook feed for two whole hours? Surely, you’ll find more wisdom and inspiration in real, unconditioned events.
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You will find numerous ways to hide your career burnout if you look hard enough, but you won’t be able to apply them unless you click pause, rewind your life, and reassess your goals. jOB Burnout is still a vague concept, but everyone can agree that it does no good to anybody. If you know that you’re burnt out, it’s time for you to take a step back and reevaluate your life. What is your top priority?
What are your hopes and dreams?
What are your values?
What makes you happy and gives you meaning?
What is the most important thing that you can’t live without?
Find the answers to these questions before you make any major decision. These will serve as your guiding principles in choosing a path that is burnout-free and happiness-enriched.
8. Unleash your brave and quirky side
Maybe the reason why you’re unmotivated is that you follow a monotonous routine every day. Maybe you have a daily plan of action that governs your every move from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed. Although some would argue that this kind of lifestyle establishes stability, this can actually be dangerous because too much stability is unhealthy. If you’re someone who follows a pattern, then what makes you different from a programmed robot?
Think about the last time you did something that is beyond your regular routine. When was it—a decade ago when you were still a teenager? Cut the monotony in your life and bring back the thrill. It doesn’t matter if you’re a banker, a call center agent or a clerk. Surely, you have an exciting version of you. Let that version shine through.
9. Rekindle your ties
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When you feel insecure and unmotivated, turning to your family and friends for support usually helps. Reconnecting with your loved ones is one way to feel a sense of purpose. Out of all the tips to overcome burnout, this one is probably the most guaranteed. Trace the people who have impacted your life in the past—relatives, old buddies, workmates or even famous personalities. Try to find in them again the inspiration that you need.
10. Live for the silver lining
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Science has proven that job dissatisfaction corresponds to high-stress levels. If you’re always complaining about how your job sucks, you’re doing harm to no one but yourself. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that job burnout can be a product of mental conditioning? If you’re always thinking negatively, then you’d eventually feel physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. The people who get the best in life are those who know how to greet the sun.
Optimism can go a long way in improving your well-being. It will create positive ripples not only in your career but also in your personal relationships. Practice positive thinking. Celebrate little achievements. Appreciate everything that is good. When you watch the clouds, never mind the rain. Look out for the silver lining.
Job burnout is something you will surely encounter sooner or later. Knowing how to combat it now is winning half the battle. Be vigilant for the signs of this energy vampire and know how to combat it once it strikes.