10 Ways to Avoid Burnout at Work

5 stages of burnout

The American work ethic is no secret. We love to pride ourselves on working more than anyone else. That may seem like it is good for productivity but it is not. Every day in the United States, people become so stressed at work that more than 1.1 million workers have to call in sick. The good news is that there are 10 ways to avoid burnout.

  1. Get enough exercise. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and help you deal with job stress. When you workout hard, your body produces endorphins, nature’s “happy pills.” This makes this one of the top 10 ways to avoid burnout. It is hard to get too upset when you are already a happier person.
  2. Meditate. Calming the mind is another way to deal with having a stressful job. Taking time each day to quiet and calm the mind can bring you a peace and serenity that makes it harder to get too stressed out. Getting decent at meditation takes time so be gentle with yourself as you get into it.
  3. Eat better. Eating better foods makes you healthier. This makes you less prone to stress. Also, eating bad foods has the opposite effect. Taking care of your health is an important thing you can do when you are worried about the stress burnout symptoms. Sometimes just starting a healthy diet can change your attitude.
  4. Take a page from Fight Club. In this movie, Tyler Durden tells his supporters that “You are not your job, you are not how much money you have in the bank.” You should not need to start an underground boxing club but many people in the United States identify so much with their job title that they lose sight of all else and that is when you get workplace anger and stress.
  5. Be better at your work-life balance. Make sure you have one. There are a lot of people in the country who have no hobbies and live to work. That sometimes is the economic reality but even if you work long hours, you can make some balance for your life.
  6. Find fun things to do when you are not at work. When you are not working, another one of the 10 ways to avoid burnout is to get your brain working on something fun. This will make work easier. One great thing for your mental health and physical well being is to volunteer your time. People who do this are much healthier overall and are happier. They benefit from the “helper’s high.”
  7. Turn off the cell phone, do not check email at home. This is a corollary to the work-life balance in this list of 10 ways to avoid burnout but is not the same. Some people never leave work at work. That means you never get to unwind. That leads to certain burnout.
  8. Take vacations. Leave work for a while sometimes. People who take real vacations (not “working vacations”) are more productive at work and suffer from less burnout than people who never do.
  9. Talk to the people you care about. Talk to people you know and trust about how you feel. They can help you work through some of the stress and talking to people who are experiencing some of the same things can make your life a lot happier overall. Opening a channel to people to talk to when you have problems at work, or elsewhere, is one of the healthier ways to avoid burnout there is.
  10. Be kind to yourself. Most people are hard on themselves. If things did not go exactly as planned with a project they beat themselves up. It can be good to do a post-mortem on a project and see what went well and what could have been done better but when you internalize all the problems, you increase the stress you feel and make it hard to perform better. Be as kind to yourself as you want to be others.

Of course, there are more than 10 ways to avoid burnout at work. There are a lot of ways you can make your time there better for you and everyone else. These are just 10 suggestions for ways to handle stress and anger in your workplace.

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