5 Tips to Avoid Burnout

February 3, 2021

Burnout—a phrase commonly used but not as often addressed—can have damaging, long lasting effects on the mind and body. In medical terms, burnout refers to feelings of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, not to mention prolonged periods of stress, feelings of being overwhelmed or swallowed in work and other responsibilities, and the inability to meet the constant demands of life.  


Burnout can negatively affect your physical and mental health in a myriad of ways, from fatigue, depression, and irritability to increased likelihood of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental health conditions that require medication. But it doesn't stop there. Burnout can also have pernicious personal and professional consequences such as isolation and inability to fulfill responsibilities.


And this is an all too common occurrence, with current research suggesting that the average worker will experience career-related burnout by the age of 32, for reasons most often relating to workload, lack of control, reward, community, fairness, and values. 


In this blog post, we've gathered five tips to help you avoid burnout and better manage stress. 



1. Prevention is Key


Of course, the best way to avoid burnout is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. So when it comes to prevention, understanding the development of burnout is key. Most often, burnout results from overextending and pushing yourself to work harder, to the point where you begin neglecting your own needs. 


Learning to set healthy boundaries at work by knowing exactly what your responsibilities entail can give you the clarity you need to make sure you're not working overtime on unnecessary tasks. 


Taking much-needed breaks throughout the day can also help instill healthy work-life boundaries and prevent exhaustion. When you find yourself getting tired, distracted, and in need of a quick break, take a few moments to stand up and stretch or do a mini-meditation. When you need longer breaks (and you will), make sure to use your vacation time to allow you some time away to rest and reset. 




2.  Practice Mindfulness


There's a growing body of evidence that shows how mindfulness can help prevent burnout. One 2019 Swedish study found that mindfulness and compassion effectively reduce stress and promote more positive emotions. Through an increased focus on attention, mindfulness practices improved self-compassion, self-care and alleviated empathy or compassion fatigue. 


You can practice mindfulness by focusing on the inflow and outflow of your breath and being aware of your feelings and the sensations of every moment. Other relaxing, stress-relieving techniques such as meditation and yoga can also help you connect with yourself and address the thoughts and feelings coming up.



3. Seek Support


Just as the 2019 Swedish study found mindfulness to be an effective treatment for countering burnout, the research also discovered compassion and group training to be successful prevention methods. Reaching out, connecting, and seeking support from others can be powerful tools in helping you cope with stress and find encouragement. 


Whether you connect with friends, family, a therapist, or co-workers who can understand what you're going through, reaching out to others can let you know that you're not alone. Having someone presently listen (without judgment) to what is causing you stress can take so much weight off your shoulders. 



4. Move Your Body


Exercise is a sure-fire way to alleviate stress and improve your overall sense of well-being. In addition to increasing your energy and productivity levels, exercise can encourage you to set goals that will give you back a sense of purpose and drive. Moving your body through regular exercise can also help take your mind off work and promote a healthier work-life balance. So find what feels good to you, whether that's yoga, pilates, dance, running, or weight-training, all of these types of movement can help you better manage stress.



5. Find Your Purpose


Reframing the way that you perceive and participate in your job can make a profound impact. Besides earning money to support you and your family, what else excites you about your career? Does it have a deeper purpose that impacts your day-to-day? Realigning yourself with your career goals and ambitions can help you avoid work-related stress and ultimately avoid burnout. 


But if your workload is bound to cause burnout, reevaluating your options and setting boundaries can help permanently alleviate some stress. If you need, discuss your options with your supervisor or work together with colleagues to better balance the workload.


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5 Tips to Avoid Burnout

February 3, 2021

Burnout—a phrase commonly used but not as often addressed—can have damaging, long lasting effects on the mind and body. In medical terms, burnout refers to feelings of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, not to mention prolonged periods of stress, feelings of being overwhelmed or swallowed in work and other responsibilities, and the inability to meet the constant demands of life.  


Burnout can negatively affect your physical and mental health in a myriad of ways, from fatigue, depression, and irritability to increased likelihood of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental health conditions that require medication. But it doesn't stop there. Burnout can also have pernicious personal and professional consequences such as isolation and inability to fulfill responsibilities.


And this is an all too common occurrence, with current research suggesting that the average worker will experience career-related burnout by the age of 32, for reasons most often relating to workload, lack of control, reward, community, fairness, and values. 


In this blog post, we've gathered five tips to help you avoid burnout and better manage stress. 



1. Prevention is Key


Of course, the best way to avoid burnout is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. So when it comes to prevention, understanding the development of burnout is key. Most often, burnout results from overextending and pushing yourself to work harder, to the point where you begin neglecting your own needs. 


Learning to set healthy boundaries at work by knowing exactly what your responsibilities entail can give you the clarity you need to make sure you're not working overtime on unnecessary tasks. 


Taking much-needed breaks throughout the day can also help instill healthy work-life boundaries and prevent exhaustion. When you find yourself getting tired, distracted, and in need of a quick break, take a few moments to stand up and stretch or do a mini-meditation. When you need longer breaks (and you will), make sure to use your vacation time to allow you some time away to rest and reset. 




2.  Practice Mindfulness


There's a growing body of evidence that shows how mindfulness can help prevent burnout. One 2019 Swedish study found that mindfulness and compassion effectively reduce stress and promote more positive emotions. Through an increased focus on attention, mindfulness practices improved self-compassion, self-care and alleviated empathy or compassion fatigue. 


You can practice mindfulness by focusing on the inflow and outflow of your breath and being aware of your feelings and the sensations of every moment. Other relaxing, stress-relieving techniques such as meditation and yoga can also help you connect with yourself and address the thoughts and feelings coming up.



3. Seek Support


Just as the 2019 Swedish study found mindfulness to be an effective treatment for countering burnout, the research also discovered compassion and group training to be successful prevention methods. Reaching out, connecting, and seeking support from others can be powerful tools in helping you cope with stress and find encouragement. 


Whether you connect with friends, family, a therapist, or co-workers who can understand what you're going through, reaching out to others can let you know that you're not alone. Having someone presently listen (without judgment) to what is causing you stress can take so much weight off your shoulders. 



4. Move Your Body


Exercise is a sure-fire way to alleviate stress and improve your overall sense of well-being. In addition to increasing your energy and productivity levels, exercise can encourage you to set goals that will give you back a sense of purpose and drive. Moving your body through regular exercise can also help take your mind off work and promote a healthier work-life balance. So find what feels good to you, whether that's yoga, pilates, dance, running, or weight-training, all of these types of movement can help you better manage stress.



5. Find Your Purpose


Reframing the way that you perceive and participate in your job can make a profound impact. Besides earning money to support you and your family, what else excites you about your career? Does it have a deeper purpose that impacts your day-to-day? Realigning yourself with your career goals and ambitions can help you avoid work-related stress and ultimately avoid burnout. 


But if your workload is bound to cause burnout, reevaluating your options and setting boundaries can help permanently alleviate some stress. If you need, discuss your options with your supervisor or work together with colleagues to better balance the workload.


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