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5 Ways to Manage Stress and Burnout in the Workplace

In an age where technology allows us to take work wherever we go, and burnout is at a high, maintaining a work/life balance has never been more difficult, or more imperative.

With a potential recession looming, and many still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential for increased stress at work and burnout is high. Burnout continues to rise and according to Future Forum, an estimated 42% of those surveyed reported they’ve experienced workplace-related burnout.

Burnout can be defined as an extension of physical and mental stress. Signs of workplace burnout can include:

  • Showing irritation and impatience at daily tasks 
  • Feeling unusual amounts of anxiety at the thought of work
  • Feeling fatigue or an inability to be productive 

Battling Workplace Burnout

It is not always possible to control factors impacting stress at work. However, by reframing how you approach stressful situations and taking some constructive steps to help yourself, it is possible to manage it. Below are five tips to help when experiencing burnout.

1. Communicate Your Feelings

When experiencing burnout, or even the effects of stress, it can be tempting to keep your head down and weather the storm on your own. This could be due to a fear of being judged negatively for sharing how you feel. It is more beneficial for you personally and professionally to share how you are feeling with your manager, that way you can talk through the situation at hand and determine whether your burnout is from an isolated incident or indicative of ongoing work strains. Determining the source of the problem helps you actively work toward a solution. 

2. Set Yourself up for Success

When combatting stress in the workplace and looking for ways to prevent burnout, it is vital that you take the time to care for yourself. Spend time away from your desk, eat balanced meals and get plenty of rest. One of the most common signs of burnout is exhaustion, so it’s important to take the time to intentionally rest.

It’s also helpful to spend some time outside. Extended periods of time indoors and looking at screens can increase work stress. Try to allot some time each week to step away from your computer to go for a walk or take part in some other form of exercise.

3. Focus on Your Breathing 

Regulating your breath is universally regarded as an immediate stress reliever. There are many advanced breathing techniques that help control the symptoms of stress, but the most basic involves simply breathing in and out for a few minutes, calming your system and slowing down your mind.

4. Reframe Negative Thinking

Sometimes it can be helpful to write down negative thoughts to help differentiate facts from feelings. Journaling is a healthy way to express emotions and can allow you to relieve job stress and reduce feelings of anxiety. Writing out your feelings puts you in the best position possible to understand them. You can also use a journal to express positive affirmations. You are the author of your own story and writing out the narrative you wish to have both in work and in life can reframe any negative thinking. 

5. Reduce Stress at Work by Staying Organized

When experiencing worker burnout, it is common to feel like things are slipping out of control. As challenging as burnout can seem, sometimes the real task is focusing on what you can control and adding some structure to your day.   

This can be done by:

  • Creating a daily to-do list
  • Effectively prioritizing your tasks
  • Preparing your lunch the night before 
  • Having time away from your desk to recharge

Reduce Work-Related Stress Through Routine

For anything to be truly impactful, it needs to be embedded into your routine. Don’t try to change overnight. Try incorporating one or two of these tips to build a foundation which will support you the next time you experience work-related stress and burnout.

If you’d like to learn more about how to reduce stress and burnout at work, check out our website for more career content.

The content found in this article was created for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical issue.

This article was originally developed by Aston Carter EMEA and adapted for Aston Carter North America.

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