Workplace burnout is a real phenomenon that has been getting increased media attention as we’re working more hours. More working hours means less personal time to do the things that can help reduce burnout.
Fortunately, there are some ways to prioritize your life in order to prevent workplace burnout from happening: taking care of your health, doing things you find refreshing, and having a sense of purpose.
Taking Care of Your Health
It’s important to prioritize three essential components to healthy living: sleeping, eating, and moving.
Sleep is one of the leading contributors to burnout. Getting back on the right path means understanding how much sleep your body needs. Everyone is different, some people need six hours of sleep and others need ten, so it’s important to know how much sleep you need to stay alert throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is seven to nine hours a night.
What you eat also has a profound effect on burnout. We all know how we feel after a big lunch at work—lethargic and tired. So instead of eating foods that make us feel exhausted or too full, try for lighter, healthier foods and eating them more frequently throughout the day to maintain energy.
Exercise, even five minutes of outdoor exercise, can have a notable psychological impact. And doing 20 to 30 minutes has shown to improve our mental health as well. If there is a stressful moment in your workday, try and find time to release that negative energy with a little motion. A little exercise goes a long way.
Taking Care of Yourself
Self-care is crucially important, too. Start with identifying the thing or things you would do if there were no restrictions on your time. Of course, the hardest part is finding time to do those things. Try and carve out just 30 minutes in your day to do something that brings you back into alignment and helps you operate in a more natural state. When you’re operating outside of your natural state you’re consuming energy which can lead to burnout.
Assessing Your Reality
Being cognizant of your workplace realities is another important component to reducing burnout. That means taking stock of the things you can change to improve your environment, modifying your expectations, or even considering outside opportunities to provide satisfaction if you aren’t getting any from your work. And perhaps, after taking stock, you may find that a job change is in order. However you go about assessing your workplace situation and lamenting the things you can’t change, know that you can change how you feel about yourself and your life by making these incremental improvements.
Dr. Sonja Stilp is a spine and sports physician. She can help you find ways to reduce stress through exercise, diet, and improving your mobility. If you’d like to hear more schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Stilp at RISE in Boulder, Colorado.