How to prevent work burnout

A work burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by chronic stress at work. This can cause the employee to be less productive at work or to self-isolate. Work burnouts are very common. Preventing a work burnout may not always be easy, but understanding the signs may prevent future work burnouts for yourself or other work colleagues.

There are many triggers that can provoke a work burnout, including:

  • Lack of support in the workplace –  this can be from either your team or manager.
  • Sensory overloads
  • Deadlines.
  • Insufficient amount of recognition and praise from work colleagues 
  • Long work hours – especially common for someone working full-time.

These triggers can cause the following:

  • Mental symptoms such as: poor concentration, depersonalisation and loss of motivation.
  • Physical symptoms which include: body aches, headaches, nausea, weight changes and a decreased or increased appetite.
  • Emotional changes such as: feeling depressed, irritable, anxious or hopeless. 

While a burnout is different for everyone, it can be spotted and avoided. 

Strategies to avoid work burnout

  1. Assess your workload:
  • Do you know what deadlines are coming? Do you have a timetable or work schedule set up?
  • The act of saying no to work – putting your health before work is essential. Saying no to work can help your mindset remain in peace.
  • Learn how to stop steering towards perfectionism. Nobody is perfect. Thus, producing a perfect piece of work is a myth. Aiming for your best is perfect enough.

2. Take breaks to regulate your mental, physical and emotional health

  • We sometimes feel committed to make work our first priority – very often due to monthly expenses such as bills and rent. However, it is important to recognise that your health is your main task. Use your spare time for self-care. Self care can include writing in a journal, taking yourself out on a date, hanging out with a friend, buying new clothes and listening to your favourite playlist. Sometimes, combining self-care with professional help – such as psychotherapy or group therapy – can be more beneficial. 
  • Pay attention to your medical conditions. This can be exceptionally difficult if you have a chronic condition, but taking a day or two from work at times to focus on your body can help.
  • Do not ignore your emotions. Learn to accept all your emotions — even anger — and work out the triggers. For example, if you’re anxious due to an upcoming deadline, try mindful exercises or grounding techniques.

3. Communicate with your employer 

Letting your employer know you’re struggling is a huge step, but it’s worth it. 

  • They can monitor your work schedule, allowing you to have work extensions 
  • Regularly monitor your well-being through messages, emails or phone calls. 
  • Create a space for you. For instance, a private room in the building. In regards to remote work, they may encourage you to mute notifications from emails and work chats.
  • Set you an appointment with a safeguarding lead who can provide you with support.

Stress in the workplace can cause complex issues and impact other work colleagues. 

These include:

  • Absences. 
  • Late arrival for work or work meetings.
  • Relationship difficulties.
  • Impulsive behaviour.
  • Reduced commitment to work.
  • Missed deadlines.
  • Loss of communication.

Therefore, it is important for employers to have a good relationship with their employees. 

Use this blog’s guidance to recognise early warning signs in yourself or work colleagues. Job burnouts can’t always be prevented, but they can be managed and reduced within a work organisation. A balanced workplace promotes a healthy environment.

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