Author: Michael Scaletti
If you're staring at your screen, feeling unproductive, having difficulty getting motivated, forgetting what you're doing constantly, or drifting out, you could be dealing with burnout. It's very real, and it's a very real problem.
According to Indeed, more than half of employees are dealing with burnout, and two-thirds say the feeling has gotten worse since the start of the pandemic. It's a problem regardless of industry or position, although obviously high-stress roles can be more prone to burnout.
Burnout is often systemic, due more to your work environment than your own actions or responsibilities. That said, there are definitely things that individuals can do to mitigate burnout, and integrating self-care into your work routine is a big step in the right direction.
If you are an employee, the question becomes how can you integrate that self-care. If, on the other hand, you are an employee or manager, you need to think about how you can shape your company culture to better promote self-care among your employees.
Cut Out Stress
While spa days and massages are fantastic, they are not the only way to de-stress. The truth is that a series of simple actions can help to drastically reduce your stress.
The bottom line is that the most common contributors to stress in the workplace are disorganization and lack of communication. Make sure that you are organized, that your workspace, either at home, in the office, or somewhere else, is neat and free of distractions, and that you have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish over the course of your workday. Also, make sure that your lines of communication are always open with your colleagues. Whether your coworkers, your bosses, or your employees, being able talk to the people you work with about what you need, and listening to their needs in return, is a great way to reduce workplace stress.
Also, be sure that you're taking frequent breaks, and that you get plenty of activity and outdoor time in your day. Working for long hours in enclosed spaces is not good for anyone's mental health.
Prioritize a Healthy Work/Life Balance
It's all well and fine to reduce your stress while working, but the bottom line is that your work isn't, and shouldn't be, your whole life. Unfortunately, a comfortable work/life balance is something that only about a third of American workers say they have. This has become even more true as many of us have moved to working remote. The temptation of working longer hours when the office is only a few feet from your bed can be hard to overcome.
If you want to improve your work/life balance, a good place to start is to ensure you're spending enough time NOT working. This means understanding that it's okay to say no to extra work, taking your PTO, and not working outside of your set work hours.
In addition, you need to make sure that you are practicing self-care at home as well. How you do so is up to you. It might mean working out consistently or reading more. It might mean spending quality time with your family, or going for long walks around your town. For some it might even mean simply zoning out and watching TV or playing video games. That's okay! Remember that whatever it is that you do to unwind and reset, you're not being selfish. You're taking the necessary steps to take care of yourself.