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burnout and stress

How to Prevent Burnout and Stress at Work

If you feel disillusioned and detached from your work or are fatigued all the time and feel helpless, probably you are burned out.  Prolonged and excessive stress results in burnout which makes you feel emotionally drained and mentally, as well as physically, exhausted. The good news is there is no need to despair. Help is at hand and you can do this yourself!

Burnout at work spills over to your job performance, relationships at home and outside and impacts your health adversely. Rejuvenate your mind and body, feeling positive and motivated again, using these tips:

  • Burnout is the warning signal that something is not right about your work life. It is time to introspect and re-examine your job.
  • At work, set boundaries so that you do not have to overextend yourself. Learn to say ‘No’ if the demands on your time or skill are stressful.
  • Cognitive realignment such as changing the way you view your work, looking for ways to dispel monotony and finding purpose and value in what you do will work wonders. Focus on aspects of your job which are interesting.
  • Be more systematic and disciplined in your work. Keep a journal of work schedules. Try to break your projects into smaller tasks and complete them at your own steady pace.
  • Avoid procrastination. Meet your targets and finish your work before deadlines. Keep an account of your progress at work.  Consider feedback as constructive and try to work on improving your weaknesses. Don’t be a perfectionist; it will exacerbate your stress levels.
  • One way of avoiding burnout is to disconnect yourself from all sources of technology related to your work, such as the laptop and smartphone, after work hours. Set time for viewing your phone and do not view official emails and messages at other times.
  • Reach out to people. Talk to your spouse, partner, friend or even a counsellor. Spend time with your loved ones, your children or spouse, which is a great stress buster.
  • Friendships at work are a buffer against burnout. Connect with positive coworkers and colleagues and engage with them during break-time. Attend social events related to work as well as after work.
  • Expand your social circles. Join a group of like-minded people and engage in an activity you like, such as a social cause.
  • An act of kindness rejuvenates the mind. Help others at the workplace and outside.
  • Focus on areas outside of work that will give you joy such as your family, friends or hobbies.
  • Take time off from work and go on a vacation. It helps ease stress and work burnout.
  • Creativity is a huge stressbuster and has a great healing effect. Reinvent lost hobbies or unearth new ones. Music, painting, writing, dancing, fishing and even cooking can be cathartic. Involve yourself in fun activities. Seek out humor.
  • Moving your body will do you a lot of good. Exercise at least for a half hour everyday. Try walking, running, dancing, swimming or a work out.
  • Relaxation techniques are a big help. Pursue yoga, meditation and deep-breathing to relax your body and mind and prevent burn out.
  • A healthy diet is important. Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugar; cut down on fried foods. Take plenty of fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. It will keep you refreshed and ease stress.
  • Though you may feel calm after a smoke, nicotine will keep your stress levels high. Cut down on smoking. Drink alcohol in moderation because liquor results in anxiety when its effect wears off. Avoid too much coffee as caffeine too is a stimulant.
  • If you feel your job is highly stressful due to work overload, and if it provides no scope for development and does not give you job satisfaction, it is time to find a job that suits your aptitude and interests.

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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity.
Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…