How to avoid work-related stress

Work-related stress may lead to emotional or physical burnout. Exhaustion may also lead to a feeling of minimal accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

Taking a step back especially when under pressure is very important, as job burnout can affect your health. While it may not always be possible to avoid extreme working conditions especially when you have targets and deadlines to meet, burnout can significantly affect your productivity.

Burnout can manifest in many ways, including lack of energy to be consistently productive, loss of motivation to work, dysfunctional job dynamics, work-life imbalance, and inability to concentrate. Here is how to avoid work related burnout.

Utilise your leave days

Evaluate your options, talk to your employer, and take all your leave days. Use these days to slow down and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones, take a break, and recharge. Don’t think so much about work while you are on leave. Concentrate on doing things you like. Go out with a friend you haven’t spent time with for months, travel upcountry and breathe fresh air. Live a little. Leave days will help you balance between work and other duties, which in the end improves individual performance.

Do not be a night owl

Have a good sleep routine. While you may feel like you are living your best life, staying up late at night will only interfere with your circadian rhythm, leading you to wake up with eye bags, grumpy, and with a foggy brain. You will struggle to concentrate the following day, and might have to rely on caffeine to push through the day. Interfering with your sleep schedule will affect your energy levels throughout the day, and your overall well-being too.

Prioritise self-care

We all feel overwhelmed or stretched thin sometimes. But when work stress pushes you into a debilitating state, it becomes essential to replenish your physical and emotional energy, along with your capacity to focus, by prioritising sleep habits, good nutrition, physical workouts, social connection, and practices that promote equanimity and well-being, like meditating and journaling. This will help you find opportunities to limit your exposure to tasks, people, and situations that are not essential and put you in a negative mood, increase your investment in things that improves your energy as well as make space for restful, positive time away from work.

Alter your perspective

While rest, relaxation, and replenishment can ease exhaustion, curb cynicism, and enhance efficacy, they do not fully address the root causes of burnout. When you are back in the office and still face the same high workload, untenable conflicts, or paltry resources, it may be time to take a close look at your mindset and assumptions. What aspects of your situation can you change?

Avoid carrying work home

A healthy work-life balance may be a good strategy to avoid burnout. You need to create a good end-of-work habit and stick to it. Home is meant to be a place where we recharge and recover from the day’s workload and different stresses, so learn to leave work at work, and use your time at home to relax and take your mind off work. This will afford your body the rest it needs.

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