You’ve heard the phrase “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Forget dull; suffering from work-related stress can cause a myriad of physical and mental issues if not dealt with in a timely manner. From CEOs to the self-employed to stay-at-home moms, we all get burned out every once in a while, but it’s important to recognize when we need a mental reboot.
Common symptoms of work-related stress include: a feeling of apathy about a job you once enjoyed, constant anxiety about meetings, deadlines, or even everyday tasks, depression (feeling helpless or overwhelmed), and physical fatigue.
So is your work burnout a lost cause? Not if you commit to a few simple steps to recharge those batteries.
- Exercise, eat well, and get plenty of rest. These are the basic rules of good health. You don’t have to spend lots of time and money at a gym when you can take a power walk around the block a few days a week. Getting your heart rate up will release endorphins that clear your head and help you feel refreshed. Furthermore, you can reap the benefits of physical activity if you eat well. This may take some planning, but you’ll notice a huge difference in a short amount of time. Exercise and a balanced diet will in turn allow your body to get enough rest. A good night’s sleep can work wonders for the overly stressed.
- Do something you enjoy. Go see that movie you’ve been dying to see, take a spa day, or hit the golf course. Recreation is an essential part of an enjoyable lifestyle. Depriving yourself of it in the name of work can negatively affect many aspects of your professional and personal life.
- Talk to people you trust. Discussing your frustrations with someone not involved with your work can help you gain some perspective. If nothing else, just being able to express what is bothering you will help you feel better.
Finally, once you have been able to recover from the effects of work burnout, it’s time to reevaluate. How did you get burned out in the first place? How can you prevent it from happening again?
- First, and this may take some serious reflection, prioritize your life. Is your work just a job, or is it the center of your life? Whatever you decide, it should match your overall objectives.
- Second, set goals that include personal limits, like amount of hours worked per week or breaking up projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Finally, plan some vacation time and stick to it. You don’t even need to get away from home to have a vacation, but certainly plan some down time. Your work will still be there when you get back! Everyone needs some “me” time periodically.
When you mentally reboot, you not only help yourself to cope with the stresses of work, but you also make it possible to do your job to the best of your ability. And your family benefits too, because you’ll be able to bring your best to every aspect of your life.