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Even though most of us enjoy our jobs on a regular basis, doing the same job for years with increasing workloads can get exhausting. Not to mention our other obligations that keep us busy even when work does not. It's very easy to get burnt out, and lose the motivation that once got you to work in the morning. In fact, I know a couple of friends who were so burnt out after two years on the job that their health and physical well-being began to take a visible downward spin. As a millennial in the early stages of your career, it’s important to avoid burnout at work so that you can maintain your health and live life to its fullest. Here are some simple ways to avoid burnout at work:
Dedicate time to a hobby
You might think that pursuing a hobby is the last thing you have time for, especially when you already feel like you're running short of hours in the day. However, studies show that dedicating time to a hobby (that is significantly different from the type of work you do for your everyday job) really helps to provide your mind and body with the break it deserves.
Ultimately, the stress relief your hobby provides will help you avoid burnout at work and actually allow for increased productivity and a happier state of being. Choosing a hobby you are passionate about shouldn't be too hard. Just reclaim the hobbies you left behind when work started consuming your life, and the corporate world started sucking your soul!
Exercise to avoid burnout at work
We all know that exercise releases endorphins that alleviate stress and contribute to overall happiness and good health. Research has shown that moderate aerobic exercise, like walking or running several times a week, helps boost mood, improve sleep, and sharpen focus. If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably not too happy with the thought of exercising after a tiring workday. But trust me, it’s actually not too hard to make time for exercise, even with a hectic job.
Once you get into the habit or working out, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make this change sooner. Other than the obvious benefits of exercise, following a regular fitness plan is a great way to have some “me” time, giving you a different sort of routine from your regular work one. Also, you'll feel good that you are keeping in shape rather than resenting your work for those extra pounds you gain by sitting at a desk all day.
Eat well, and often
The power of food is abundant. It's no surprise that it is the subject of many memes and gifs today. Long work hours sometimes leads to skipping meals, eating at odd times, eating junk more often than not, and eventually moving from hungry to completely hangry. Eating small frequent meals often helps to keep your mind alert at work and also induces happiness. You will find that keeping a regular routine in terms of eating well will increase your energy levels, help you avoid burnout at work, and lead to a more satisfied feeling at the end of the day.
Go on a vacation
Have you ever tried to save up vacation time in the hopes that you will eventually go away on that much-needed long holiday? But then, work comes along and before you know it, your vacation days have lapsed and you're back to square one? It baffles me how so many people in the workplace fail to utilize their vacation days, especially when these are a part of paid time off.
A vacation is one of the best ways to rejuvenate yourself and center your mind and body once again. Travel to someplace new, and immerse yourself in a different culture and lifestyle that is completely separate from your daily routine.
If you’re worried about the expenses in relation to a holiday, then consider the return value you will receive. According to Elizabeth Dunn Michael Norton, the co-authors of Happy Money, “people are happier when they spend money for an experience — vacations, restaurants, education, and even home improvement — rather than buying more things (electronics, cars, clothing).” This advice rings true for entrepreneur Jesse Pujji of Ampush, “Vacations with loved ones will help entrepreneurs avoid burnout. It's important to put on an out-of-office message, too, and not respond to emails. Another benefit of taking a vacation is you set a good example for hard-working employees”.
Ask for help to avoid burnout at work
One of the main reasons people get burnt out at work is because of the stigmas associated with asking for help. I too have often felt a tinge of insecurity or guilt when asking for help to complete a task assigned to me. What’s important to realize is that it is so much better to ask a colleague or your supervisor for a helping hand rather than continuously struggle, become frustrated and curse your job for it.
Using the knowledge of your coworkers will enable you to find a solution quicker than you ever could alone, and after all, that’s what good coworkers are for! On the flipside, when you are asked to help your coworkers, then do so in a reasonable capacity. Helping others will make you feel more worthwhile and valued at your workplace too. In fact, studies suggest that proactively doing things for others, even small things like holding a door open, could help you cope with everyday stressors and tough days and even boost daily well-being.
Know your “purpose”
Have you ever had one of those existential crises where you wonder why you're even doing what you're doing? I know I have. Often, when you've been working non stop without giving your mind and body a break, your mind will easily fall into the sinkhole that is doubt and insecurity about your purpose.
To avoid this, it's important to always keep track of your own personal goals, and what you are doing in order to achieve them. Write down what matters to you, and make sure to never lose sight of thee values and/or goals. Its equally important to know your breaking point – everyone has one, and you should be well aware if you are close to reaching yours. The minute you feel like you are approaching your breaking point, take a day off, spend some time away from work and do something to re-focus your mind. Knowing your purpose and breaking point will help you feel more satisfied with what you're doing, rather than disgruntled that your career isn't aiding you in meeting your personal goals.
Ultimately, it’s important to combat and hopefully completely avoid burnout at work. Dedicate time to yourself and your happiness so that you can stay productive and enjoy your career.