5 Ways to Prevent Work Burnout

Are you feeling stressed or burnt out?

Burnout is an all too familiar phenomenon in all jobs at all levels.  It happens when we are stuck in jobs we do not like, in jobs that fail to satisfy our needs or in jobs that demand more time and energy than is physically and emotionally possible to maintain our happiness quotient. Even the word “work” soundsserious and difficult, and that’s often the crux of the problem.

We use work to give structure to our time and meaning to our lives, to earn a living, to express our talents, our dreams, our creativity and even perhaps to change ourselves and the world at large. As such it is both a necessary and desirable way to spend our time. But when it becomes hard and serious to the point of causing excessive stress or a sense of personal frustration or worthlessness, it undermines both our health and our happiness and leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled.

It sucks, but it’s true.

Of course, you could make a drastic change and quit today, fly to a tropical beach somewhere and do nothing but sip a cocktail with a cute little umbrella in it.  But perhaps that’s not possible at the moment.  So in the meantime, it’s important to realize that you are the person who is responsible for your happiness and well being despite your feeling of burnout.  You can do something about it.

According to the Wellness Inventory, a holistic assessment and life-balance program, there are five ways to prevent burnout.

1. Be Aware.

Know that you are feeling burnt out. Simply acknowledge and accept that this is your reality.

2. Self-care.

Get plenty of good nutrition, exercise and create a supportive environment around you.

3. Relax.

Take time for regular deep relaxation and frequent mini-relaxations throughout the day. Mentally go to that tropical beach, meditate or listen to a piece of music to quiet your mind.

4. Ask for What You Want.

You may not know what you want, but perhaps you know what you don’t want.  Whatever the case, take a little time to drill down to what it is you really want and find ways to make it happen.  If you haven’t heard of the Japanese Kaizen Model for Continuous Improvement, consider its effectiveness.  In short, it means taking small steps in order to create big changes in your life.

5. Take Time for Creativity.

Being creative is a wonderful way to relax and reduce stress.  Pull out the art supplies and draw with your kids, build a sandcastle on the beach or simply belt out your favorite song in the shower. Whatever it is that resonates for you, engage in an activity that allows your left brain to let go and your right brain to play.