Even if you love your job, it can become stressful at times. You might have a full calendar with meetings, deadlines and time-intensive projects that add more responsibilities than you know how to juggle. When the pressure gets too extreme, you may suffer from feeling burnt out. These are a few healthy ways to cope with stress at work and avoid burnout that saps your joy.
1. Step Away From Your Desk
People often put pressure on themselves when they get sucked into their work. It might seem like if you didn’t keep up the pace, the world would fall apart. When that happens, step away from your desk. A ten-minute break won’t cause everything to fail. Stepping away gives you a moment to breathe and collect yourself, then return to your work with a renewed perspective.
2. Eat A Healthy Snack
Burnout is more likely to happen when your body gives way to stress. Fueling it with sugary breakfast bars or iced coffees doesn’t provide the nutrition you need to cope with high expectations or long workdays. Consider your current diet and bring healthy food to work so you can snack between meals and keep your energy up.
3. Break Your Goals Down
Everyone chases big goals, but that can leave you with days, weeks or months that don’t seemingly make any progress. Feeling stuck magnifies burnout symptoms, so break your work into micro-goals to manage your anxiety. Checking things off your to-do list will instill more confidence in your career and your role in the workplace.
4. Identify Your Daily Triggers
It’s challenging to sort through burnout symptoms when you’re not sure what causes them. Start writing a quick journal entry each evening. Reflect on them after a week to identify your daily stressors and more accurately find burnout coping strategies. Episodic stressors might only need a quick fix, like a walk during your break, while you can solve time stressors by rethinking your schedule.
5. Learn To Say No
You might feel like turning down responsibilities or delegating work could make you seem like an ungrateful employee. Even though it’s important to learn new skills and contribute to your team, taking on too much will lead to burnout.
Learn to say no by rationalizing why saying no is best and explain yourself when you have to hold back from new opportunities. You’ll have more peace of mind by pacing yourself and apply your work more wholeheartedly to what’s already on your plate.
6. Schedule Time To Organize
Visual clutter can add to the mental mess that often contributes to exhaustion, irritation or feeling like you have nothing else to give. Look at your upcoming schedule and add a few minutes to organize whatever’s causing you stress.
You could clean up your desk and rearrange folders so they’re easy to sort through. Your inbox might need a few new folders and a hefty trip to the digital trash can. Even organizing the folders on your desktop screen will streamline your work. Making everything feel easier by saving time is a great way to cope with stress at work and avoid burnout.
7. Listen To Background Music
Think about the last time you walked a local trail or sat on the beach. The environment brought you peace because it took you away from your stressors, but it also had calming noises. You can experience the same stress and anxiety relief by listening to background music through a set of headphones at work.
Create a playlist and have fun listening to different songs or noises to figure out what works for you. You might love playing classical piano music while responding to emails or listening to forest sounds while plugging numbers into spreadsheets. Even white noise like the sounds inside a plane cabin or a static radio could banish the tension in your mind and put you at ease.
8. Talk With Your Team
When someone adds another meeting to your calendar or asks you to move a deadline up, you might keep your frustrations or exhaustion bottled up. Although it keeps the peace at the moment, that pressure builds until you’re mentally fried. Talk with your team or your manager about where your head’s at and what you need.
Your supervisor should want to create new ways for you to succeed in your role. Your coworkers could also discuss shifting individual responsibilities within a project or presentation. It’s okay to ask for a helping hand sometimes. Your team is there to support you, just like you support them.
Cope With Stress And Avoid Burnout
Burnout affects everyone, but sometimes people start unhealthy habits to avoid dealing with it. These are eight healthy ways to cope with stress at work and avoid burnout that steals your motivation, joy and energy. Consider what’s causing your stress to determine which tips will help you the most. With time and practice, they’ll become part of your routine and your burnout will disappear.