Knowing Your Limits: 7 Strategies to Prevent Burning out at Work

Knowing Your Limits: 7 Strategies to Prevent Burning out at Work

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We’ve all been there—-the smallest things irritate us, we feel stressed out, anxious, and our frustration level threatens to boil over both at work and at home. We find ourselves in a declining state of mental, emotional, and even physical health as we approach something called “burnout”.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a term used to describe someone who has reached their limit with a situation in their life, and they now require assistance to return to a normal state of coping once more. Burnout may occur because of demands placed on a person’s time, capabilities, or physical body. Burnout may also occur when someone has been in situation for long periods of time and not given expected compensation or rewards that justify their efforts.

Symptoms of burnout

Burnout is a mixture of exhaustion in your professional and possibly personal life, irritability and anger that is explosive and directed at others, and a loss of interest in performing the functions of daily life. Symptoms of burnout include low energy, a loss of interest in work and personal matters, low productivity, and even mental and physical health problems if left unchecked. Burnout is a serious condition and a cry for help, and it must be addressed to reduce the possibility of more severe consequences. To find out more about what causes burnout in the workplace, read more here.

Whatever the reason, burnout is a mental and emotional condition that must be addressed in order to move forward in life. Knowing the signs of burnout and what to look for as well as what to do when you’ve reached your limit will be essential in facilitating the healing process. Here are some things you can do to preserve your sanity and practice self-care techniques to eliminate burnout:

Work on your self esteem

People with healthy self-esteem tend to have a better ability to cope with unexpected and stressful situations because they believe they can deal with life’s ups and downs. The most efficient way to work on your self-esteem is to give yourself a series of small tasks that you can master and, through performance of those goals, realize that you can work through larger problems and tasks as they come up. Praise yourself for self-development, and stay positive as you look toward a healthier outlook on life.

Identify what you need from your work

Take an inventory of how your current work position makes you feel. Is it fulfilling? Do you work in amicable conditions? Do you like your mission and the people you work with? If the answer to any of these questions is a no, then consider looking for something that brings you joy on every level. While that may seem idealistic, hold the thought and vision of the perfect job in your mind, and it may just come to you in due time.

Give yourself creative outlets

Burnout interferes with your ability to think, to feel, and to perform. If your job doesn’t involve the opportunity to demonstrate your creative side, then take up hobbies outside of work that reduce your stress and foster your natural creativity. The balance that you strike will prevent burnout from occurring.

Practice self care

Many of us have been taught that “work is never truly finished”. The truth is, if you don’t have a balance of work and rest, giving to others and giving to self, then you will not be an effective addition to any environment. Practice self-care techniques; get adequate sleep, exercise, cultivate good relationships, and eat nutritious and delicious food. Life is not all about work; you must play in order to enjoy the richness that life has to offer.

Find support when you need it

We all need a little additional help from time to time; ask for help and support from friends, families and coworkers if you find yourself struggling. You will find out who true friends and loyal family members are through this process, and you’ll find that even though you may feel alone at times in your struggles, you are not alone in your experience.

Be real

There is something fundamentally superficial about the person who seems to have it all together all the time. There is no such thing. Sometimes just sharing your story with others is a way to connect with them and release a burden. Set those burdens down by telling your stories, releasing toxic emotions that no longer serve you, and move on. Be real, and find and develop authentic relationships with others who don’t care that you don’t have your stuff together all the time. We refer to those people who endure their struggles as “the salt of the earth”. Those seasoned people are worth spending time with.

Increase positive self-talk techniques

Thoughts are powerful generators of emotions. Guard your thoughts carefully, and if you find that you’ve gotten stuck in a negative rut, then perhaps it’s time to create a new groove. Notice when you have negative thoughts and emotions, and practice consciously affirming positive thoughts several times a day. Over time, you will be creating new habits of positivity and problem solving, which will feel much better emotionally than where you were before.

While the thought of changing careers or even finding a more affirmative workplace is overwhelming, consider the emotional and physical toll that the wrong placement can make over years and years of career service. Your life’s work should be fulfilling, inspiring, and filled with passion as you create something bigger and better than yourself. Focus on these thoughts as you seek to find the right fit for yourself on all levels.

If you are experiencing symptoms of burnout, you are definitely not alone. Others have been there as well, and they have come out on the other side with a renewed attitude and a sense of purpose once more. Taking care of yourself and taking time to rest and recover physically and emotionally will ensure that you have something to give back once more. Reach out, ask for help and support, and then receive the goodness others give you as you learn to care for yourself and restore your mental and physical well being once more. Best of luck to you on your healing journey!

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