4 Ways to Fight Burnout That Aren't a Self-Care Day

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 22, 2024 at 4:57AM UTC

In the month before the American Psychological Association’s 2021 Work and Well-being survey of 1,501 adult workers in the U.S., 79% of employees said they had experienced work-related stress. More than half of those who reported stress said that it had had a negative impact on their lives, such as a lack of interest, motivation or energy or a lack of effort at work.

Burnout has been a too-often-ignored part of the work environment for a long time, but during the pandemic and Great Resignation, workers and employers are increasingly recognizing feelings of work-related exhaustion and stress.

How to fight burnout

1. Discuss your goals and options with your manager.

Have a sit-down meeting with your manager to discuss what you’re dealing with. Perhaps you can work together to come up with some ideas to ease the burden. At the very least, you’ll make them aware of the problems you’re experiencing and consider your options. Maybe they can help you prioritize and come up with a plan to lighten the load or allow you to achieve a better work-life balance.

2. Establish clear boundaries.

A lack of boundaries can wreak havoc on your life and lead to burnout. This can be especially true when you’re working remotely because the distinctions between work and your personal life are blurred.

To ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy separation between these two spheres, lay down rules for yourself — and communicate them to those who need to be aware of them, such as your colleagues. For example, you might establish a sign-off time every day, after which you won’t check email or accept work-related phone calls.

3. Make your office environment more welcoming.

Little things can make a huge difference. According to one study, people with a plant in their office reported experiencing 15% less stress. Perhaps it’s the sense of responsibility you feel taking care of something (I certainly experienced that when I was taking care of an African Violet in college!), along with the fact that there is more “life” in your work environment.

You can also brighten up your workspace with a bowl of candy, available to anyone who passes by, which will give off a friendly vibe. Or maybe you have framed photos of friends, family members and a pet.

4. Ask for help.

There’s no shame in asking for help. That could come from a manager, as we’ve discussed, or it might come from a coworker who can lend a hand. While friends and family members probably can’t help you with your workload, they can lend a sympathetic ear.

Consider seeking out the support of a therapist, too. They can help you develop coping strategies for dealing with the burnout experience. Remember, first and foremost, that you don’t need to do this all alone.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

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