Burnout is more than just stress—it’s how your mind and your body tell you a change is needed. Do you find yourself withdrawing from work and caring less about results? Are you working harder, often mechanically or to the point of exhaustion? Just going through the motions?
Try a few tips for keeping burnout at bay.
Exercise at least three times a week. Running, weight lifting, bike riding—anything that gets your heart and lungs working burns off stress Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and it dissipates built-up stress that otherwise leads to burnout.
Make time for a hobby. An art class, cooking, reading, sewing—anything that’s not part of the regular grind and that helps you relax will balance the things that wear you down.
Practice breathing exercises. “Just breathe!” Yes, it’s an old cliche, but there is a grain of truth behind every cliché. Deep breathing gives your body a boost of oxygen and it releases tension in your abdomen around your heart.
Get away. Take a walk at lunch, and don’t take work home. Leave the office at the office. At home, find a time and place where you can relax and unwind. Even 15 minutes of relaxation can relieve stress.
- Sometimes it helps to look at a situation and just laugh. If that fails, read the jokes that your uncle’s cousin’s best friend is e-mailing you three times a week. Pick a comedy next time you go to the movies or surf channels.
Take up yoga or tai chi. These disciplines have a restorative effect and are sure burnout busters.
Burnout can creep up on you slowly. Watch for the warning signs and stay ahead of it. Your heart, family and employer will thank you.