Stressed At Work: Burnout and How To Overcome It

Photo by nikko macaspac

Have you ever felt like things were piling up and there’s never enough time in the day? Do you feel like your health and relationships are deteriorating? When was the last time you had time to do something for yourself – something you found fun?

So what exactly is ‘burnout’?

Burnout is described as a “state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

A recent survey from Deloitte says that 77% of workers experience burnout at their current job. I’m no statistician but that seems like a pretty impressive number to me. Three out of four people feel stressed, overworked, tired and frustrated! It’s no wonder that most of us are struggling to find meaning in the day to day.

It doesn’t just stay at work. The effects of burnout spill over into our personal lives and affect many parts. Friends, partners and families don’t get the attention they deserve. Our diet and health is not a priority. Hobbies are nonexistent or only get a few crumbs of time. We don’t even remember the last time we took a deep breath. (Take this opportunity to take one – or three!) Our meager days off are spent cramming endless errands, social obligations, self care and whatever else we’re shoving onto our ever growing to-do list.

What can we do to recenter ourselves? Continuing at that pace is not sustainable so something has to change. Quitting your job may not be on the shortlist but maybe there are some other things that can.

Below are some tips that can help negate these feelings:
  • Mini Breaks
    Spend a few moments away from whatever is stressing you. Take 5, 10, 15 minutes to take a deep breath, stretch your legs, read a page from a book you’ve been meaning to finish – anything to give your mind a bit of time to just rest and reset. This is especially helpful when you start to feel yourself get out of whack.
    • Bonus Tip: Don’t eat at your desk/work space! A change of scenery is really important.

  • Dedicated ‘Me’ Time
    Just like how you show up to work every day, show up for yourself each day. It doesn’t have to be the same thing. One thing that makes you feel good every day – a bath on Monday, gym on Tuesday, hobby time on Wednesday…Whatever it is, make an effort to do things to replenish yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

  • Compromise With Your Workplace
    This may be easier for some than others but I find that negotiating some flexibility really helps morale. Ask for a day to work from home if possible. Go into or leave work one hour earlier once a week. Even if these options aren’t available, speaking to your employer about how you feel may open up options that weren’t known before. Even if the answer is no, at least you tried.

  • Evaluate and Organize
    When we get to the point of feeling burnt out, it’s a signal for us to pause and reflect on what is happening and why. Are there ways you can spend your time more effectively?

    First, make a list of the things that are going on in your life. Then, create a separate list for your goals and what you want to incorporate. Figure out what to prioritize, do, delegate and eliminate. Getting organized (calendar, planner, etc) will be essential to making sure you have time for yourself and all of the things you want to accomplish.

  • Ask For Help
    As much as we’d like to think we can do it all, sometimes we need to rely on those around us for some support. Ask your coworkers to help with your workload, family members to help finish some errands, friends for moral support…There are so many people that love us and are willing to lend us a hand. Don’t be afraid to take it.

I’ve learned that letting go of perfectionism has been an important step towards personal freedom, peace and clarity. I don’t have to do everything to feel like I am enough. I already am. And you already are.

Things can definitely get better. All it takes is a shift in mindset and a little proactivity. I’d love to hear if there are any tips that worked for you or if you feel the same. Leave a comment below!

Statistics Source:
Workplace Burnout Survey: Deloitte Us
Jen Fisher- Deloitte Services LP –

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