6 Ways to Reduce Stress and Burnout
Our grandparents certainly didn’t consider constant stress in the workplace as one of the leading causes of burnout at work. They probably didn’t even use the term “burnout.” But over time and as the pace of life accelerates, for the first time, the World Health Organization in 2019 was forced to recognize ‘burnout’ as an ‘occupational phenomenon’. And then Covid-19 happened, affecting all areas of our lives and showing our physical and mental weaknesses.
Due to the lockdowns, the boundaries between work and home and family have slowly begun to blur because while at home, and given that in most schools, education was also remote, many working parents were forced not only to work but also to monitor children during working day time. And that’s not counting the fact that many began to work longer. All this not only did not improve the situation with stress at work but, one might say, exacerbated the situation, introducing additional stress into our measured home and non-work part of life. According to studies conducted in 2021, “manager burnout” has worsened significantly compared to previous years.
In this regard, a logical question arises: how do we get rid of stress? If not completely, then at least bring it back to that more or less acceptable level that we could handle a few years ago. After all, an employee who is trying to cope with stress and suffering from burnout is always bad because, for many, the most obvious solution to this problem is to change jobs. But surely, no employer wants to lose a good specialist because they cannot recognize the symptoms of burnout in advance.
To begin with, let’s pay attention to the symptoms that can indicate that your employee or you yourself are on the verge. The most common are: self-doubt, feeling tired or drained most of the time, feeling trapped and procrastinating, and taking longer to get things done. And the most common reasons for that are workload, control (if you don’t feel like you have control over your work, it disappoints), reward (can be financial, institutional, or social), community (relationships between the employees, when there is lack of support and trust, the risk of burnout is growing), fairness (it’s about taking decisions and the way the employees are treated), and values (the ideals and motivations that originally attracted people to their job).
It is a well-known fact that physical activity helps reduce stress levels. And although the phrase that “the day should start with a run because nothing worse will happen anyway” is a joke, there is some truth in it. Running, sparring with a punching bag, jumping jacks, or a YouTube workout video or a training app on your phone will be very beneficial for your physical and emotional state. After all, 20 minutes of exercise reduces stress levels by up to 50%. Of course, you can also try yoga or stretching. If you feel that this is yours, you will not only be able to restore your spirit; you will discover new physical abilities and muscles in yourself that you never knew existed before.
Sometimes we just need to get some air and let our brain breathe in the literal and figurative sense. Being in nature helps reduce blood pressure, heartbeat, muscle tension, and the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. If you’re working from home, just go out into your backyard and sit there for a while, enjoying the sounds of nature. If you go to the office, then go to the nearest park during lunch. We are sure that if you try once, you will continue to do so even in winter or autumn because nature is very calming.
If you can’t deal with the stress yourself, you have to ask for help. Just remember that it’s better to read reviews first before choosing a specialist. When you choose, for example, a writing service to cope with a pile of assignments, you can read writepaperforme review and then make the final decision. When it’s about your mental health, you have to be even pickier.
Healthy sleep in case of stress is one of the basic human needs since our body is depleted and needs to recuperate, and how else can this be done if not during sleep? Of course, not every company, like Google, has special rooms for sleep during the working day, but you can try to organize your daily routine in such a way as to allocate the number of hours you need for sleep. And one of the important conditions is that it is necessary to go to bed before midnight.
There is a popular myth that alcohol can help you to relax and get rid of stress. But in reality, it has the opposite effect. Coffee lovers will also be disappointed, but maybe the best option for our brain is just water.
If you feel stressed or exhausted, just call or text your friend or partner, someone who usually gives you a sensation of calmness. And if you work from home and have a pet, it is also a perfect option. Interaction with animals is a well known way to reduce stress.