Increased workload, blurred lines between work and home, competing deadlines – there are many sources of stress in our modern lives.
Over time and if not addressed, stress can lead to burnout. Stress and burnout is not only linked to work – family commitments, relationship issues, and other aspects of your personal life can also be highly stressful.
We all go through stressful moments in life. However, if you find yourself facing chronic or on-going stress, it is important to do something about it and protect your health and wellbeing.
Read on for 7 tips to combat stress and avoid burnout.
1. Take Some Time for Yourself
People with intense jobs often struggle with burnout. Not necessarily because they spend most of their time at the office, but more often because they don’t take personal time. It is important to not let your work take over your life and dominate your schedule. Always be sure to prioritize taking time for yourself, even – or especially – when work is hectic.
A simple way to de-stress is to take time to do something you enjoy. It could be watching a funny YouTube video, hanging out with your friends, practicing meditation, going for a walk, watching cricket, reading your favourite book, or having a relaxing bath. Anything that makes you happy will help you to release stress.
2. Learn Time Management Skills
Time management is the most overlooked yet most important skills in our modern age. Being disorganized and falling behind with your deadlines is a sure source of stress. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the amount of pending work, but this doesn’t have to be a source of stress if you manage your time effectively.
Organize your tasks in order of priority. Rank your daily tasks according to their deadline. This will not speed up how fast you work, but it can reduce the stress of struggling to finish everything at the last minute.
3. Plan a Vacation
Sometimes the only way to unplug and completely relax is to get out of your daily routine is to remove yourself from it entirely. Going away with your friends, family, or even by yourself can be an effective antidote to stress. If you can’t afford a long vacation, going away for the weekend or even a day trip can make all the difference. In particular, heading out into the great outdoors will help you to unwind – experts tell us that spending time in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Balancing Work and Personal Life
Nobody wants to spend all day at the office and home to keep working on projects and answering work emails, only to wake up early the next day and do the whole thing again. It is absolutely essential to keep a balance between your work and personal life. Letting your work seep into all other areas of your life is a sure recipe for stress and eventually burnout.
There are many things you can do to create a healthy balance between your professional and personal life. For instance, don’t check emails and or take calls from the office when you are home unless it is absolutely necessary. Try to leave your work stress at the office and focus on your family and hobbies in the evenings and on weekends.
5. Know that Perfection Doesn’t Exist
Another common cause of burnout is the “desire to be perfect”. However, let’s be clear: no one and nothing is perfect. Sure, you can re-work a report to make it look more presentable or spend hours making the best presentation. However, there’s a difference between trying to do your best and drowning under unrealistic expectations for yourself. We can be our own worst critic, so give yourself a break sometimes!
6. Avoid Gossip
As tempting as it can be, gossip isn’t healthy, especially in the workplace. The more you keep yourself out of the gossip loop, the more relaxed and focused you will be. Try to avoid the “gossip group” in your office and don’t worry if you are a subject of the rumour mill either!
If you work with a colleague who shares rumours all the time, try to steer the conversation to work-related topics or at least something positive. Distance yourself from negativity and aim to be around people who are productive instead.
7. Make Friends
In today’s busy world, it is common to lose touch with people. Most of us are no longer in contact with our school or university friends. Even if we are connected on social networking apps, we probably don’t hang out very often or talk regularly.
You don’t need a lot of friends, just a few trustworthy people you can share your feelings with is enough. Being with people who can help you through the challenging times is the best way to calm your mind. The best way to meet like-minded people is by doing things you enjoy – whether taking up yoga, learning to paint, or joining a local cricket team.
You can make life-long friends at these kinds of clubs and classes!
The above tips can be valuable in helping to combat stress and burnout. Professional help is also important – if you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or burnout, it is important to reach out. A counsellor or therapist will be able to help you to work through your stress and build your emotional wellbeing.