Burnout in the workplace is serious.
It can leave people feeling exhausted, empty, and unable to cope with the demands of life. So protecting your mental health at work is paramount to your holistic well-being.
When we go to work, we can’t leave mental health issues at the door. And sometimes, these same mental health issues are exacerbated by the actual work environments that we find ourselves in.
Are you consistently working outside your regular 9-5 work hours?
Are you constantly thinking about your work to-do lists on the weekend?
Are you unable to unplug on vacation?
These are all signs of burnout and lead to symptoms like alienation from work-related activities, headaches, stomachaches, emotional exhaustion, and reduced performance.
If you find yourself in this situation or know a friend in this situation, this blog is for you. These tools will help you to protect yourself from being overworked or stuck in a toxic work environment.
Remember, burnout at work is real.
Catch the signs quick before they lead to more serious problems like heightened depression and anxiety.
Setting Boundaries at Work
If you want to avoid burnout, you must prioritize work-life balance. This means setting aside time in your life for yourself. One way to guarantee you set aside this time is through clear boundaries.
If you don’t want your colleagues to contact you at all hours, tell them so. Actually have the conversation. Ask that they refrain from texting or emailing you outside of regular work hours.
Set a time each week day that you commit to being completely out of office then tell your colleagues that you won’t be checking email after that time. If you decide 6:00 pm is your sweet spot to turn off email, ensure you completely unplug until the next morning at work. The same goes for unplugging on weekends.
It’s important to spend time away from your email and work laptop, so that you can replenish yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Practicing Self-Care at Work
No one can stare at a computer screen for 8 hours straight. They’d go crazy!
It’s impossible to be productive for 8 hours straight, so give yourself plenty of breaks and grace periods to step away from the work. If you don’t give yourself breaks, you’ll run yourself ragged.
Find what self-care works for you.
It might be going out to lunch or ensuring you don’t eat in front of your computer screen checking emails.
It might be going for a walk outside each day to see the sun.
Or it might be taking a mental break to talk to coworkers in the kitchen about their lives, rather than the next deliverable.
Self-care at work doesn’t need to be extravagant, but it should definitely be time that is devoted to recharging.
And it should happen at least once a day.
Being Honest with Your Boss at Work
It might seem scary, but if you’re suffering from burnout say something to your boss. 9 times out of 10 they have NO idea you’re struggling.
Approach your boss one on one to have a conversation about the fact that you feel overwhelmed at work. During this conversation, get tangible and talk through concrete steps that you and your boss can take to get you from burnt out to excited again about work.
It won’t be the easiest conversation, but you can’t chart a course forward unless you lay everything out on the table. So be honest about your burnout and the effect it’s having on you.
Name the problem. If there’s simply too much on your plate, say that. And ask how you can best prioritize or shift responsibilities between more members of the team.
Your employer wants to see you be successful because it means the company can be more successful.
So have a heart to heart.
P.S. Feeling stuck? Want support or advice? Email us.