Are you completely spent, physically, mentally and emotionally at work? Are you struggling to get up and go to work each day motivated to do your best? You may be struggling from a common mental health condition known as workplace burnout.
In Parts One and Two of our ‘Workplace Burnout’ series, we have covered the following topics so far with regards to workplace burnout:
-What is workplace burnout?
-Causes of workplace burnout, and
-11 key signs and symptoms of workplace burnout.
For more information on the above topics and to read these two important articles, before learning about what you can do to help your recovery from burnout, please click on the following links:
Things You Can Do To Aid Your Recovery From Workplace Burnout
Fortunately in most situations where people are suffering from workplace burnout, there are a number of tools they can implement in order to help them cope with and eventually recover from burnout.
It is critically important to note that the below tools should not be used solely on their own, but in conjunction with seeking professional help from a qualified therapist with experience treating burnout. Why, you may ask? Because when left untreated, burnout can have serious consequences with regards to a person’s physical and mental health (in Part Two of our series, we discuss some of the common health issues that may occur when burnout is left untreated – specifically, please see workplace burnout sign and symptom #9).
Determine The Cause(s) Of Your Burnout
It can be difficult to know what is best to do in order to kick start your recovery process from burnout if you are unable to identify the main cause(s) of your workplace burnout to begin with. For more information on potential causes of your workplace burnout, please see Part Two of our ‘Workplace Burnout’ series.
Make Self-Care A Priority
Self-care is an important part of maintaining optimal physical, mental and emotional health and is especially important when you are feeling burnt out. When reviewing your self-care plan and deciding upon the changes you need to make to take better care of your mind and body, you may wish to include a review of the following:
-your diet (ensure you are consuming a diet rich in nutritious wholefoods and achieving adequate daily hydration)
-your weekly exercise regime (to keep both your body healthy and to clear your mind; bonus tip: do something you enjoy!)
-your sleep hours and sleep hygiene routine (i.e. habits or a routine you follow before you sleep)
-relaxation time (so you can be at your best in all your responsibilities, including those at work; examples may include reading, taking a gentle stroll or practising meditation)
Identify When Your Physical Or Mental Health Is Affected And Seek Professional Help
If you are suffering from physical health issues such as frequent headaches or digestive problems, or mental health issues such as feelings of anxiety and/or depression as a result of your workplace burnout, do not delay in seeking professional help, in order to aid your recovery from burnout and any associated health problems as soon as possible.
Organisation And Goal-Setting Are Key (Including The Need For Regular Rest Breaks)
When we are burnt out, it is best to take some time to sit and write down the tasks you need to complete. Next, mark which of the following tasks are the most important. Then, it may help you to assign how much time you think you shall realistically require to complete each task. Now, do your best to organise your day each morning (or the afternoon/evening before) according to (i) priority and (ii) the time you have available, and hopefully this will reduce some of your stress and feelings of burnout, as well as restore some feeling of control over your task list. Don’t forget to allow adequate time for rest breaks.
Not only can setting some goals for your work day/week be a big help (even if you don’t get to everything on your task list), you can also greatly reduce the need to worry about forgetting what you need to do when you have it all down on paper (or recorded electronically).
Ensure Expectations Are Clear And Set Appropriate Boundaries
Take some time to sit down with your manager(s) to discuss what is expected of you in your specific role and be sure these expectations are clearly understood by both parties. By having a solid understanding of what is expected of you in your role, you can then take the opportunity to set any appropriate boundaries (for example, regarding a reasonable workload, fair working hours or flexibility, or any other factor that is necessary for you to maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid feeling burnt out again in future).
Encourage Open And Transparent Communication With Your Manager(s) And Co-workers
Open communication with all co-workers in the workplace is essential when recovering from burnout. Open communication allows you to discuss a query or problem before it has the chance to escalate and encourages transparency and a sense of fairness in the workplace. This can assist the building of stronger working relationships, as it builds a sense of trust.
Where necessary, discuss with your manager the possibility for a feedback system (whether the feedback is positive or negative) and any recommendations you (or they) may have when it comes to resolving situations of conflict.
It is a good idea to take some time to sit with your manager and discuss or request any rewards or recognition processes that may apply to you, as well as any upcoming or future opportunities for advancement and promotion.
Encourage A Supportive Team Environment
If a supportive team environment and positive morale is missing from your workplace, try starting with yourself. Often when we treat others with positivity, kindness and respect, they will often treat us the same way. Do your best to support your colleagues and to build a sense of community.
Team-building activities are also a great way to encourage a fun and supportive team environment and to strengthen working relationships. And where possible, do your best to reduce the need for and length of interactions with co-workers who are particularly pessimistic and make you feel exhausted.
Take Back Control And Seek The Necessary Resources To Complete Your Job
Discuss with your manager the possibility for autonomy in your role (where appropriate/applicable), according to your responsibilities, and ascertain any situations in which you will require support from your co-workers and or manager(s). Don’t be afraid to ask for training required for you to develop new skills or for relevant and up-to-date technology necessary for you to perform your job efficiently and effectively.
Dealing With Conflict Regarding Personal vs. Employer Values And Job Fit
Where there is a significant difference in your personal values (or skills/interests) versus your employer’s values (or the skills that are required of you in your job), it is ultimately up to you whether you stay in your position with your current employer or move on to a more meaningful job. Perhaps your difference in values is not a significant factor when it comes to your personal experience with workplace burnout. If it is however, you may wish to consider an industry or job that is a better fit for your personal values, as well as your skills and interests.
For more information on tools you can implement to recover from burnout, please see our article ‘How To Recover From Burnout’.
As you now understand, there are a number of things you can do to aid your recovery process from workplace burnout. However, these tools should not be used alone, and rather in conjunction with help and assistance from a professional therapist experienced in treating patients or clients suffering from burnout. Contact Brain Wellness Spa today for professional help and support with your burnout.