Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 Ways to Prevent and Overcome Stress and Burnout

Stress in your life and on the job can lead to significant job dissatisfaction and burnout, and can ultimately impact your career in harmful ways.

It's important to develop strategies for dealing with stress that enable us to face it in healthy and constructive ways. Consider the following.

Get and stay organized. When everything around us is disorganized and out of control it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Use technology and apps to your advantage to keep your emails and files organized and easily accessible. Keep a clean desk or work area. Make a plan to take on your most difficult or dreaded task first on order to prevent procrastination. Knocking off a major task early in your day will inspire confidence and help reduce stress.

Work around interruptions. Schedule your interruptions when possible by setting specific times to answer emails and respond to phone calls. Also attempt to schedule meetings during times that are convenient to your work load and also at a time during the day when your energy level is high. Meetings, especially unproductive or disorganized meetings, can certainly be an energy drain.

Breathe and meditate. Even before you are feeling stressed out develop a practice of breathing slowly and mindfully in order to refocus your attention and energy. Start a daily habit of meditation and you'll be better equipped to handle stress and anxiety when it arrives.

Watch what you eat and drink. Too much caffeine can cause you to feel jittery or anxious so if you're dealing with stress it's best to reduce or eliminate coffee or soda. In addition, alcohol can have a negative impact on your emotions and stress levels. Focus on food that energizes you and provides strength and focus. Drink a lot of water and be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

Build your support system. Be sure to surround yourself with positive and encouraging co-workers and colleagues. We can't always choose who we work with but we can choose who to have lunch with, talk to over a quick break, or socialize with outside of work. These colleagues can provide great support during times of stress and burnout. In addition, don't neglect to discuss the situation with your supervisor. A good manager desires to support his or her team and can often identify changes in a process or work situation that can mitigate some of the stress, so it's beneficial to do your best to cultivate a positive relationship with your supervisor.

Focusing on these five basics will place you in a good position to deal with job stress and prevent burnout from overtaking you.

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