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Burning Issue. What Can I Do To Prevent Burnout?

If you love your job (especially if you love your job), you risk burning out.

Good news is, you are not alone. Statistics show that burnout is responsible for up to 50% of Americans quitting their jobs.

We have already talked about the symptoms that will help you recognize if you are anywhere near it. If you don’t want to have to solve the problem in a radical way, there are also still some things you can do.

1. Improve sleeping habits

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Sleep is essential to good physical and mental health, so aim at 7-8 hours a day.

2. Take time off

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The simplest solution is often the best one. Stay off work, which means no calls or emails. Go hiking or go to the zoo with a kid, they’ll keep you distracted enough.

3. Stop working overtime

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Too much overtime work is in the top three reasons for burnout in U.S. companies. Modern people are used to working a lot. When the government in South Korea decided to shut off computers in the evening to prevent workers from staying overtime, 67.1% of employees asked to be exempt from the cut-off.

Don’t be your own worst enemy, leave work on time.

4. Try working out of the office

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Staying out of the office may mean more flexibility and subsequently less stress.

74% of employees worldwide find changing location a good way to relieve work pressure. You don’t have to switch to freelancing, but working from home every once in a while may help.

5. Talk to a friend

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As trivial as it sounds, just speaking with someone you trust may prove therapeutic. Human relations are nature’s remedy for stress. Trust your instincts, talk it out or join a social group that fits your needs. Together you’ll feel stronger.

6. Exercise

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Regular exercise makes us happier. It has to do with endorphins released into your bloodstream. It also takes your mind off things that cause stress.

If running or aerobics are not for you, consider walking a few blocks before catching a bus or a train home and don’t spend that time on the phone with your boss. Enjoy the weather and the scenery.

And remember, there’s only so much you can do. It’s important that your employer understands the risks and takes steps to prevent employee burnout.

Here are a few inspiring examples:

  • Nine European countries have legally recognized burnout as an occupational disease. It means workers can take a sick leave or get treatment with this condition.
  • Some major companies started offering their workers paid vacations. For instance, Evernote encourages employees to take a paid vacation offering $1,000 on top of that if they take off for a full week at a time.
  • Some employers do everything to prevent employees from working overtime. An Amsterdam-based design studio Heldergroen lifts desks up to the ceiling at 6 p.m. so that workers would stop working and start enjoying other activities like yoga or dancing.

Work is an important part of life, it shouldn’t be something that drains life out of you.

Sources: Huffington Post, Kronos, Journal of Applied Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Entrepreneur, Fast Company

Featured Image: Mad Men/AMC

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