Overworked and Overwhelmed: 10 Methods for Combating Work-Related Fatigue and Burnout

Overworked and Overwhelmed: 10 Methods for Combating Work-Related Fatigue and Burnout

Exhausted. If you feel burnt out, run over, and used up at the end of your day, you’re definitely suffering from work-related fatigue and burnout. It’s easier to nip it in the bud and catch it while it’s happening rather than let it build up. Here are 10 Methods for Combating Work-Related Fatigue and Burnout:

     1. Get Ergonomic

If this is the first time you’re hearing the word ‘ergonomic’ than you need to sit back on your wooden crate and think about how much better your life could be.

Chairs with lumbar support, standing desks, ergonomic balls – these things are popping up in offices across the world. But if you’re still struggling with ergonomics, you can read more here and be shocked at how you can avoid fatigue. Getting an ergonomic chair or standing desk can reduce pressure on your spine by up to 20%, according to some studies.

     2. Take a non-smoking break

We simply aren’t meant to sit all day. We crawled from the primordial ooze only to throw ourselves into a seat at work, then a seat in the car, then a seat at the kitchen table, and then into a seat on the couch? Think again.

The simple way to relieve stress and burnout is to take a non-smoking smoke break. Stretch your legs, back, and arms and do a lap or two around the office. You’ll feel the better for it. For sure.

     3. Grab a snack

Pack a snack each day. It could be something small like crackers, an apple, or anything that requires a trip to the fridge. Much like tip number two, just the act of changing your location can change your attitude and tell your muscles and brain that your cubicle isn’t yours forever home.

Obviously, if you can make it a calorie neutral snack, you’re even better off! The calories that you burn getting to the break room and back can be neutralized by gnashing on some celery or baby carrots.

     4. Check out your posture

Are you leaned into your monitor? Are your hands floating above your keyboard without anything for your wrists to rest on? Are you contorted like an ‘S’ while sitting at your desk?

It’s as easy as setting an outlook alert on your system. All you need to do is set an alert every two hours for a posture check. Stand up straight, then sit back down, and realize how different your posture begins to slump after two hours.

     5. Look around your office space

Even if you don’t have a million dollar view of Central Park in New York, looking around your office space engages those neck muscles that you’ve forgotten about. As you look around, focus on each piece or knick-knack you might have. Try to remember where or when you got it. This pausing allows those muscles to tighten and relax. As you work your way around the room you’ll find yourself ready to do battle with Excel once more.

     6. Check in with loved ones

They’re probably the reason you work so hard. Even if you’re not married or don’t have kids at home, that doesn’t stop you from using the last five minutes of your lunch break to call grandma or mom or dad. Not only will they love hearing from you, but that feeling of being overwhelmed can slip away when you’re mentally planning your Thanksgiving get together. Even if it is only February.

     7. Write an email to yourself

It sounds silly, but shoot an email to your personal account (if allowed). Remind yourself of all the good things you’ve done throughout the day. Keep it positive and give yourself something to look forward to when you get home. It can be as simple as ‘When you see this, remember to go buy milk.’

     8. Use the bathroom mirror

Everyone has to take a bathroom break during the day, even the office camel gets up once in a while and gets some relief. So while you’re in there, smile – really smile into the mirror. Get positive. Thinking and acting positive can actually make you positive AND more successful.  If you’re more positive, you’re less stressed.

     9. Finish out your day

Sure, staying an extra hour at the office seems taxing and the opposite of what this list is about. But if you have a task that you can knock out in an hour today rather than put off until tomorrow, you can go home knowing that you have no impending deadline in the morning, you’ll sleep easier and be able to get a true fresh start in the morning.

     10. Make a morning list

When you get into the office, make a morning list. Not just what you’ll do that morning, but also after lunch. Try to stick to it. If it’s callbacks that you hate doing, make sure they’re scheduled and you check them off promptly when you said you would. By making a morning list and a list for the day you can make sure that you’re not only performing these other 9 tips, but you can be sure that you can get that little jolt of enjoyment that comes from checking something off your list.

Closing

In closing, working on yourself while working seems like double duty, but you’ll be the one to benefit if you use this list. Make your workspace more ergonomic, take time for yourself, think positive, and finish what you start. These are all little steps toward the big goal of being a less stressed out person. So if you find that you’re clenching the steering wheel a little less hard on the ride in and out of work, know that it might be ergonomics, but it also could have been that five-minute phone call to your mom at the end of your lunch break. So get your stress free life on the right track and grab a snack, make a list, and settle in for the workday.

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