IN THE MIDDLE | career advancement

5 Easy Ways to Avoid Burnout

By Ana Maria “Penny” S. Bongato, ICF-ACC, FPM
Published February 17, 2022

The World Health Organization has included Burnout in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases as an occupational phenomenon. It is not classified as a medical condition. People of this age are simply bombarded by numerous deadlines and goals powered by an unhealthy amount of pressure. As defined by WHO, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

a. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;

b. increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and

c. reduced professional efficacy.”

Let me ask you now: When was the last time you looked from afar, stayed quiet, and just waited for some calming sound like the chirping of birds or flowing water to get appreciated by your ears? It’s hard to recall because most of us nowadays don’t have time for that anymore. Here are my 5 ways to best avoid that total burnout feeling. Take Action!

1. It Is Important to Daydream.

Allow yourself to daydream. Imagine yourself from another world. Look from afar and just start visualizing something you always wanted to have or something you wanted to experience. If you feel down, don’t wait to feel extremely down. Take action. Look from afar, keep your focus on something green close to nature. Tone down, stay quiet and ignore the noise and hate around.

Lastly, wait for your ears to appreciate some calming sound like the chirping of birds or the sound of the water flowing down. If you’re based in the city, and it would be impossible for you to hear it, grab your earphones and play them on YouTube. Help yourself to give way to some daydreaming.

A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that daydreaming isn’t a bad thing. It allows you to be creative. Daydreaming to a healthy extent helps you forget the hard feelings you have saved deep down. Daydreaming thus removes the focus, so better use its advantage this time. You can check more of its scientific explanation right here from Science Daily and from a journal entitled “Functional connectivity within and between intrinsic brain networks correlates with trait mind wandering.

2. Resolve Issues Between Your Colleagues.

Now that you have wandered, toned down, and are in a calm state of mind. You are now ready to open your lips and start opening a conversation. Keeping quiet and holding grudges isn’t a good thing; you need to vent out if you are consistently bothered by someone else’s attitude. There’s a thing called constructive feedback and forgiving. What you need is a good approach and ears ready to listen as well.

Do self-check as well with that colleague. Aim to be a better co-worker always and every day. Don’t forget to lay all the compliments! But if things go wrong after you put in all the effort, worry not and just be the better person. When dealing with a difficult co-worker, pretend your children or ‘future’ children are watching. Check out this Reader’s Digest article by George Miata to learn more about 13 Ways to Be a Better Co-Worker.

3. Ask for Feedback.

Develop your skills even more! When boredom strikes, burnout comes next. A new challenge will always spark things up, and in order to get into a new challenge, you need all the feedback you can get. If time permits, ask for a one-on-one talk with your supervisor. Be transparent that you need extra fire.

You’ve opened your ears with your colleague on the previous key point, so open it more for something harsh if it would be. You can also ask for feedback from someone you train. I believe it is also essential to see what others perceive of us, especially if the intention is for the betterment of your inner core. Here’s a step-by-step action from Fast Company’s blog written by Gabriel Shaoolian: This Is The Right Way To Ask Your Boss For Feedback.

4. Rest If You Must, Rest Because You Really Must. 

You’ve been waiting for this advice: take that needed vacation leave. Those actions suggested previously take a lot of grit and energy, so it really is important for you to take that time away from work. It’s better if you’re alone, and it doesn’t have to be grand and costly. All you need is time away from notifications, alarm clocks, blue light and city noise. You can best spend it at the comfort of your home if those requirements mentioned are all in. Check this link to give you an idea on how to create that Meditation Space you’d love to have at home by Cielo Anne Calzado of Real Living.

5. Join a Self-Improvement Workshop.

Now that you’re more than ready to take some action and new beginnings, bounce back extra equipped by joining self-improvement workshops. Engaging in these activities and connecting on talks about self-improvement will help you see others’ struggles and victories. It is crucial for you to surround yourself with healthy peers and great ideas.

Various self-help programs aim to help individuals undergoing crises at different stages cope and stand up independently and more focused. It is indeed a practical way to invest in these because it is never a bad idea to invest in yourself. One must see how important it is to have a growth plan no matter how old you get. Choose a workshop that fits in your schedule, with a holistic approach and with a life-long practice.

Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it. - Jack Canfield