The American work ethic is to be admired. It has led to advances in many industries, helped rebuild cities after war and natural disasters, and overall been a positive impact on our society. However, a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com revealed that the American worker is experiencing burnout like never before. According to their survey, American workers have the least amount of vacation time of any modern, developed society. When workers do go on vacation 20 percent say they plan to stay in touch with work. Over 50 percent of workers say they work under a great deal of stress and 77 percent say they feel burned out on the job.
I think it might be time for all of us to pause and do a quick inventory of our own attitude and stress level at work. Are you experiencing any of these six signs of burnout at work or in life?
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Low Self-esteem
- Lack of Confidence
- Desire to Quit
What are we to do? Many do not have the luxury of taking extra vacation or changing their job environment. Here are six simple actions you can take right away to help reduce stress and avoid burnout:
- Exercise: If exercise is not already a part of your weekly routine then it’s time to start. No gym membership is required. Simply start by walking thirty minutes a day to get your heart rate up and maybe break a sweat.
- Write: I used to hate writing but over the past two years have come to love journaling via my blog. It is a huge stress reliever for me because it allows me to take everything I’m thinking about and process it into a blog post or journal entry. It’s a great way to clear your head.
- Read: Taking the time to read, even for just 30 minutes, will help you detach from the stress of work. Find a great book, blog, or magazine that is encouraging, positive, and fun to read.
- Turn off Electronics: You must determine a time of the day when you shut all communication off with work and the social media world. Allow yourself at least 1-2 hours before you go to bed to completely wind down with no distractions from phone calls, email, Twitter, or Facebook.
- Eat Right: Not to sound like your mother, but eating fruits and vegetables each day keeps the doctor away. Make sure you are eating three quality meals each day. Snack on healthy snacks and plan ahead so you don’t buy junk food on the run.
- Sleep: Make sure you are getting a minimum of six hours of sleep each night. If you struggle with this, then take a 15 minute power nap on your lunch break. Sleep is so important to having a positive attitude, enough energy, and an overall healthy lifestyle.
These six actions will begin to help you deal with stress and feelings of burn out at work. However, they are not the final answer. In my next blog post, I will share with you the benefits of having a simple and meaningful priority management plan for your life and work, and how this type of plan can eliminate stress and allow you to find enjoyment in your life and work.
Make it a great day!