Feeling stressed or burnt out is entirely normal, especially in the workplace. However, it is essential to understand how to manage those emotions and prevent them from negatively affecting your work. Some basic strategies can help curb those feelings.

As Forward Wayne County begins to focus on Health and Wellness throughout February, this blog will examine stress in the workplace and cover some strategies to prevent it.

Defining Workplace Stress and Burnout

Burnout is a symptom of increased stress. It is defined as emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion brought on by prolonged stress.

Stress in the workplace is not a new idea, but it has become more prevalent in recent years because of changes in the professional landscape. A study by Deloitte found that 77% of workers experienced burnout in their current job. Research from Indeed indicated that 67% of workers felt burnout increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These negative feelings can adversely affect employees, including decreased quality or interest in work. Their causes include heavy workloads, short deadlines, long hours, and a lack of motivation.

Managing stress is critical to preventing burnout. Here are some strategies that can help in those endeavors.

Take a Break

One of the common strategies to prevent stress is taking regular breaks. This can be as simple as taking short 5-minute breaks during the workday. It can be an excellent way to step away from a project, evaluate goals, and return to your desk with fresh eyes. There is nothing wrong with detaching yourself from work for short periods.

Several studies have shown that regular workplace breaks reduce stress and help maintain daily performance. Additionally, breaks are noted to help increase energy levels during the workday.

Deep Breathing and Meditation

Another heavily used and effective strategy is breathing exercise and meditation. Both techniques are great ways to calm nerves and recenter yourself in your work. There are several ways to do this, and you can partner it with regular breaks.

One common breathing and meditation exercise is 4-7-8 breathing. This is done by inhaling for 4 seconds, holding to a count of seven, and exhaling for eight seconds. With meditation, finding a quiet place in the office and turning off all distractions is recommended.

Understanding your Stressors

Stress and burnout can originate from several sources, usually called stressors. Understanding your stressors at work can help mitigate their effects on you. Given the nature of some people’s work, it can be hard to do this.

To help with this, consider keeping a stress diary. A stress idea is a place to record the types of stress you feel and the situations you experience them in. This is a simple way to understand your feelings and what aspects of work are stressful to you.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance deals with the separation of your professional and personal life. When combatting stress, it is vital to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This can be easy for some but challenging for others, depending on their work and responsibilities.

One of the best methods for maintaining a work-life balance is establishing clear boundaries between your social and professional life. This is done through exploring interests outside of work, developing end-of-day habits, and completing your tasks within the workday.

Ask for Help and Build Connections

The workplace can be a great space to ask for help. If you deal with a lot of stress in your job, asking for help could relieve some of it. Reaching out to a coworker or supervisor can bring some issues to light and give you a path forward to resolving your stress or burnout. Who knows? They could be experiencing the same problems as you.

Role of the Employer

Employers can play a role in stress management for their employees. One way of doing this is to establish a space where employees can feel comfortable discussing stress-related issues. Another effective way would be providing resources and programming to help reduce stress and burnout.

Managers must be open and ready for these types of discussions. It will help employees know they work in an environment that cares about their mental well-being.

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