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Avoiding Burnout in the Workplace

by Kelsey Smith, Career Ambassador, ‘22 Jul 5, 2021

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has a hopeful end in sight, many workplaces are making the shift from virtual work back into the office.

As we prepare to return to a very different yet once familiar work environment, it is crucial to consider and care for our mental health. Whether you're working towards your dream career or have found yourself submerged in it, burnout can sometimes be inevitable in the hectic workplace. The following 5 tips can help to keep your mind fresh and assist you in maintaining the zeal your career and mental health deserve. 

Schedule Downtime within the Work Day

If you utilize a planner to help yourself stay organized and on-task throughout the work day, make sure you schedule in a designated time to relax each day. Do not use this time to work on career-related tasks unless necessary. Rather, take this time to eat lunch, socialize with coworkers, and complete “outside-of-work” tasks that will lift any additional stress off your shoulders when you leave the office. A huge contributor to burnout is work without rest. By ensuring you receive this well-deserved rest time daily, you will be more eager to complete necessary work. 

Establish Clear Boundaries and Expectations in the Workplace

It can be very easy to get bombarded with tasks on the job. Make sure you understand your personal position’s description and what is expected of you. Do not allow coworkers to take advantage of your eagerness to work, especially at your own expense. It is always okay to go above and beyond, but never at the cost of your own mental health and happiness in the workplace!

Openly Communicate 

If you find yourself struggling to maintain the energy you once had in the workplace, lean on others. Consult your coworkers and see if they are experiencing the same burnout. Consider sharing ways to tackle your jobs’ hardest tasks together. If it seems to be a company-wide issue, consider going to upper management for a solution. Overall, try to be open about what you are experiencing, especially if the burnout threatens your future in the position.

Take Vacation Days

Most positions allow for vacation periods, whether paid or not. Utilize these days for yourself. Whether vacationing means an all inclusive week in tropical paradise, or a week to relax at home with family and friends, make sure you take advantage of why these days were built into most careers - taking a break to avoid overworking and burnout.

Always Pursue your Passion

If midway through a career that you thought would be perfect you find yourself dragging, maybe the position is not for you. It is important that you are constantly in touch with yourself and your desires. There is no shame in a career switch that is necessary for your happiness and health. As the Career Development Center always states: There is no such thing as a career emergency. Take the time necessary to reevaluate your options and potential careers. 

Burnout does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. When you feel burnout approaching, start by implementing these small steps into your daily work routine. Take the time to evaluate your situation and proceed with your mental health in mind. It is important to stay positive, remind yourself of the passion you have for your career, and utilize these simple tricks in order to maintain a healthy relationship with the workplace. 

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