10 Tips to Burn Brightly, Rather Than Burnout on the Job

Kathleen MacNaughton
 


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Burnout is awful. I know. . . I've been there. After my divorce back in 2000, I worked long and hard at my career. Whenever my children were with their father (even on holidays), I'd be at the office, slaving away. I had a management position, and there was always more work to do.

But you can only do this for so long before you crack. And when the fall comes, when you finally experience burnout in all its raging glory, it's the pits. And it can kill your career and future job prospects. So prevent burnout now before it strikes you. This informative article will tell you how.

"That's it! I've had enough!" You may subconsciously utter these words when life's stressful challenges reach the peak of emotional exhaustion.

Formerly the word “burn out" was used to describe nonfunctioning electric light bulbs. Somehow, the word burnout came to origin and is now also used to describe emotional drain in humans, often as a result of long hours for small reward on the job. For light bulbs, it is irreversible. Luckily for humans, this is only temporary; self-help remedies are readily available to get us out of this predicament.

Apply these 10 tips:

  1. Take time out to savor the fresh scent of nature, especially flowers. The sight and the fragrance that flowers bring can be great relief to a tired, irritated, or dragged feeling. If you love nature, nothing is more invigorating than flowers and plants. So, keep some fresh cut flowers on your desk at the office or hang a nature picture on the wall to simulate being outdoors. Do this before you're feeling burned out for maximum effect.
  2. Consider whether your burnout is a result of doing tasks you don't like to do, yet must just the same. It's pretty common in our jobs that there are some things we have to do that we don't find enjoyable, or even hate. In such cases, picture in your mind an image that you like to do and substitute this image for the thing you don't like to do. Somehow, this strategy of imagery helps to lessen the tiring weight of the thing you despise to act upon. In the process, your task gets done with less resistance on your part and may even reach the point where you enjoy doing it. Before you know it, the job is already done and probably with favorable results.
  3. Enhance your physical energy. Ginseng is an energy food. Most health food stores sell it. You can either take it as a tea drink on your break instead of coffee. Ginseng comes in a variety of strengths. The more potent it is, the better your physical (and mental) job performance will be. If you're not very familiar with it, just ask your health food store representative and they will gladly help you out.
  4. Take time out to regain your composure when you're feeling frazzled at work. When you're feeling like this, you're someone who could use a time out from the myriad daily hassles of the job. Think of it like a coach of a basketball team asking for a time out to come up with a winning game plan when his team is not playing at its peak. Take advantage of any time out opportunities you get, no matter how brief, to meditate and relax those frenzied nerves.
  5. Take time out to empty your mind. Round up your useful memories of successes at work and discard those damaging emotions and negative thoughts of failures and goals missed.
  6. Make time to get away from the rat race now and then. Go on a picnic with the family, a camping trip out in the woods, or a weekend excursion to a totally different environment. Or even attend a seminar out of the office. Anything that will break up your normal workday routine is good.
  7. Listen to relaxing music at work, if it is allowed. Music lifts us emotionally. You may want to choose specific sounds that can relieve a person from burnout like soft classical music or new age melodies.
  8. Indulge. There's nothing wrong with going home after work and soaking yourself in a bathtub. Quite the opposite; taking time to relax and unwind can help prevent burnout. Better yet, go to a spa where you can get a treatment package from massage to whirlpool baths.
  9. Master the art of saying “no. " One of the most common causes of burnout is not knowing when to stop taking on more responsibility, more work, more commitments. If you're a high achiever, a perfectionist, or extremely ambitious, it's tempting to think you can “do it all. " But the reailty of life is that none of us can do it all. We all have a breaking point. Learn to recognize yours and then don't feel guilty when you refuse to take on any more for the moment.
  10. Retain your sense of humor. Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and/or driven can evaporate the humor from your work life. Try to take time each day to laugh with your employees, boss, or co-workers, or at least to smile a little. Lightening your mood can work wonders on the effects of burnout.

Kathleen MacNaughton is a freelance writer with years of experience in health care management and recruiting. For more great tips and advice on career and job, see http://www.powerful-sample-resume-formats.com

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