We all have stress, but sometimes the pressures of work tend to leach into other areas of our lives. This can cause an upheaval in your entire existence and may leave you feeling on-edge at the office and detached at home. However, there are ways to nip it in the proverbial bud before this situation blooms and gets out of control. Here are a few suggestions that can help you create balance and avoid personal and professional burnout.
Recognize and Acknowledge the Issue
The first step in negating workplace stress is to identify the cause. It might be something as simple as not having enough support or a more serious issue such as being bullied by your boss. If you do not first acknowledge what the problem is, you’re unlikely to find a solution. It might be uncomfortable, but this is a critical part of the process, and one you can’t ignore.
Keep in mind that some issues, like workplace hostility, must be addressed at the source. No amount of stress relief you try on your own time will change your environment. Involve HR if the issue falls under the scope of their power, and know that they will want to rectify issues as much as you. After all, the company’s success depends on its employees.
Travel+Leisure makes a great point that “[i]f you’re feeling down or burnt out, it might be time to get back into nature.” Being outdoors, especially when it’s sunny and pleasant, can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and stress. There are long-term positive health benefits associated with spending time out in the open. Plan to spend at least one weekend a month disconnected from your devices, and instead, go fishing, hiking or simply work in the yard.
Before you head out under the open sky, make sure you have the right gear to enjoy your time outdoors. Sturdy shoes and a waterproof backpack are essential for hiking around waterfalls while gloves and mosquito repellent will help you make the most of your gardening endeavors. If you aren’t accustomed to being outdoors, you’ll soon find that an afternoon in the sun can improve your mood and make you feel happy even after you’ve returned to the cubicle.
Consider a Career Change
Sometimes, it’s not your environment that’s the problem, but your career. According to Careerfoundry, once you realize that you’re only in it for the money or spend your days dreaming of doing something different, it’s time to find a new gig. Lack of personal fulfillment can lead to poor performance at work and leave you struggling to put purpose into your day.
Evaluate what it is you really want, and what makes you happy. You might find, for example, that you really enjoy researching things like anatomy, diseases, cancer drugs or hormones, but no longer wish to be hands-on in a lab. In this case, you might consider a job behind the scenes writing for doctors’ offices. You can work remotely, set your own hours and rates and accept only the assignments that spark your interest.
In addition to the above tips, you may also find it helpful to make minor changes to each day. Start every morning by having a healthy breakfast and make a point to leave work during your lunch hour. If you don’t currently have a social relationship with your co-workers, consider planning an outing together, which may boost morale and strengthen your team.
If you’re unhappy at work, you’ll likely be unsatisfied everywhere else, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Take control of your career, and you might find that everything else falls into place.
This article was contributed as a guest post from Julie Morris, www.JulieMorris.org.