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Work Burn Out Can Adversely Affect Your Health

Dealing with Job Stress

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Get me off this job merry-go-round, I'm feel like I'm spinning in circles and getting no where.

For a variety of different reasons (excuses?) many people feel they cannot walk away from a boring or unsatisfactory job to secure themselves something more satisfactory and personally fulfilling to do. Okay... you hate your job but you feel you can't quit. I get that! But regardless of whether you hate your job or love your work we all have experienced work burn out at some time or another. Daily routines and mundane tasks can feel like drudgery or become a stressful burden for all of us.

The first step to being happier in your job is realizing you are burning out. The next step is making changes that allow you to climb up and out of the burn out cycle you are in the midst of. If you don't do it soon your overall health will be at risk.

Making Work Routine Changes

Change Your Focus

Q. Is your job your life? Or is your job your job?

A. Your job is your life if you are allowing it to consume you by not taking time off, not leaving at a decent hour, not breaking for lunch, bringing your work home after hours and working night and day.

Set Limits/Boundaries

Avoid bringing your work home. If you have an home office, then decide on a certain time each day to shut the door to your office (lock the door if you have to). Never mind that the office phone is ringing or your computer is bleating You've Got Mail. You're no longer at work! Ignore it. The answering machine will record your calls, and your e-mail will be waiting for you the next day.

Spend Your Lunch Break Differently

If you usually have lunch alone, ask a co-worker to join you or have a friend or spouse meet you out somewhere for lunch. If you generally eat with your co-workers it is likely you are spending your break in the midst of office discussions or politics. These types of lunch chatter aren't normally conducive to good digestion, and is certainly not a real break from your job. Instead of eating with your co-workers... go off by yourself. Brown bag it at least once a week and find a place outside to enjoy your peanut butter sandwich and fruit cup.

Re-organize/Re-prioritize Your Schedule

If you are disorganized in your work schedule it is time to take the bull by the horns and build some kind of structure that will make your work routine flow better, thus reducing your stress level. On the other hand, if you are the type of individual who keeps to a strict schedule consider juggling things around a bit. Most jobs involve a variety of tasks. As long as you perform the tasks required it likely is okay to change the order in which they are accomplished.

Examples:

  • Office Worker: Make your phone calls to your clients in the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning allowing you to get caught up on back logged paper work while your mind is fresh and uncluttered.

  • Food Service: Prepare those lunchtime dinner salads at the end of your shift (storing them in the refrigerator overnight) instead of arriving an hour before your shift. This allows you to sleep in an extra hour the next day.

  • Manager: If you are in a position to delegate some of your work on to others... do it, don't assume you have to do everything yourself.

Plan a Vacation

Everyone needs a break, whether you are a stay-at-home mom, the president of a company, self-employed, or an employee. If you have vacation time coming to you, even if it is only a 2-3 day break, pack a suitcase and get out of town! Staying at home during vacation breaks is fine for some people who understand how to relax, but often times workaholic-type individuals tend to slave away when at home tending to yard work or household repairs.

Don't Forget to Play

Try not to take life so seriously. Keep your heart light. Fear of not meeting deadlines and burying yourself in work, becoming a slave to your tasks is not in your best interest. Surprisingly, taking time out each day to play, exercise, and/or meditate will magically alter your psyche and will awaken your body, mind and spirit. Afterwards, you will miraculously begin to feel more refreshed when you once again tackle the tasks required on the job.

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