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5 Ways to Fight Office Burnout




Sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen eight hours a day, five days a week can really take a mental and physical toll on you. It’s no surprise that there are countless office employees that struggle to avoid burnout.

What exactly is “burnout”?

According to Psychology Today, “burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion”, “cynicism and detachment” and “feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.” There are many symptoms or warning signs of office burnout you should be aware of.

Some warning signs of workplace burnout include the following:

  • Loss of confidence
  • Overwhelming or excessive stress levels
  • Shifts in attitude
  • Sense of hopelessness
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased anxiety
  • Forgetfulness
  • Appetite changes
  • Insomnia or sleep difficulty
  • Depression
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Lack of control

What can you do to prevent or avoid office burnout? Here are five things you can do.

Try to create a healthy work-life balance.

Creating a healthy work-life balance can be challenging, especially if you consider yourself to be a workaholic. However, it’s definitely worth trying. To start, you should leave work at the office. Many office employees bring their work home with them and they let their work intrude on their home life. When you get rid of the work-at-home scenario, you can relax and take a break from your daily workload. Second, you should look into getting hobbies or trying new things outside of work that you can be passionate about. It can be anything from photography to carpentry. Finding a hobby or something that sparks your passionate side can really help you keep work out of your mind.

Finally, it may benefit you to exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is a popular stress management technique and can help you create a healthier life in general.

Take a break.

Although you may be facing tight deadlines and difficult projects in the office, you should make sure you take the time to take a break every now and then. Breaks are a great way to relieve stress and avoid office burnout. For your break, you should consider grabbing lunch and eating it somewhere other than your workspace. You could take a quick walk to help you get some air and sun, or you could even call a friend or relative and have a short, pleasant conversation. Eating, walking, and socializing are all ways you can take a load off for a little bit and refresh yourself before you get back to the office grind.

Organize your workload and workspace.

Having a disorganized workspace can negatively impact how you feel. The more organized you keep your work and workspace, the less stress you will most likely feel. Being organized can prevent you from missing certain deadlines, forgetting meetings or other important dates, and can help you feel like you have control. Feeling like you have control of your work life can help you have more pleasant work experience and help you avoid burnout on a daily basis.

Change it up.

To prevent burnout, you should make sure you change up work-related things on a regular basis. For example, you could ask your employer or manager if you can incorporate something new in your workload, or you could do something as simple as changing what you have for lunch every day. You could also try changing up your desk decor, shifting your schedule, or even meeting new coworkers. Regardless of what you change, it’s important to try changing something every now and then to avoid burnout and general unhappiness in the workplace.

Ask for help or support.

More likely than not, others will be worried about office burnout too. Although your managers or employer may seem immune to workplace burnout, they most likely have experienced it themselves. If you are struggling with burnout, you can try talking to your manager or mentor about it and ask for advice and support. Your workplace is supposed to be an efficient and pleasant environment, and burnout is something that should be taken seriously. You may have other coworkers who have suffered from burnout and you can ask them for advice and support as well. It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to fight the office burnout battle alone.

Clearly, there are ways you can try to prevent office burnout. However, you might have to face burnout even if you take the proper preventative steps. Small business owners are especially susceptible to burnout since they have so much on their plates to think and worry about. If you are a small business owner, make sure you set yourself up properly so that you can avoid early workplace burnout.

Although burnout can be a difficult challenge to overcome, it’s important to keep your head up, stay positive, and know when to get help in order for you to avoid succumbing to long-term office burnout.

Alayna Pehrson manages two financial blogs for She enjoys expanding her knowledge of financial trends and topics.