It’s only the start of the week but you’re already longing for the weekend.
As working individuals, we tend to joke a lot about getting lazy to get out of bed during Monday mornings and constantly yearning for Friday nights.
It’s normal to feel work dissatisfaction and the lack of motivation at some point. What most people don’t realize is that working a 9 to 5 daily grind can truly take a toll on one’s physical and mental being.
If you have been feeling it more months now, maybe it’s not laziness. Maybe it’s a burnout.
A job-related burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, combined with uncertainty about your competence and the value of work, caused by prolonged stress or frustration.
Some of the signs that you’re experiencing an occupational burnout may include:
- You dread reporting for work
- You have a cynical or critical attitude at work
- You find it difficult to begin a task
- You lack energy, interest, and concentration to be consistently productive
- You feel empty most of the time
- You lack satisfaction from your outputs as well as your accomplishments
- You feel like your efforts aren’t recognized
- You doubt your place in the company
- You think of quitting your job
- Everyone, including co-workers and clients, irritates you
- You turn to food, drugs, and alcohol to feel better
- Your sleep habits and appetite have changed
- You experience unexplained physical pain, like headaches, backaches, and illnesses
- You alway can’t wait to go home
The good news is that you can do little things to manage your occupational burnouts, even while you’re at work.
1. Find time to exercise
Regular physical activity never fails to help you deal with stress. You don’t have to escape to a gym or run a kilometer. A mere walk around the block or even along the hallway will suffice.
Take alternate routes when going to your favorite restaurant so you’ll have the chance to walk more. You may also consider using the fire exit stairs rather than the elevator. Don’t fall into a sedentary lifestyle and get your blood flowing.
2. Get some sleep
Due to job commitments, most of us working adults neglect the importance of getting enough sleep. As a result, we put our short-term and long-term physical and mental well-being at risk.
Aim for 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye per night. You should also take power naps of 20 minutes if you must.
3. Eat healthy
Just because your workplace is surrounded by unhealthy fast food joints doesn’t mean you have an excuse for not eating healthy. Don’t settle for unhealthy and “fake” food out there if you want to feel good throughout the day.
If you can, find time in the morning to pack your own snacks. Pack fruits, veggies, grease-free meats, and basically real food. Opt for dark chocolate. Grab a green tea to boost your mood.
4. Get up from your seat and go outdoors
Take short breaks from your dreadful tasks indoors and catch a glimpse of the outside world. Breathe in the fresh air. Roam the streets. Look for green patches beyond the city’s gray facades.
Feel the heat of the sun. It’s nice to stand up from your desk every once in a while not only to prevent neck and back pain but also to refresh your sight and mind.
5. Break routines
You wake up at 6, dress up for work, leave by 7, take the bus, walk to your office, and arrive by 8. This is how your day started last Friday, yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow and the days after that.
It can feel like you’re walking on a treadmill with no chance of moving forward. So do yourself a favor and try to break routines – something you have control over.
Try different means of transportation and routes. Explore different dining places during your lunch break. Change your choice of coffee. Sneak to the nearest park or museum. Be creative when it comes to your OOTD. There are a lot of ways to make your daily grind more bearable.
6. Encourage social interaction
Remind yourself that you’re not a machine -you’re a social being who needs interpersonal communication. Talk to your colleagues and share laughs with them. Break free from your tasks to have some small talks. Greet people when you arrive and before you leave.
You can also make the workplace more human by suggesting to your boss to have face-to-face meetings, rather than group e-mails. Go out for a company lunch out or coffee break to talk about important things.
7. Put live plants on your desk
Would it be nice to have a “bring your pet to work” day? We all wish we could bring our cats to work to have someone to cuddle with when we’re stressed out.
The least you can do is bring a plant at work and place it on your desk – it’s not an animal yet it’s living. Studies show that adding more greenery in your workspace can reduce stress and increase productivity.
Another thing is they clean the air too. Think of low maintenance indoor plants like cacti, peace lilies, rubber plants, and other succulents.
8. Use your smartphone for genuine communication
It’s recommended to disconnect from our phones every once in a while to combat stress. However, you can also reduce tension by using your digital devices as a breather.
During your break, instead of scrolling through your Facebook timeline and self-loathing over other people’s highlight reel, call your mom, best friend, partner, or other people you can talk to. Ask about their day.
Share what happened with your and what you plan to do an hour from now. Exchange jokes. We‘re social beings here. Human communication is vital in modulating your mood and getting you back on your feet.
9. Connect with your family and friends on a regular basis
Don’t just wait for the Friday Night to reconnect. Do it every day. Sometimes, the rest you need from your work-related exhaustion isn’t a long slumber. You can find comfort in the presence of the people you love. Eat together. Watch TV together. Share stories and laughs.
10. Take a mindfulness break
Instead of using your short breaks to grab a cup of coffee and biscuit, use it for meditation. Use a meditation app. Listen to calming music. Try some breathing exercises.
Reach for the nearest park. Take a leisurely walk around the block. You can also take a nap. Mindfulness should be a top priority.