In this her third blog in her series on beating burnout at work, organisational psychologist Amanda Collinge explains some of the changes you can make to prevent professional burnout.
Amanda Collinge has worked as an organisational psychologist for some of the UK’s leading businesses and now specialises in positive psychology while working as an associate trainer at SVC.
Employee burnout is not only a serious consideration for individuals who find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the demands placed upon them, but the impact that burnout can have on other members of the team and the ethos of a business mean it should be uppermost in the minds of all business leaders.
Understanding the dangers of burnout in the workplace relies on seeing the symptoms that can lead to burnout, but if you identify these things in yourself or those around you, how can you put in place changes that will reverse the trends.
In this series of blogs, we have spent time looking at how you can identify the signs of burnout within yourself and within colleagues and, crucially, quickly put in place the necessary changes that can lead to a healthier mindset.
Professional burnout can be damaging to both our work life and personal life, impacting on our relationships as well as our physical but Amanda says there are simple ways to prevent it from taking hold.
- Recognise ‘I am only human’
We are all only human and being human means that we do need to recharge our batteries to keep well. There are no prizes for being burnt out. Burnout can take us by surprise, so make sure you look after yourself to keep well.
- Become more self-aware
Tune in to the signs which are trying to tell you that you need to slow down. By becoming more self-aware, you can take control of your wellbeing and make choices about how to keep well.
- Focus on the positive
Research clearly shows that people who focus on the positives and do not dwell on the negatives have better health outcomes and greater longevity. Consciously take time out at the end of the day to review the positives – what did you do well? What did you achieve? What made your happy?
- Ask for help
While it can seem difficult to ask for help, consider the positives of asking for help. Firstly it’s far more inclusive to ask for help and get other people involved. Secondly, the chances are that others will enjoy helping, so you just need to ask them. Dismiss any unhelpful thoughts such as, ‘it is quicker to do it myself’. Why not try asking for help? You might find it works.
- Be mindful
Being mindful means being selective about the thoughts you wish to occupy your mind. Instead of ruminating about negative things, tune in to today, this hour, this minute. Dismiss any distracting thoughts or feelings about yesterday or tomorrow. Instead focus on the here and now and what you can do. Use all of your senses and connect with nature. Notice the changes in the seasons, the birdsong outside your window, the moving clouds. All these good things in nature can help you find a sense of calm and joy.
Click here to read the final article in this four-part series and discover five more ways to help you beat burnout in the workplace.