Stress and Burnout
Stress and burnout go hand in hand and it’s easy to end up in this situation when you continuously work more overtime hours than the average employee at your place of employment. Most of these employees are working both second and third shifts back to back at least five to six times a week. This is becoming a widespread trend in the workplace and the need for ways to not only deal with the stress it takes on the individual, but also a strategy to stop employee turnover that is a large part of the reason job burnout happens.
According to the text, burnout is a phenomenon closely associated with job stress. Experts define burnout as the total depletion of physical and mental resources caused by excessive striving to reach an unrealistic work-related goal. Some of the suggestions made for making changes in the routine is to first, “Break your pattern:” limiting the continuous double shift cycles at work can make a big difference in not only your well being, but state of mind as well. “Get away from it all periodically;” Taking a vacation is a great way to unwind and get some well deserved rest. Reassess your goals in terms of their intrinsic worth;” Make sure that the long term goals you set for yourself will be something you can achieve. It is very important that you plan this stage of your career with time management that will help you draw on the bigger picture of your future.
“Think about your work;” Take a good look at what you normally do during a single shift and determine if slacking off a double dose of the same thing three to four days a week is worth your time, energy, and mental psyche. Dessler, 2013). According to an article from proquest, downtime is an extremely important factor in keeping ourselves mentally and physically prepared for what ever issues we may face while working. It means not being in the office constantly and disconnects your work from your personal life. In cities across the United States, People aren’t taking their vacation time and this makes for an employee who is not rested, overworked and burned out.
Consider those who spend long stretches in a car, the hassles of getting through an airport, delayed or missed flights, etc, whatever the issues may be, they can cause stress to take its toll on anyone who has to deal with this on a regular basis. (Sankey,2011). Depression on the other hand can cause a lot of chaos in the workplace with the well known, Clinical depression, being the cause of many issues with performance and productivity. Many individuals who suffer from clinical depression have been burdened with great loss and grief, or from post traumatic stress syndrome due to the war.
Instead of shuffling these individuals into a group that is labeled as incompetent or emotionally unstable, it seems more fitting to allow them to work if the need is in them while getting counseling on the job. Many companies offer psychological counseling for employees who may need someone to talk to that can relate to their circumstance. That is one of the best ways to either eliminate or control the emotional side effects of stress in the workplace.
When you treat employees fairly it means you understand what mental health issues they are currently dealing with so you can help by creating a safe and consistent environment for all of your employees. (Doehrman, 2003). Just as stress and burnout have many triggers, they also have ways to either avoid it or minimize it in the workplace; and some of these tips are very easy to follow if not remember such as: 1. Recognize warning signs of excessive stress at work: • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressedMuscle tension or headaches. Stomach problems. • Social Withdrawal.
Loss of sex drive. • Using alcohol or drugs to cope. Apathy, loss of interest in work. • Problems sleeping. • Fatigue • Trouble concentrating. Like those signs above, there are also common causes such as: Fear of being laid off, more overtime due to staff cutbacks, pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction. And pressure to work at optimum levels-all the time! The next tip for being stress free is to take care of yourself. Exercise thirty minutes a day, eat healthier by eating small frequent meals; Avoid nicotine, and get plenty of sleep.
Tip 3: prioritizing and organizing: time management plays a huge factor in what you can do within a 24hour period so create a balanced schedule, a big one is; don’t over-commit yourself, followed by trying to leave earlier in the morning and plan regular breaks. Task management tips like: Prioritize tasks, Break projects into small steps, delegate responsibility, and be willing to compromise. Tip 4, Improve emotional intelligence: Self-awareness: the ability to recognize your emotions and their impact while using gut feelings to guide your decisions.
Self-management: The ability to control your emotions and behavior and adapt to changing circumstances. Social awareness: The ability to sense, understands, and react to other’s emotions and feel comfortable socially. And finally, Relationship management: The ability to inspire, influence, and connect to others and manage conflict. (Segal,PhD, Smith, Robinsonand Segal, 2013). We can learn a lot from just watching and being around others, but one very important factor that many never even think about is finding someone who will listen and be there when you need to talk.
That support system is a major benefit in more ways than one. If you are dealing with stress and burnout, talk to someone who can relate to you and seek advice on how they have or currently are dealing with it; it will help more than you will ever know. When I lost my son, I was in college taking four classes a term and had all of these deadlines to worry about once I returned. The instructors were very sensitive to the circumstances and worked with me to get caught up. My family also played a very important part in my well being to take advantage of that support system it helps!