Burnt Out At Work? This Weekend, Spruce Up Your Life!

Last updated 18 Apr 2016 . 5 min read

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“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

The catch is in this realization. The earlier you realize, the smoother work life would become.

According to a study conducted by Labour Force Survey (LFS), total cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2014/15 were 440,000 @1380 per 100,000 workers, while stress accounted for 35% of all work related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health.[1]

Last year General Motors spent more on health care than it did on steel as cited by Forbes magazine.

That gives us a fair idea about work-related stress being a hazard for both employees and employers.

How does one know whether work pressure is taking a toll on one’s health?

Look for symptoms such as:

  • Irritability/Anxiousness
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Digestion Problems
  • Insomnia
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Concentration Problems
  • Social Withdrawal

When you feel one of these symptoms, or one leading to another, there are chances you’ve become a victim to job stress.

While many of us work in our fields of interest, reasons for constant worry could be variable starting from low salary/excessive workload/restricted growth to conflict of interest or lack of control/support and sometimes unreasonable expectations.

Whatever be the cause, there are certain steps, rather changes, that could help a great deal – some situational, some practical or lifestyle changes, and some psychological. 

Situational Changes

Every organization has a different approach to getting work done and every employee has a different mindset. Not everyone responds the same way to a particular situation. So here are some tips to keep your work life smooth.

Feasibility study: We get a number of opportunities to prove our metal at the workplace. However, not all of them are worth going over the top. Aiming to attain perfection on everything will only make you more prone to needless stress. It’s a good idea to access the situation and set realistic targets.

Refrain from over-commitment: Learn to say “No”. As simple as it sounds, more difficult it is to apply. There’s a time limit to each working day, so best approach is to list down all tasks, prioritize them and filter out the less important/urgent ones. When saying “No”, it is of immense importance for you to be convinced about it, only then will you be able to convince someone else. Finally, if all the tasks on your table are of equal importance, asking for help is the best option.

Deal with distractions: In this era of technological explosion, it is indeed difficult to concentrate on core work due to numerous interruptions in the form of emails, messenger, social network updates, phone calls, etc. Needless to say, all this is in addition to ever-increasing official chores and deadlines. One obviously can’t control the inflow, but a few tips might be helpful such as checking personal email once a day; putting an active messenger group on mute; assessing importance of a phone call and keeping the less important ones for the end of day or weekend. These tips are not unfamiliar to our generation; it’s just that we often ignore their benefits.

Lifestyle Changes

Some minor changes in your schedule or day-to-day habits could bring drastic positive changes to your life. Some of them are:

Recreation schedule: In addition to keeping the body well circulated and increasing energy, regular exercise is an extremely effective stress reliever.  You may not necessarily join aerobics or gym class, it could be just a walking schedule, or dance class or pursuing your favorite sport.

Sleep schedule: It’s no secret that getting enough sleep and being well-rested helps maintain a physical and emotional balance to keep you going. But because of work deadlines we often ignore this simple rule without realizing that lack of sleep can make us more susceptible to stress.

Eat healthy: Just like exercising, food acts as a mood-booster. Low blood sugar during working day may end up increasing anxiety levels, so it’s important to take some breaks in between. Moreover, don’t gallop down your lunch in 5 minutes. Rather, treat it as a relaxing time.

Psychological Changes

Sometimes the cause of worry is neither work nor working style. The attitude of people around you, especially superiors, plays an important role in motivating you. The best advice for not-so-motivating behavior here would be to turn a blind eye to all such negative factors. Simple reason being what other people do is beyond our control but how we react is something we can master.

Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see. This common saying could save you from mental trauma when comes to ambiguous official situations. What you perceive of over-hearing some conversation or from usual grape wine is often interpretation of your own emotional state. Therefore, looking at an event objectively is more advisable.

By Deeksha Monga


Burnt Out At WorkThis Weekend Spruce Up Your Life16April
SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at www.sheroes.in @SHEROESIndia facebook.com/SHEROESIndia

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