How to Overcome & Prevent Burnout
The first step in overcoming burnout is acknowledging that solutions exist for these problems. Many of these solutions resemble those for managing stress:
- Engaging in relaxing hobbies or activities away from work.
- Seeking support from colleagues, friends, or family members.
- Prioritizing sufficient sleep and regular exercise is crucial, though it may not be easy to initiate such changes.
Think of it as a lifestyle adjustment rather than a quick fix.
Start small by taking short walks, eliminating unhealthy food choices such as soda (something small but easy), and gradually adjusting your bedtime. Reducing screen time, especially before sleep, can also help in creating a healthier routine.
Engaging in hobbies and activities that provide separation from work is a key strategy. It’s essential to carve out dedicated personal time. This separation can significantly reduce stress levels and, in turn, mitigate burnout.
Seeking social support is another effective means of preventing burnout. Talking about your issues can be surprisingly helpful. Having these conversations/outlets helps you gain perspective (especially when you hear yourself speaking out loud) and may even lead to solutions right away.
It’s helpful to discuss concerns with your coworkers because they more than likely have experienced what you’re going through at some point. However, it’s important to choose someone you can trust and remain professional.
At DBE, we are proactive about preventing burnout. Below are some of the ways we do that–maybe these can work for your team too:
- Flexible 9-5 – Our team generally starts and ends around 9am-5pm ET. Employees can start a little earlier or later depending on the day.
- Quick Errands – Appointments don’t count against PTO, as long as the time is made up.
- Breaks – Our CEO, Niki Fielding, encourages employees to take lunch and walking breaks.
- 3 o’clock Fridays – We started 3 o’clock Fridays one summer and never changed back. As long as your work is finished, you can head off to enjoy the weekend a little early.
- Zoomraderies – These are our weekly teambuilders – they range from guessing each other’s favorite hobby to cookie decorating. Learn more about these wonderfully fun ventures here.
- Birthdays Off – This is our favorite way to show appreciation to team members.
- Wellness Reimbursements – We use this to allow and encourage team members to stay active and healthy. It’s separate from our health insurance plan and each of us gets up to $500 per year reimbursed for activities that get us moving. Pool membership, new bike, tennis lessons–they are all reimbursable.
- Weekly Touch Bases with your Manager – This helps to make sure all team members get the opportunity to be heard and acknowledged. Here, you can have honest conversations about workload and any factors that may be affecting you