Most young professionals work very hard to prove themselves and to move forward in their career progression but they run the risk of suffering from stress. Continual exposure to stress can lead to the formation of burnout, affecting all aspects of one’s life. Burnout can affect our mental capacity and this directly leads to the worsening of our work and personal life. It is important then for Young Professionals to know how to cope with the stress placed upon them in workplaces so as to avoid burnout.
1) Identify the Symptoms
One of the many perks of being young is that we possess a lot physical and mental energy. We are able to engage ourselves in a whole variety of activities and remain constantly packed with things to do. However, this advantage we have can also serve as a double edged sword as we might not realize how much we are pushing ourselves.
As such, the first step to avoiding burnout is to be aware of it and to realize that even young professionals can be vulnerable to it. The main difference between burnout and stress is the attitude. When stress, we will feel a range of emotions, both good and bad but with burnout, we will feel a sense of void towards work, life and our personal life.
2) Start Saying No
Young Professionals are often busy and being busy allows them to forget about the insecurities and problems most of them might be feeling. Being busy also give young professionals a sense of purpose and reaffirm their passion for success.
However, despite the many benefits of hardwork may bring about, it can become dangerous when young professionals are not able to say no or to reject people. During the onset of burnout, young professionals have to tackle the “issue” of them being busy. They need to learn to say no even to good and new opportunities. Prior commitments might have to be cut down as well. Only when one is in a good physical and mental condition, then can one take on more challenges and excel in them.
3) Begin as You Mean to Go On
When you wake up late and begin scrambling around for your things to get to the place you need to be, then the tone you are setting for that day is, chaotic. However, if you get up with plenty of time to prepare, to even squeeze in some time for reading or thinking then the tone you are setting is peaceful and in control. This can be a strategy for avoiding burnout.
One tip is to shut off all electronic device – avoid checking your emails or using your phone and just take the time to do what you enjoy doing, be it reading, exercising or meditating. By doing so, even just for ten minutes, you’re taking control of your life while relieving the stress by reminding yourself that work isn’t so important that you will let it rule your life.
4) Prioritize Your Physical Health
Being young is not the same as being invincible, even though it may seem that way at times. If you aren’t treating your body right, it will eventually catch up to you. As such, a simple method to counter burnout is to get ample of rest, exercise regularly and eat healthy. We often neglect these areas of our lives even when we know that they are essential for us to remain healthy. Find time to make some personal goals and find motivation for you to start embarking on a healthy lifestyle.
5) Get Creative
Getting creative do not just mean doing things which are artsy in nature. Getting creative can be something like taking up a hobby, going outdoors to experience nature or to indulge in something which you’ve never thought of doing. These are things which are not necessarily helpful to the advancement of your career but it sure helps to keep your happiness in check which can indirectly affect the quality of your work.
The point of finding a creative outlet is to give you space in your life – burnout comes from exhaustion and feelings of being trapped, creativity is freeing and a powerful remedy to those suffocating feelings.
6) Work on Your Self-Efficacy
Self-efficacy is your own faith in your ability to achieve what you set out to do. If you’re the type of person who regularly accomplishes their goals, then you’re likely to be someone with high self-efficacy. People with high self-efficacy are bit as susceptible to stress as they are confident of their ability to achieve what they set out to achieve. They will still experience stress, like anyone else, except they won’t spend every hour of the day worrying about their work, like someone with lower self-efficacy will.
Therefore, one way to achieve high self-efficacy is to set realistic goals and set out to achieve them. Start small and set goals you’re sure you can achieve, and then progress to harder things. Greater self-efficacy will reduce your stress levels by giving you the confidence to know you’ll get things done, even if you are unsure how!
7) Take a Break
If you really feel like you’re on the edge between stress and burning out, then the best solution may be to just get away from it all. By taking a break, does not mean going for a short coffee break or going to the office pantry for a quick snack. What it means is to go on an actual vacation. Book a vacation, take some real time off. Recharging and acquiring some perspective is sometimes the only way to really tackle the deeper issues of stress and burnout.
If you experience any onset of burnout, do heed the warning signs and take steps to avoid it. You never know, it might just turn out to be the best decision you have made in years!