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How to Avoid Career Burnout and Learn to Relax

June 6, 2019 - David Wagner

This article was written by guest blogger, Julie Morris.  Julie is a life and career coach and operates JulieMorris.org.

Photo By: Unsplash

We all know at least one person who is highly involved at work and loves every minute of it. Before one project or goal concludes, they are already looking ahead to the next one with excitement and anticipation. However, you might fall into the group that is at risk of burning out. According to a study cited by the Harvard Business Review, one out of five employees found that being highly engaged in work left them feeling extremely stressed out. In other words, they are passionate about the work they do but struggle to find that work-life balance. If this sounds like you, check out the following tips to help you stress less and relax more.

Step Away From Your Desk

When you’re working, it might seem as though there are never enough hours in the day to get things done. But work breaks are important and can help you stay focused and energized. Aim for a 15-minute break every 75 to 90 minutes, but adjust accordingly if there is a particularly difficult or time-consuming task you need to step away from more often. When you take a break, don’t just push back from your desk and stare off into space. Do something to help you clear your mind and stay engaged such as taking a walk around the building, eating a nutritious snack, reading a few pages of a book, or playing a brain game on your phone.

Use Your Vacation Days

For some reason, employees tend to let vacation days build up, only for them to expire at the end of the year. Whether you have paid time to use or can swing unpaid time off, take that vacation. Time off is your chance to de-stress, sleep in, and see and try new things. You can set your email and phone status to away so that you can return to work with a renewed sense of passion and enthusiasm, as well as with new ideas and a fresh outlook. While there are budget-friendly travel destinations, but you don’t have to hop on a plane to reap the benefits of travel. Travel a state or two away via car or stick to the immediate area and stay at a bed-and-breakfast.

Make Time for the Great Outdoors

Outside of work, what is your idea of relaxing? Kicking your feet up on the couch? Napping the day away? These are both ways of relaxing, but it might leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive. Going outside offers way more benefits including lowering stress hormones and recharging your mind. Plus, if you incorporate outdoor physical activity, the resulting endorphins can make you feel relaxed and calm. There are plenty of outdoor hobbies for you to try, including ones that give you a sense of adventure such as surfing or bouldering. Nothing beats the feeling of finally standing up on the surfboard and riding a wave, and getting started isn’t difficult with lessons and a beginner surfboard. Bouldering is a fun sport, too, challenging your mind and body to climb what is referred to as a bouldering problem with protective mats down below. Grab a pair of bouldering shoes, find a class, and get ready for the thrill. Adrenaline isn’t required to enjoy the outdoors, so go for a bike ride, hike a trail, or do some outdoor yoga.

Make Pampering Yourself a Regular Habit

Pampering ourselves these days is rare, but it shouldn’t be. You don’t have to spend an expensive day at the spa to treat yourself to relaxation. Pamper yourself by taking a bubble bath, buying a bouquet of flowers, making your favorite food for dinner, or visiting the art exhibit you’ve had your eye on. The bottom line is to do what makes you happy.

While we need to work, we don’t have to risk burnout. Take breaks at work to avoid falling into a slump, and find stress relief by taking a vacation, spending time outside, and pampering yourself. You’re a dedicated worker, and you deserve it!