19 Apr Build resilience and avoid burn-out
The work landscape is continually changing and employers are responding by building teams that can navigate through uncertainty. In our agency, we need people on our team who can adapt easily to weather the ups and downs to ultimately help us survive, and outperform our competitors in this increasingly unpredictable environment.
With technology and globalisation, we are now more accessible than ever via mobile and remote access. Coupled with a want for more flexible work arrangements, work has become more intertwined with our home life, creating a culture of availability, and unfortunately, burn-out.
When placed under pressure, our bodies respond with physical, mental, emotional and behavioural responses. We get tired, irritable, become indecisive, forgetful, find it hard to concentrate, get tearful or more sensitive, and find it hard to sleep. All the things that probably sound all too familiar! All of these ‘responses’, are warning signs that burn-out could well be on the way.
Resilience is one of the key skills that provides us with the capacity to maintain energy levels and recover quickly from difficulties. The great news is that it can be a learned behaviour. Here are some basic strategies that we love here, that can help you to build your resilience and avoid burn-out for the long run:
- Pace yourself – we burn-out because we over-do it. Look at your priorities vs what you have on your plate. Cut out the things that aren’t essential or adding value to your life and keep the things that make a difference.
- Set boundaries & switch off – in order to emotionally recharge, you need to give your brain a break. That means switching off all devices. Schedule time into your day that is just for you. Protect that time and make sure people respect it. This time away from work is what will allow you to reenergise your mind and body.
- Become your own wellness coach – care for yourself. Find an outlet that you enjoy that can become a part of your routine. Physical activity decreases stress hormones like cortisol and increases endorphins- your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals. Physical activity has been shown to increase your immunity to illness and future stress, and will also improve your mood. By keeping active and eating well, you can ensure that your body is in prime condition to help you during those stressful times.
- Switch your mindset to optimism – start each day with the conscious decision to be optimistic and positive. Ignore your own negative and pessimistic dialogue, which we all know, gets us nowhere!
- Accept that not everything needs to be 110% – according to the Australian Journal of Psychology, perfectionism leads to burn-out. Look at your task list and identify which ones require perfection, and which ones don’t. You can absolutely maintain a high standard without it being of detriment to the quality of work. Remember the mantra done is better than perfect.
- Choose your battles – accept what you can and can’t change, and identify what is worth fighting for. You can manage your own energy levels much better if you’re fighting for the right things.
- Know the triggers – if you’re feeling stressed, try to understand what the triggers are and what you’re coping strategies will be to manage that particular stressor each time it occurs. This way you can stay on top of it and it will never get the better of you.
- Train your brain – when we’re stressed, the brain releases cortisol, which clouds our thinking. It’s the body’s natural reaction which we know as fight or flight. During this reaction all non-essential functions shut down, debilitating us from dealing with situations well when under stress. Subscribe to apps like Headspace which work to train your brain by direct experience network allowing you to be in the present and experience something as it happens, effectively being more ‘mindful’ in the task.
If you can adapt even one or two of these strategies into your everyday, you will reap the rewards of a healthy mind and body that can help you through those stressful times.
– Louise Auer-Hernandez