COVID-19 has proven to present a number of challenges for healthcare workers, business employees and families alike. As the state-wide restrictions are reduced, it is important to understand that returning to work will not be a simple task. You may face a rise in stress and anxiety due to increased workload or the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. We would like to offer insight on how to avoid burnout and reduce your overall stress levels in the workplace.
Recognizing the Symptoms and Stages of Burnout
Burnout is the physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion accumulated during work. This is an immediate result of unresolved stress, and it can affect anyone. In order to avoid burnout from the start, it is crucial to understand the symptoms and stages of burnout. One of the primary symptoms of burnout is the depletion of energy levels. This can be very dangerous during a pandemic as lower energy results in lower resistance to illnesses. Other symptoms include reduced motivation and productivity, pessimistic outlooks, and detachment from personal relationships.
The first stage of burnout is known as the honeymoon stage, where you begin to understand the inevitable stresses of the job. Developing positive coping strategies can help reduce stress and maintain a healthy mode of productivity. However, many individuals develop negative responses to these stresses.
The second stage of burnout is stress, which occurs when negative coping strategies are developed and practiced, and self-care is often avoided. If this is continued, it is made more severe in stage 3, chronic stress, where the occasional stressful experience becomes constant.
Stage 4, or burnout, is a severe continuation of the previously practiced negative coping mechanism. During burnout, a person will exhibit symptoms such as behavioral changes, stomach problems, self-isolation, and negative thought processes. This continues into the fifth stage, habitual burnout, which means the individual has reached burnout to the point of dysfunction and should seek professional help to overcome these symptoms.
Reducing Stress and Burnout in the Workplace
Recognizing the symptoms and stages is an important first step – however, to completely avoid burnout, you must make improvements in your approach to work, lifestyle, and mindset. An essential component to reducing stress and avoiding burnout is discovering a purpose for the work you perform. Looking past the paycheck and identifying the deeper meaning of what you do can significantly boost your morale and allow your work to feel more rewarding. Another way in which you can reduce stress and burnout is by administering positive lifestyle changes. Getting better sleep, eating healthier, and exercising daily will improve your well-being and boost your immune system. Healthy burnout-reducers also include scheduling time for yourself, finding a new hobby, helping others, and taking a vacation.
Download Our Free COVID-19 eBook Today
If you want to gain a better understanding of how you can remain calm and stress-free during these difficult times, Harbor Light Hospice can help. Our eBook will provide you with further information on how to avoid burnout, achieve healthy work-life balance, practice self-care, and much more. It also offers advice for healthcare professionals on how to protect yourself, your employees, and patients when providing care. Obtain your free copy of Take Care of YOU: Practicing Self-Care in the Workplace by Roger Loomis of Harbor Light Hospice today!