New research in the brain development field indicates that men and women both have different ways of reacting to stress. Men usually respond with the classic “fight or flight” response. They reduce their stress by engaging themselves in some sort of activity like cleaning out their garage when they are stressed; some may fix a broken appliance, and some prefer going on a long bike ride.
In women, oxytocin is a hormone that reduces anxiety and stress. It is referred to as “the love hormone.” Doing tasks like talking to friends, sorting out things, cleaning messy places, and cooking a favorite meal releases oxytocin in women and helps them to feel balanced and calm.
Learning how to manage stress is the most important tool one can have for preventing job burnout. Many companies offer their employees stress management interventions, which have been proven to be successful in reducing stress levels. The stress management interventions teach employees how to manage their stress levels and what they can do to reduce stress during the day.
Burnout prevention programs are becoming better known in the workplace as well. These programs differ from stress management interventions in that burnout prevention programs focus more on cognitive behavior and relaxation techniques. The prevention program works on an individual level. Attention is focused on the individual who is dealing with the issue and what that issue is. They then work to adjust the situation or move the individual to a different job situation to improve their fit within the organization.
Changes in the organization and work environment can also bring about the prevention of workplace burnouts. Many organizations are working hard to remove the stressful factors that can lead to job burnout for their employees. If the organization notices signs of stress or burnout in their employees, they can now react to help alleviate the symptoms. Organizations are working to allow their employees a better work–life balance, which will allow the employee to re-energize outside of the workplace.
There are steps to combat stress and burnout on an individual level as well. Those that find themselves more affected by stress should adopt these steps immediately before it get worse:
Start Your Day with a Relaxed Mind
Relax in bed when you wake up instead of starting off thinking about your work burden and hectic schedule. You might want to try a bit of meditation and see if this works. This will force you to turn off your mind and just concentrate on your breathing for about fifteen minutes. You will be amazed at how such a simple thing as clearing your head and not thinking about work can make a big difference in your life.
Change Your Eating and Sleeping Habits
Adopt a healthy eating and sleeping lifestyle. Do not overeat while you are feeling stressed. Exercise on a regular basis to relax from work. Sleep at least eight hours to regain your energy to deal with the coming day’s tasks.
Limit Your Work
The people that are dedicated to achieving success in their professions want to do every task they are assigned and expect accurate results from their work as well. This addition of tasks increases the burden of responsibilities. So in this circumstance, one should manage to resist the extra work being assigned. Do not overload yourself with work that is impossible for you to complete on time. Remember that you need a break from things at times as well and never be bullied into taking more than your fair share or what you are able to handle.
Set aside a specific time each day as your relaxation period in which you completely isolate yourself from work and perform some fun activities. The fun activity is yours to choose as long as it has nothing to do with work and preferably nothing to do with chores. Take your children to the park, do a workout video that you have wanted to try out for years now, go on a walk, or watch a movie or something else. Just make sure that you are having fun and getting your mind off the pressures of work.
Nourish Your Creative Side
According to Garson Kanin, “There are thousands of causes for stress, and one antidote to stress is self-expression.” This shows that while you are able to feel stress all around you, being creative and letting go will often help you to feel so much better.
When your workload starts making you dull, do not allow yourself to become obsessed by this condition. Try to involve yourself in fun social events or a light hobby that has nothing to do with your work. There is nothing better for your health and overall wellbeing than getting to take some time to be a little bit creative. Even if you were never considered the creative type back in school there are still some options available. Pick out your favorite book and read it one night rather than doing some work. Go to a museum and walk around to look at all the great artwork that is there. Draw some pictures, make up a song, get silly with your kids, or anything that is fun and has nothing to do with work. Time will go so fast that you will be amazed at how much fun you had and how great it is on your mind to forget about work for a bit.
Try to Cope With Stress
Do not let yourself fall into burnout. Trust a close friend or relative; discuss your condition with them, and try to learn effective ways to manage your stress. Everyone has stress that they have to deal with at some point or another, but it is the way that you deal with the stress that is going to determine if burnout is going to happen to you or not. Those who hold on and internalize to the stress they are feeling rather than getting the help they need will find that burnout is right around the corner. If you are able to find a couple of people who you can talk to on a regular basis and who will be able to help you talk through it and perhaps find a solution that works will feel much better about their lives and be able to avoid the stress and not go through the burnout. If the stress of your job or other things in your life is starting to get to you, it is best to find good ways to reduce the stress.
Keep Performing Self-tests
If you feel unusual changes in your behavior and work performance, do not forget to perform a burnout self-test. It will help you to recognize the disease at the first stage. Burnout is not going to happen overnight and you should be able to see that it is creeping up on you as long as you take some time to do the self-tests listed above. If you are not paying attention to your body and your level of motivation and caring for things in life, it can be difficult to figure out if you have an issue or not.