How to Save Your Sanity and Avoid Job Burnout

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Some days, it seems as though the work day will never end. Seemingly everyone has had a day from one of Dante's seven circles of hell. In fact, there is a fat orange cat who has made a career out of complaining about Mondays. But what do you do when those days outnumber the good ones?

If you're in this situation, you might be heading for job burnout. I know it sounds scary, but it's really a preventable condition. Job burnout happens when the stress of work overrides your enthusiasm and passion for what you do. It could be caused by moving into a new position, having a boss who is a bit of a workplace bully or simply because you need a vacation.

Feeling burnt out isn't always a sign that you need to change jobs. It could just be that you need to make a few changes in order to make work fun again. If you've ever felt like this, here are 3 ways to avoid job burnout:

Talk to people. During your workday, try to take a few breaks to talk to your co-workers. Something as simple as a sincere smile and wave can help you feel more social. If you don't have any co-workers or just don't like the people you work with, strike up a conversation with the person who works where you get lunch or even the person behind the counter at the coffee shop. At home, spend some time talking with your friends and family. Maybe throw a weekend party or cookout. Sometimes we can get burnt out at work because we haven't taken care of our needs. As human beings, we need positive social interaction. It can take the edge off of stress and give you a more positive outlook.

Add in some fun. Look for ways to bring fun to your workplace. Maybe you can start a competition or form a book club. If you can't think of any way to make your work fun, then bring in something fun to do during your lunch. For example, I love crossword puzzles. When I'm working, I like to take a break and work on filling in some squares. It isn't a miracle cure, but when you are having fun, you aren't thinking about how miserable your day is.

Get rid of negativity. The odds are high that there are people who like to complain and gossip at your office. Avoid getting sucked into these types of conversations. Negativity can spread faster than a virus, and it is a leading contributor of job burnout. Instead of complaining about things you don't like, start looking for things that you appreciate about your job. Keep reminding yourself of them every time you want to say something negative. Just having an attitude of thankfulness can help you feel more enthusiasm about what you do and make even the bad days seem worth it.

When you are feeling bad about going to work and start to ask why you work there at all, it's a good idea to change the way you think about things and see if it helps. Sometimes, you don't need to change careers, you just need to change the way you look at the one you have.

Have you ever experienced job burnout? What do you do to stay enthusiastic? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.


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