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Whether you’re a blue-collar or a white-collar, you cannot avoid work-related stress. From top managers and executives to factory floor worker, we are all susceptible to getting stressed out. The hardest thing about this issue is the fact that getting rid of stress or annulling it is virtually impossible. If you quit this job, stress will wait for you on the next post so you have to come up with after-work activities to prevent burnout.
After Work Activities
Taking up a hobby
In order not to mentally snap one day due to continuous exposure to stress, you can take up a hobby to divert your thoughts. The basic principle is simple: work is not necessarily something that you adore doing. As a way to combat this imbalance, you take up a hobby that you love doing but which is non-profitable. Of course, you always have the opportunity to turn your hobby into a lucrative career if ever feel like doing so.
The best thing about hobbies is that you can start them whenever you like. Even if you haven’t collected stamps or sports stickers when you were a kid, you can start now. Furthermore, you can return to the hobby you had years ago because the passion for certain activities never goes away; we merely grow weary of them after some time. Finally, keep in mind the broad definition of the term “hobby,” as everything from jogging, photography, collecting memorabilia, cooking, clay modeling, and playing an instrument fall under its definition.
Quality family time
Working alongside your friends or going with your colleague to a pint of beer after work are all great. However, you can never expect the same degree of familiarity with them as you can with your family members. We might not have realized it back when we were living in our parents’ house but the bond families share is a large contributor to the mental stability of individual family members.
If you have moved away from your loved-ones (most often precisely because of a business opportunity), the whole reason why you are constantly tired and depressed could be the lack of sensical family communication. Get into a car and drive to visit your folks back home. Listen to their stories, help them with the groceries, and reattach all the severed ties you have had with them.
Likewise, if you have a family of your own, don’t neglect your spouse and children, respectively. Remember to take out your significant other to dinner or to another fun activity that you will both enjoy. When it comes to your kids, if they are offering you a minute to play throw and catch, never refuse. You are not expected to keep them entertained all day but the time you do spend with them will be beneficial to your mental health. Do we need to say that the kids will have a blast? (and laugh with those kids. Laughter is a great way to prevent burnout)
According to a Time Magazine’s piece from 2018, listening to music has several scientifically proven benefits to your health. There are even “music therapies” offered by psychiatrists to help over-stressed workers relax. In order not to reach this stage of mental illness pop those pods in your ears and crank up your favorite tune. Thanks to modern sound reproduction technologies, we have the opportunity to listen to music even while working, without disturbing our co-workers.
Furthermore, music will only keep the mental burnout at bay. If you decide to learn a few dance steps to go with your favorite song, then your physical health will see a huge improvement as well. For thousands of people worldwide who are “trapped” sitting all day in the office, dance classes after work are the best possible after-work activities. Like with taking up a hobby, you are countering the negative effect work has on your body. That is why it can be Firefox until 5 PM and Foxtrot after 9 PM.
Punch out the stress
It’s time to get physical, literally. If you are looking for an active hobby in the form of a contact sport as your after-work valve, then look no further than boxing. You are probably wondering why choose boxing in particular when there are so many other less aggressive sports? Well, boxing might look violet but it is actually a great sport to blow off your steam. You are not aiming to become a pro but merely to have a good sweat.
Furthermore, boxing helps you improve your leg movement, reflexes, technique and composure in general. Like with dancing, you will learn how to move like a butterfly (and sting like a bee). If you don’t fancy the prospect of hitting other people and getting hit by other people, you can always make the punching bag your sparring partner.
A moment of your own
Working all day can get so hectic that you don’t have a single moment to stop and think about what you are doing. If
the burnout syndrome is not prevented, then this lack of self-retrospection time spells disaster to your mental health. In fact, contemplation is a great way to access your life energy, compassion, and wisdom that are crucial to leading a somewhat normal and healthy lifestyle.
Take every opportunity you get to meditate or to simply look at your life in retrospect. This will help you assess your goals for the future better and drive away any somber thought that might be brewing inside your head. Also, contemplating requires you to be immobile, so you can use these moments of your own to stop whatever you are doing and take a break.
Planning (ahead of the burnout)
The main reason for office burnout are unrealistic expectations and tight deadlines that cannot meet. If you lack a proper plan or you fail to stick to an existing one, then you will break down mentally like a twig. Once you start a project or are delegated a task, start planning from moment one. By creating a plan that has clearly marked stages, you are setting yourself up for success. Each successfully completed stage will present a victory on its own. Once these success stories multiply, in your mind you will become a winner, thus doing away with stress caused by a toxic work environment.
Strolling down the street
More often than not, people just need some fresh air to clear their thoughts. Modern office blocks are air-conditioned and although the air inside might be clear and cool, you still need to go outside to clear your thoughts. Instead of spending your breaks lighting a cigarette or gorging on unhealthy food, take a stroll around the block. The city air might not be the cleanest in the world but it will suffice when it comes to destressing. According to experts from Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, a mere 10-minute walk can help you prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and regulate high blood pressure.
Man’s best friend
Not all of us are dog lovers or cat lovers for that matter, but there is no reason to shy away from the company of animals entirely. There are at least 4 ways in which pets relieve stress so there is no reason not to get a pet friend. This doesn’t have to be a needy animal, as a simple goldfish in an aquarium would do. By caring for another living being, you are developing the feeling of compassion, which helps you be a mentally stable person. Once you are sane and hale, no amount of stress at work will be able to cause burnout. Your four-legged, fury or spineless friends will help you preserve your inner peace and a genuine love for life.
Finally, you should try to stay clear of stress in the office as much as possible. If you fail to do this, expect a burnout to occur in the near future. In order to avoid this scenario, adopt the activities we have listed here. A cute little poodle or a bit of sparring after work might just help you from going over the edge.
So there you have it—eight ways that will help you prevent burnout at work. Try them one by one to see which ones work the best for you. Yes, plural. You can and should use more than one. You will most likely find that you are more productive at work and less stressed in all facets of your life.
About the Author
Ian Lewis is a father, writer, and a fitness nut. He’s passionate about many forms of strength training and spent years lifting all kinds of heavy objects. His favorite quote: “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
Find him on Twitter.
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