Workplace burnout has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization as a factor influencing a person’s health status.
Burnout is defined by WHO as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
This definition begs the question: How can workplace burnout and stress be successfully managed?
Two presenters for the upcoming Life & Work Connections workshop series ReJuven8 suggest practicing mindfulness – being engaged with what you are doing and feeling in the moment.
Employee assistance counselors Bob Cunningham and Tanya Lauer have three tips for getting started.
1. Practice breathing exercises
Get in a comfortable position, close your eyes and sense your body as a whole. Count how many seconds each breath lasts. Do you inhale and exhale at the same rate? Repeat and relax for a few breaths, or a few minutes.
You might also try deep breathing. Get in the same position as before. Put one hand on your chest and another on your belly. Breathe slowly, deeply and intentionally through your nose. Repeat for five deep breaths.
2. Take a mindfulness walk
Not a walk for exercise, a mindfulness walk is about being in the present. Use a slower pace than you would normally and take deeper breaths. Notice the color of the grass and flowers, the building bricks and mortar. Listen to the wind move through palm leaves and mesquite trees. Can you smell a distant restaurant? What is it cooking?
Think about how many different senses you can detect and use.
3. Start a journal
Keeping a journal can be a positive step toward emotional health. There is no right way to journal. Draw, try stream of consciousness writing, or rant. Let your feelings decide what goes on the page. Just remember that your journaling should feel like relaxation rather than a chore.
The only rule is to keep it private. Your journal is your personal place to work through uncertainty and develop insight. No one but you should interpret what it means.