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Practical life |  Eight tips to avoid burnout when working remotely

Practical life | Eight tips to avoid burnout when working remotely

Here we are in a new era of work: the old rules no longer apply. We can feel less connected and more stressed due to remote working tools and digital life. Sometimes it is BurntA state of exhaustion or cynicism at work.


Are you working 100% remotely and comfortably based at home? It does not protect you from Burnt. It affects enthusiastic people, those with a light workload, those who love their colleagues.

According to the Pew Research Center, 29% of workers say their job is stressful, and 19% say they are stressful all or most of the time. A Gallup poll found that record stress levels measured during the pandemic have not yet decreased.

“The workload and isolation are stressful,” says Dan Belton, a psychologist and management consultant. “It creates a new form of Burnt. »

According to experts, employers are responsible for changing the structure to reduce employee stress. In fact, the burden often falls on the individual.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, here are eight tips that can help. And if you feel like you can't do this, find a qualified therapist who can help you, virtually or in person.

1. List your priorities

Take a step back. Make a list of the most important things in your life: Do they align with what you really prioritize?

“Typically, the No. 1 spot is family, freedom or leisure, with work No. 3 or 4,” Mr. Pelton says. So ask yourself: “Are you living according to your values?” »

“Throughout the day, pay attention to what's stressing you out,” suggests Bridget Birkeland, MD, director of employee health at Mayo Clinic. Too many meetings? Emails after work hours? “These are the clues that lead to solutions,” Mr. Pelton continues.

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2. Move, then rest

Taking care of your body is good for brain function and mood, says Lorenzo Norris, MD, chief health officer at George Washington University School of Medicine. Take a 10-minute nap (yes, even at the office), eat well, drink water, and start your day with exercise. Working with a treadmill under a desk is a good idea. Too busy to exercise? Turn your meetings into walk-and-talk sessions. It doesn't solve the underlying problems that cause fatigue, but it helps you clear your mind and feel better.

“Thirty minutes of exercise improves your mood for four to six hours,” he says.

3. Reduce downtime

It's counterintuitive, but doing more can sometimes help combat the problem BurntIf these are the tasks you are good at. This might, in fact, involve redefining your work by prioritizing what you enjoy and fulfills you, says Michael Leiter, who has written about burnout.

Review which tasks satisfy you the most and which ones exhaust you or make you cynical. Then prioritize those that motivate you. “You have to stop just reacting to what lands on your desk,” Leiter says.

Try to spend 20% of your time on difficult tasks, which creates an intrinsic gratification loop, suggests Norris. This may include a discussion with your boss to get adjustments and better share the workload, Pelton adds.

4. A tomato every half hour

It's easy to forget your breaks, but they are necessary.

Set a timer to remind yourself of them, Leiter suggests. The Pomodoro Technique calls for dividing work into 25-minute chunks followed by a five-minute break, Pelton says.

Image Wikipedia

The Pomodoro technique was invented by Italian Francesco Cirillo, who named it after the small tomato-shaped timer used in cooking. Pomodoro means tomato in Italian.

There's also the 20-20-20 technique: staring at a dot 20 feet (7 meters) in front of you for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, which reduces visual fatigue. There are applications Pomodoro And others like stand up.

Incorporating activation activities into these breaks, M suggestsI Birkeland. Five minutes of music, meditation, conversation or even dancing, why not? Or go get some fresh air. Mr. Pelton recommends a mindfulness activity: Go outside for 10 minutes and pay attention to your senses and what you see and hear. This keeps your mind in the present moment, rather than thinking, he added. In this application topic calm I can help.

Designate a break room in your home. Place plants and what you need for a relaxing activity — some coloring — in the middle of the day.

5. Talk to your colleagues

Get closer to your colleagues. Chatting with them a bit builds connections, which is very important in mental health, says MI Birkeland.

Set goals, such as having coffee in person or every week or so with a colleague. Start virtual meetings by checking in with co-workers or their families or asking what shows they're watching. And of course, during the days we meet in person, there's the ultimate trick to making friends: bringing food and sharing.

6. “Do not disturb”

Text messages, calls, and news alerts distract you. Activate the focus function or action mode on your cell phone. If a deadline or complex task requires your full attention for a certain period of time, let your colleagues know you're unavailable and turn off notifications on Slack and Teams. In this regard, you can block periods of silent work in your calendar.

The boundaries between work and life have been damaged by the pandemic and we must re-create these boundaries, which helps manage stress. State your work schedule in the signature message of your emails. “Determine your availability and be firm about it,” Leiter says.

7. Take your vacation

Take your vacation. Announce your vacation now, even if it's far away, whether it's a two-week trip, a three-day weekend, or a mental health day. Also take sick leave, just because you can get out of bed doesn't mean it's a good idea.

8. The best is the enemy of the good

Don't be too hard on yourself.

No one is always 100% satisfied with their work. Putting too much pressure on yourself can make the problem worse.

“Don't ask for the impossible,” says Mr. Norris. “There are days when the best you can do is get up and show up. »


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