4 Ways to Cope with Job Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic

“While burnout isn’t a new problem, the ongoing crises of 2020 made it worse, and it’s following us into 2021,” says the Harvard Business Review. It’s important for both employers and employees to address burnout. Burned-out employees are more likely to look for other employment, and workplace stress contributes to national healthcare costs.

Common job stressors include heavy workload, lack of work-life balance and job security concerns. If left unaddressed, burnout—which is chronic, unchecked stress—can have serious consequences for your health, social life and career. Burnout can also increase your risk of getting sick. 

Avoiding burnout is usually easier than bouncing back from it. This means catching it early, identifying it and preventing it from getting worse. What are some signs of burnout? Watch for prolonged stress and these early warning signs:

  • Lack of interest in work
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Physical symptoms, such as headaches and chest pains

Dealing with stress is a normal part of everyday life, and these uncertain times may be elevating your overall stress levels even more. Consider the following ways to cope with job burnout:

  • Evaluate and discuss your options. Be open with your manager, and discuss job expectations or suggest taking on different responsibilities.
  • Seek support. Talking with trusted co-workers, friends and family can help. Also, check if you have access to an employee assistance program (EAP).
  • Try a relaxing activity. Explore mindful activities—like yoga, meditation or breathing exercises—to take a break and focus on how you’re feeling.
  • Check in on your physical health. It’s important to get plenty of sleep to tackle each day. Create a plan to exercise more and eat healthier foods.

If all else fails, you may need a change of scenery. Start small by moving your remote workspace or, if possible, sitting in a different spot in the office.

Employers, make sure you’re addressing burnout for yourself, as well as your employees. Be there to support each other during this struggle. If you have any questions, contact the Rose & Kiernan, Inc. Employee Benefits Management Group (EBMG) here or by calling (800) 242-4433.

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