Elizabeth Howard https://www.bmj.com 3m 758 #burnout
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
As millions of workers were forced to adjust to merging their home life with their work-life, the use of virtual meeting platforms surged tremendously. While it is extremely convenient to use these telecommuting tools to maximize productivity, it’s possible to become painfully bombarded by the time spent at the computer. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can actively avoid the feelings of burnout. Whether you’re in constant virtual meetings or sitting at a computer desk for hours, try implementing the following tips.
1. Stand Up
Some researchers refer to sitting as the new version of smoking. This means that sitting for long periods of time can actually become detrimental to a person’s health. This is especially true when you have poor posture. If you can get a standing desk or prop your computer on a tray, this will allow you to get more circulation throughout your body as you still remain productive.
As you get work done, it’s also great to take quick breaks to stretch those limbs and maintain flexibility. Additional research points to stretching and its connection to a person’s longevity. There are plenty of people who spend more time doing activities such as yoga, Pilates, and stretching in order to keep their bodies lean, healthy, and limber. As you stand up to get more work done, consider stretching as well.
2. Stay Hydrated
The mind and body both need water in order to survive. If you want to avoid burnout from work, take care of your internal health by consuming more water. Become intentional about consuming on a consistent basis. When a person talks through virtual meetings at a consistent rate, it’s easy to get a dry mouth or feel dehydrated without realizing it. Keep a large tumbler on the desk. Add a straw, and sip throughout the course of an hour. If you’re consistently sipping, it should get to a point where you’ll need to refill.
If you’re reliant on a cup of coffee to provide a boost, always remember that coffee and caffeinated beverages dehydrate. For every cup of coffee you consume, consume an additional cup of water to the standard amount you need. When the body is hydrated, you won’t need as much coffee (if any) to get a boost and feel energized to keep going.
3. Consider Interactive Rituals
If it’s your turn to provide the report or give a virtual presentation, plan ahead to make it as engaging and interesting as possible. When employees are sitting at desks for hours at a time, a lot of details might become monotonous and irrelevant. If you use interesting photos, fun icebreakers, and vocal fluctuations in order to keep your audience engaged, this will help you stand out amongst your employees. It might encourage others to step up their presentational game and develop better skills to engage others through the use of presentation tactics in virtual meetings.
4. Wear Blue Light Glasses
Blue light glasses can be very helpful for protecting the eyes. After staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, the blue light can cause dangerous consequences. Blue light can contribute to a person’s inability to experience restful sleep at night. It can also stimulate portions of the brain that make electronics addictive. When you can’t achieve optimal rest at night, this will compound its effects into a full episode of burnout. By wearing blue light glasses, you’ll set a barrier between your precious eyes and the blue light.
5. Position the Desk Near Natural Light
While you’re definitely want to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, a good dose of natural light can stimulate and energize the mind. Even if you set up your office workstation on the back patio, getting into nature can really provide some therapeutic benefits. Set your computer near natural light in order to experience Vitamin D that can boost your mood and help you avoid episodes of low energy, a lack of productivity, and depression.
As more people cling to the flexibility that working from home provides, it’s important to be innovative in the way you approach work and your overall health. Though burnout is often viewed as a symptom of needing a nap, it’s actually much deeper and more serious than that. When a person experiences true burnout, they’re left to rediscover who they are and how to engage with the world around them without feeling totally depleted. While an individual can definitely recover from a period of burn-out, it’s much better to implement the steps to avoid it altogether.