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7 Effective Ways To Deal With Remote Work Burnout

Would you believe there’s a Japanese term for “death by overwork” – Karoshi! The fact that it’s really a thing is amusing at first but scary if pondered over. For the longest time, there was no English word as its translation because the concept was too alien for other languages/countries to consider. 

But it’s unfortunate how things have changed post-pandemic. 

We now have Remote Work Burnout or Work From Home Burnout as words for the feelings of exhaustion, ineffectiveness, and stress faced by employees with respect to the work they do. 

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised the term and describes it as “a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

If you find yourself sailing in a similar boat, we are here to tell you that this feeling can be fought and won over. Yay! 🙂

So, smile (please!) and let’s kill these negative emotions by discussing & implementing ways in which job burnout can be dealt with. 

Warning Signs That You’re Burned Out

  • Headaches, stomach aches, and intestinal issues
  • Frustration, cynicism, and other negative emotions
  • Low energy and little interest at work
  • Insomnia and feelings of emptiness
  • Cognitive (concentration and memory) problems
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Decreased initiative and imagination
  • Loss of empathy and idealism 
  • Feelings of worthlessness

Tips To Avoid Burnout 

Discussed below are 7 ways to combat (even avoid) work burnout so you can enjoy life the way you should.

Set Conscious Boundaries & Stick To Them

Does ‘Work From Home’ turn into a 24*7 roller-coaster ride for you? Do you wake up and find yourself sitting before your laptop almost instantly? Do you end up replying to emails post 12 AM because you saw a notification and couldn’t resist replying to it? 

If yes, know that trouble has unethically rented a place in your mind and it’s time you got the same vacated. 

For this, set a work schedule and let your managers know that you’ll only be available during those dedicated hours. Don’t forget to turn off your email notifications post your working hours. 

After you let your mind disconnect, enter into a whole new world of self-care, family love, and joyous activities. 

Setting boundaries will elevate your presence (both mentally and physically) at work and also at home. 

Start Saying No – It Isn’t A Bad Word

“Am I doing enough?” If you often land up seeing this question in the eye, ask yourself if you’re doing a bit too much, leaving behind other homely pleasures. 

Work is undoubtedly important. But so are other little things that account for big slices of happiness. 

The next time you feel the urge of saying “yes” (despite your hands being full) when your manager asks you to do something, ask if this will hamper your work-life balance. Ask if it’ll take away your chance of witnessing your 5-year-old kid’s smile. Ask if it will rob you of your peace of mind. 

If the answer is YES, say NO. It’s okay. Your bosses are humans too; they’ll understand. They always do. You just need to let them know. So, let them know.

Experiment With Different Productivity Techniques 

Remote work can cause distractions, leading to less productivity, ultimately opening doors to feelings of being misunderstood, self-isolation, and loneliness. This can be tackled by experimenting with different productivity techniques like Pomodoro, Eat The Frog, 80/20, etc. These are proven techniques that are known to have worked wonders for people in all spheres of life. They involve taking breaks, tackling work based on value, clubbing tasks, and much more. 

However, since the approach – one-size-fits-all – isn’t applicable here, you’ll have to actually implement the techniques that strike a chord with you and see what works. 

We have a pocket guide to 5 classic productivity techniques that will help you eliminate unwanted distractions, thereby making you more productive at work. And once your productivity is on track, self-doubt (and burnout) will soon be off track. And that’s exactly what we want.

Work With A Deeper Purpose

Do you feel your career adds value to your life, other than earning you a paycheck? Does it allow you to stretch your mental boundaries to their fullest potential? Does your work make you feel proud? 

Answering these uncomfortable questions can go a long way in helping you avoid burnout. If you can gather clear, concise answers, it will keep your stress at bay.

In case you suddenly (and abruptly) recognise the fact that you’re in the wrong job role or career, don’t – we repeat – don’t panic. It’s okay. Happens! 

You should be glad the voice that had been meaning to reach you could finally get an outlet. Now that you’ve discovered a new dimension of yours, plan a career that will make you work with a deeper sense of purpose. 

Move Your Body

If the only steps you take in your day are towards the restroom or kitchen and back, we can’t blame remote work too much. You are at fault too. 

Just like the casual walk you took in the office to have a word with a friend helped you rejuvenate, take a walk on your balcony to recharge your energy.

Take a stroll, stretch your body, dance your heart out, practice yoga – anything that allows your body to move and changes the setting for you will work. This will help you disconnect from whatever you’re working on for a while so you can reconnect with a better state of mind. 

Sounds fun, right? Doing it takes the fun to an altogether different level. Try! 

Take Time To Do What Makes Your Soul Truly Happy 

Picture this, a tangerine sun being devoured by the pastel-hued horizon while you play your favourite musical instrument or read a soul-stirring book in your balcony.

Or imagine having a hot bubble bath while letting the aroma of scented candles refill your soul with positivity.

Else, think about taking a sleep so sound that you wake up with the thought of conquering the world. (In this volatile world, sound sleep is a privilege indeed.)

Now tell us, when was the last time you did any of these? 

Struggling to remember? This is exactly where the problem resides. 

You gotta nourish your soul to flourish and there are no two ways about it. So, pick your dust-eating instrument/ canvas/ book/ gardening tools and show them some love. Try this and we guarantee you a peaceful mind, up and running with double the power and triple the efficiency – both for office work and homely stuff. 

Maintain A Gratitude Journal 

Do you often find yourself caught up in the wrong emotions of unluckiness, unhappiness, and likewise? You’re not alone! Remote workout has and continues to do this to people. 

But remember, for every client that gives you a hard time, there are 10 things that try to compensate by bringing joy to your life. You just don’t notice. 

Avoid burnout in under 5 minutes *we swear by this* by listing at least 5 good things that happened to you in your day. It could be as little as having a sandwich that made your taste buds go on an exotic trip.  

Yes; it’s that simple! 

Express your happy thoughts in writing every day and see burnout burning to ashes. 

Examples –

  • I am grateful for the inverter in my house as I could submit an important official project with strict deadlines despite the power cut. 
  • I am grateful for the family dinner we had together after a month today. 
  • I am grateful I could buy an expensive set of calligraphy pens. 
  • I am grateful I have a steady water connection. 
  • I am grateful that I can pay my bills on my own. 

Conclusion

Life is a graph of emotions; sometimes it’s high on happiness and sometimes it hits rock bottom. What’s important is being aware of the fact that we can control this graph. 

Because remote work is here to stay, it’s better to recognize that there’s nothing more important than your physical and mental health. Nothing. 

Therefore, stop being hard on yourself. Talk to yourself with love, be kind to yourself, and embrace the changes discussed above to avoid work burnout like a pro. 

Good Luck! 🙂

Heena Ganotra

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what led to her making a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness like herpes. :)

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