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Beat the burnout

Finding the perfect gift, getting that end-of-the-year project to your boss, cramming for exams it's a stressful time of year for many. Don't get burnt out before the holidays. Dr. Carolyn S. Smith, executive director of the Marquette University Medical Clinic, offers the following tips for managing stress:

  • Take care of yourself outside of work. Make time for regular exercise. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Don't drink alcohol in excess and get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.  Being healthy physically and emotionally will make dealing with stress at work that much easier.

  • Don't skip lunch. It's important that you take time away from your desk or work station to relax and recharge, yet eating too much will make you lethargic. Rather, eat a small meal to energize you and use any extra time to go for a walk, meditate for a few minutes or sit in a quiet room. You'll feel better and will be more productive for the rest of the day.

  • Make a list of tasks to complete during the day and stick to the schedule. You'll manage your time better, feel a sense of accomplishment when tasks are completed and feel less overwhelmed.

  • Don't take work home. Although sometimes inevitable, try to leave your work at the office. Finding a balance between your work, family life, social obligations and hobbies needs to be a priority. When your own needs are managed, you'll be more productive at work and much better equipped to manage workplace stress.  

  • Chronic stress can lead to health problems. Recognize the signs and symptoms of too much stress and be proactive addressing them. These symptoms include: low energy, sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, irritability, social isolation and muscle tension in your neck or back. Talk with friends and family and use the resources that are available to you at your workplace to cope with stress.


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