Monday, February 15, 2021

Helpful Ways To Manage Stress And Avoid Burnout


"Believe in yourself, trust your gut and surround yourself with resilient people who inspire you to be better."

Monique Hicks

Maybe you have a colleague or a family member who remains calm no matter what. Even in the face of persistent and overwhelming stress, they somehow manage to keep their stress under control. What gives? According to the "Leading Through Burnout" study, it comes down to one thing: emotional intelligence (EI).

Kandi Wiens, Ed.D., an executive coach, national speaker and organizational change consultant, and Annie McKee, the director of the PennCLO Executive Doctoral Program, say that EI supports superior coping abilities and helps people deal with chronic stress and prevent burnout. 

In this issue, we share advice from Dr. Wiens and McKee on how to better manage stress and avoid burnout.

Don't be the source of your stress. Too many of us create our own stress, with its full bodily response, merely by thinking about or anticipating future episodes or encounters that might be stressful, say Dr. Wiens and McKee. People who have a high need to achieve or perfectionist tendencies may be more prone to creating their own stress. Dr. Wiens and McKee found in their research that leaders who are attuned to the pressures they put on themselves are better able to control their stress level.

Recognize your limitations. Becoming more aware of your strengths and weaknesses will clue you in to where you need help. In their study, Dr. Wiens and McKee discovered that those who recognized when demands were outweighing their abilities didn't go it alone—they surrounded themselves with trusted advisors and asked for help.

Take deep breaths. When you feel your tension and anxiety rapidly rising, take a moment to breathe. Mindfulness practices help us deal with immediate stressors and long-term difficulties. Practicing mindfulness allows you to be more open to other solutions so you don't have to waste time in defense mode. Heightening your awareness of your breathing may be difficult at first, note Dr. Wiens and McKee, but remember that attention is the ultimate act of self-control.

Re-evaluate your perspective of the situation. While you can't change what's happening in the world right now, it helps to change your perspective. When you shift your mindset, you might see that what once felt like stress is a problem you want to solve.

Try putting yourself in the other person's shoes. Dr. Wiens and McKee say that the stress from conflicts often leads to burnout so it's best to deescalate conflicts when you can. Be inquisitive, ask questions and listen deeply. Keep your attention to the other person and focus on what he is trying to tell you. By seeking to understand his perspective, you'll be in a much better position to gain his trust and influence him.

By working to improve your emotional intelligence, you can make significant strides in preventing burnout. Remember that improving EI takes time, so be patient with yourself.


Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Kandi Wiens, Ed.D. is an executive coach, national speaker and organizational change consultant. Annie McKee is the director of the PennCLO Executive Doctoral Program. She is also the author of How to Be Happy at Work and a coauthor of Primal Leadership, Resonant Leadership and Becoming a Resonant Leader.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Learn To Avoid Burnout And Enjoy Time Off

 "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."

Anne Lamott


If you find it hard to step away from work, you're not alone. For many professionals and business owners, the work never stops. While you might think buckling down and working to get ahead is good for business, it can also lead to burnout. When you're burned out, you can't deliver 100 percent. You might see yourself making mistakes or working slower than usual. Beyond work, burnout can impact your overall health. You might lose sight of good habits such as eating right, exercising and getting enough rest.

David Rodeck, a Delaware-based copywriter, says it's important to watch for signs of burnout, such as being overly critical or feeling less excited to work. You also might find yourself reworking the same task or losing focus, which are signs that you need a break. If you see yourself heading down the path of burnout, don't despair. There are some ways to turn it around so you can get back to enjoying all aspects of your life.

1. Take care of your body. Remember to exercise and eat right. Your body is your most valuable piece of equipment, so make sure to maintain it properly. Rodeck says that even when he's slammed with work, he always makes time for a nightly walk. Otherwise, he runs into serious writer's block.

2. Rethink your work goals. Could your work goals be too ambitious? Maybe you're taking on too many projects or over-promising on the delivery schedule. Personal time should be a set part of your calendar and built into project expectations.

3. Get enough sleep. Those quiet hours late at night or early morning are a tempting opportunity to catch up on work, but this time shouldn't be at expense of your sleep. The Mayo Clinic recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for the typical adult.

4. Learn to delegate. Whether it's passing work to employees, bringing on a contractor/freelancer or outsourcing an entire project to another firm, delegating will free up your time so you can relax and concentrate only on your most important priorities and on those to which you can bring the most value.

5. Focus on a positive future. When you're buried under deadlines and other work problems, it can feel like a never-ending slog. But Rodeck wants to remind leaders and sales professionals that they will get through this and better days are coming soon. When something goes wrong, ask, "Will I still be upset about this a year from now?" That can put things in perspective. Practicing yoga and mindfulness can also help your mindset.

6. Take time off. Above all, prioritize taking time off. You need those moments to recharge and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.

Commit to taking some time off to rest and recharge. You'll do yourself—and your clients—a lot of good.


Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: David Rodeck is a financial copywriter based in Delaware. Before writing full time, he was a financial advisor.