How to Manage Stress and Avoid Burnout

41728167 - picture of confused woman with cell phoneDo you manage people or projects in a professional environment? If you do, then you know that stress often seems to come with a management position. But while it might seem like stress is just part of the job, you can manage your stress levels — just as you would any other project.

But what if you can’t seem to get your stress in check, for one reason or another? If you’re having anxiety on Sunday nights about going into work on Monday mornings, or you’re regularly bringing irritation and stress home that you can’t seem to unplug from, then you may be at risk for burning out.

Burnout is the term used for exhaustion that spans your physical, emotional, and mental state. It’s caused by overwhelming stress experienced for a long period of time, so that a person never really feels that they’ve recuperated.

It’s a common complaint in management and can lead to lower productivity, poor performance, and a lower quality of life even outside of the office. But you can manage your stress to avoid burnout, and make each day a little easier.

Here are three important ways to manage work-related stress and prevent burn out.

  1. Delegate: This is a hugely important skill that managers need to practice. You may have gotten into a management position because of your can-do attitude, excellent organization, and projects delivered on time and under budget. That’s definitely something to be proud of. But managing means being able to hand over tasks to your direct reports and then track their progress towards the overall goal. Being too involved in the work, as opposed to managing the work flow and answering big picture questions, can quickly lead to burn out.
  2. Exercise: Whether you take walks during your lunch, do yoga after work, or hit the gym at lunch, movement is great medicine against stress. Exercise helps you sleep better, helps your body feel better, and can clear your head so you’re able to manage more effectively.
  3. Find a way to unplug: Managing stress is going to look different for everyone. For some people, a quiet lunch hour of reading is enough of a reset. Some people may need to tap into their employee assistance programs and make an appointment to see a counselor. Some people thrive from attending meditation classes in their off hours. Whatever you do, make sure that you’re dedicating time every week to managing stress in a healthy way.

Stress might be a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be a daily battle at work. With some planning, you can easily prevent taxing yourself to a point that’s unhealthy and keep balance in your life.