Feb 5, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

National Burn Awareness Week is coming to an end, and while you should still be aware of the risk of hot water and fire burns, you should also be aware of the ability to get burned (out) at work.

It’s important to “finish what you start,” and get all of your work complete each and every workday. However, it is sometimes, almost too easy, to get caught up and work harder and longer than necessary. Working harder and longer hours, can, in fact, force you to work harder and longer on all projects moving forward. By then, the cycle will just continue.

New research from Monster.com finds that four in five employees experience feeling burned out at work.

Burnout can contribute to an array of mental and health problems:

  • Insomnia/Exhaustion
  • Lack of Motivation/Interest
  • Depression
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Lowered Immunity
  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse
  • Heart Disease
  • Quick to Anger
  • Withdrawal from Others
  • Digestive Issues
  • Obesity
  • High Cholesterol

Luckily, if you can recognize that you don’t “feel like yourself,” and address the related issues, there are ways to combat this burnout before it has severe effects on your personal and professional life.


Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to effectively function throughout the day. However, some need more or less, depending on the person. According to WebMD, if you feel drowsy during the day, you probably need more sleep.

Quit Trying to be Barbie

Surprisingly, Barbie can be a doctor, gymnast, computer engineer, teacher and attend her own wedding all in one day! But, realistically, no person could accomplish this. So, quit trying to “do it all.” Write down a list of your projects, sort them by priority, and then consider distributing some of those primary jobs among your team or others who can assist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take a Break

It’s way too easy to forgo your break time when you need to put out a “fire” in the office. But, if you don’t take breaks every now and then, you will get BURNED. Even a meager two minutes walking the hallway can help. Just get away from the office environment, where you can be distracted by job requests.

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Even if your employees or boss don’t acknowledge you for a job well done, commend yourself. Self-praise helps boost your mental health, especially when times get stressful and you feel like you’re stuck.

Know When to Quit

Sometimes, no matter what you try to fix the situation, you still feel “off.” Consider a career change. It can be scary, and it’s not always practical to just up and quit without a backup plan, but check out your options and speak to a headhunter. A change of routine can do a lot for your health, and it’s easier to find a new job, while you still have a bit of motivation left in you.