Work stress is not unusual and can even be positive when handled proactively. When work periods are intense, there is always a risk of burnout. This risk increases when your stress levels reach their peak.
The best way to support your team through stressful times is to take care of yourself and learn to recognize the signs of impending burnout.
Signs of Workplace Burnout
Burnout, as opposed to regular stress, has very intense symptoms, such as:
- Inattentive to food/ undernourished
- Difficulty focusing
- Disconnected from relationship
When you’re not getting enough rest, proper nourishment, and emotional support, it takes a severe toll on your health. And it isn’t just you who suffers from burnout. The people around you, at home and work, pick up on your stress and feel it, too.
The best way to help your team handle stress is to manage your own. Begin by taking care of your mental and physical health. Pay attention to your diet, get regular exercise and fresh air, and ensure you rest and sleep enough. Meditation and other tension-management techniques are also essential, and it’s a great idea to share those methods for coping with stress with your team.
Tackling stress as a team, working together to combat stress, and helping each other succeed in reducing stress levels are effective. Group meditation, yoga, and discussion are potential ways to counteract burnout as a group. Remember not to force team members into it; make sure these group “therapies” are options, not obligations.
The surest way to conquer stress and overcome burnout is to recognize why it is happening. Burnout usually results from working through job-related stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. We push ourselves to get through, but that momentum becomes toxic when we don’t handle the issues at heart—revisiting the shared values and connections that bring your team together can boost work positivity and considerably decrease stress levels.
Remember to be compassionate with yourself and with your team. Burnout often feels like a personal failure, but it is far from it. Stress is natural, and the pressure to be perfect in an imperfect world inevitably leads to strain and burnout. Be honest and recognize that everyone is doing the best they can. Be patient and communicate to the team, “We’re all in this together.”
Supporting your team through stressful periods and preventing the trauma of team burnout begin with you. Taking proactive steps to reduce stress in the workplace, foster positive connections within the team, and provide outlets for handling stress daily helps prevent burnout and improve the health and well-being of your entire team, including yourself.