Stress-Relieving Tips to Help Busy Professionals Avoid Career Burnout

Written by Dr Liz Kirk (PhD) and Julie Morris.

Career burnout is a complex phenomenon, a severe emotional state characterised by fatigue, frustration, and exhaustion. Prolonged stress leads to disappointment, bitterness and a lack of motivation, undermining your drive and enthusiasm. If you’ve become critical and negative about work, dread or become anxious at the idea of going to work, or just lost interest, chances are you’re experiencing burnout. It’s essential to take early action to prevent reaching that miserable state, so explore these practical tips from Dr Liz Kirk (PhD) at Beyond Ergo and Julie Morris.


Stress Management Strategies |

With the right strategies, you can manage stress and mitigate its effects. Your goal is to find management techniques that work for you to prevent stress from taking control of your life.

Popular strategies include reading, time management, socialising and listening to music. However, mindfulness and meditation, a mental discipline that can lower blood pressure, enhance self-awareness, and prevent depression, have become increasingly popular. Deep breathing is also a simple but powerful relaxation technique you can practise anywhere, including at work. Sometimes even the simple act of decluttering and opening windows in your home can banish negative thoughts and make you feel less anxious.

You may be surprised to learn your gut microbiome has an impact on your stress levels. The microbes in your gut produce feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA, and dopamine. Making sure you’re taking care of your gut by eating live cultures found in some yoghurts, taking probiotics, and talking to your doctor is an easy first de-stress step.


Exercise |

Regular exercise does more than keep your body in good shape. It also combats stress and burnout because it activates endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in your brain, and encourage you to keep exercising. Exercise also gives you the energy to stave off anxiety, stay positive and help get a better night’s sleep, another essential aspect of your overall health and wellbeing. Even if you’re a busy professional, Medical Daily notes just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have a decidedly positive effect on your mental outlook.


In Dr Jackson’s article on Unifying the Mind and the Body Through Aerial Therapeutics, notes:

“In reality, our minds and bodies are intimately connected, and what happens to one affects the other. If our mind feels fear, our body reacts in kind with an accelerated pulse, sweat and rapid eye movements. If we exercise our body, research shows it can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. More and more health professionals worldwide are recognising the connection between mind and body and refocusing on a holistic approach to wellness.
Integration of mind and body is increasingly seen as a global wellness trend.”


Business Benefits of Wellbeing and Health Support |

There are significant business benefits when providing additional mental and physical wellbeing support to staff. Research shows that for every $1 invested in workplace health and wellbeing programs, there is a return of $5.81. That’s over 500% return on investment. 

A recent Beyond Ergo post, quoting from Vitality and Rand Europe, reported the potential and significant economic advantage of regular exercise, estimating the world’s GDP would increase by more than $100bn each year until 2050 if people:

  • Walked 15 minutes more a day
  • Did a slow jog of one kilometre a day, or
  • Took 1,500 extra steps a day

A Truly Significant Benefit!

Are You A Manager Or Frontline Leader | Click Here – Discover Strategies and Tactics to Support your Staff.  | Simple Skills to Reduce Staff’s Mental and Physical Stress | And How To Introduce


Play to Your Strengths |

If there are aspects of your job that make you especially uncomfortable, look into “crafting” your position, so you’re playing to your strengths rather than trying to mask weaknesses. Is there a gap at work that suits your skills and make your bosses life easier? This could be a great Win-Win!


Review Your Daily Workflow |

Perform an “audit” of your workday. Are you performing beyond the scope of your responsibility? If so, it’s time to discuss the situation with your supervisor. Share your misgivings and frustrations; explain that you’re worried about taking on more than you can effectively manage, and you are starting to feel burned out.

Be prepared to discuss alternatives so your boss knows you’re dedicated to supporting the organisation stay productive. These may include switching job tasks, forming a team to reduce your workload, or using your annual leave.


Career Change |

If you know you’re heading towards burnout, consider a career change. That can be a jarring conclusion, but choosing to take control of your situation and making plans for your future is empowering and a potent source of stress relief. If you’re unsure where to start in your search, think of your perfect job and work backwards.


Taking Control of Your Wellbeing at Work |

One essential and enduring way to manage stress and anxiety in the workplace is to understand work-specific triggers and build the competencies needed to manage those triggers. This is especially true in offices, contact centres, and similar settings where computers are the primary work tool. Research shows over 80% of employees’ report aches, pain and musculoskeletal discomfort related to their work and Dr Liz Kirk’s PhD research showed over 11% of contact consultants work while experiencing chronic pain.

Every employer is invested in finding the very best way to care for staff and, in turn, build a strong, resilient, and productive workforce. It’s also clear no one wants to work in pain. Experiencing pain decreases focus and productivity, and increase stress, anxiety, presenteeism and attrition.

Existing high rates of work-related aches and pain demonstrate current workforce health, safety and wellbeing training is no longer effective.  In addition, staff now embrace an increasingly complex array of work choices, including activity-based workplaces, WFH, hot-desking, sit-stand workstation, multiple screens, mobile devices on desks, and a range of health risks associated with increasingly sedentary work. Clearly, traditional office ergonomic checklists are insufficient to provide staff with the personal protective behaviours (PPBs) needed to manage the new and increasing range of health and safety risks associated with our twenty-first century, screen-intensive, work from anywhere world of work.

It’s time to update staff training.

The only way to address this issue is by providing staff with the new ergonomic and self-care competencies staff need to manage the increasingly flexible work environment and associated health and productivity risks. The proper training will also ensure staff are encouraged to take greater personal responsibility for their health, wellbeing and safety, no matter where they work.


Beyond Ergo’s training, developed through PhD research, is specifically designed to address the multifactorial range of risks affecting staff health, wellbeing and productivity encountered during screen-intensive computer work. The Ergo & Self-Care Virtual Workshop delivers a new and unique tier of training, building the awareness, knowledge, work skills, and physical conditioning needed to manage health, safety and wellbeing risks accompanying modern screen-intensive work. These are the personal protective behaviours (PPBs) required to take greater control over health, wellbeing, and productivity, no matter where staff work.


If you or your staff are experiencing any work-related aches, pain, musculoskeletal discomfort,

CLICK HERE | for immediate access to a program giving you greater control over your health, safety, and wellbeing. This fun, interactive program, full of demonstrations and supporting handouts, will help stop that ache from becoming a career-limiting injury.


An Investment In Your Career and Quality of Life  |

If work stress is wearing you down, don’t ignore it. If left unaddressed, stress can have a debilitating emotional effect and may lead to burnout and possibly losing the job you’ve worked hard to achieve. Don’t overlook stress management strategies, the new work competencies, or ensuring you maintain a work/life balance.

What step will you take today to take greater care of yourself?


Image courtesy of Pixabay


Beyond Ergo | We help businesses, especially contact centres, reduce absenteeism, stress and attrition by training personalised office ergonomic adjustments, new work skills, and physical conditioning exercises to decrease work-related pain, increasing comfort and productivity, and improving labour cost efficiency.


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