Job burnout is not only common nowadays, it could even happen to you even if there aren’t many demands on your current position.
This is because job burnout doesn’t just refer to physical stress – it also includes emotional and mental exhaustion, as well as feelings of dissatisfaction with regards to your work performance. So if you’re feeling frustrated most of the time because you can’t meet your daily quota, OR you have recurring migraines, insomnia, and stomach upset, then you might be suffering from job burnout.
But don’t quit your job just yet! Everyone will undergo this experience at some point in their lives (it’s normal!). However, what you want to avoid is going through it for long periods of time. Once you start feeling overwhelmed, learn to step back, breathe in, and give yourself a break. Your time after work is a crucial period for you to rejuvenate and connect with the things that are important to you.
Instead of simply scrolling through your Facebook feed after 5PM, check out these 12 after-office activities that would help you fight off burnout, as well as provide more meaning into your day.
#12 Meet Friends
Hang out with childhood buddies or your office colleagues. Enjoy coffee at a nearby café, shop around town, or dance the stress away. We as humans are naturally social creatures; so being with others is a great way to energize ourselves and fend off feelings of frustration or isolation.
#11 Read Good Books
Do you have a stack of new books that you haven’t read yet? Why not begin now! Reading is not only fun, it’s a great exercise for your brain. So go ahead and grab a title from your bookshelf, plop on a comfortable seat or bed, and get ready to be transported to a different world without ever leaving your apartment.
#10 Walk Around The City
Need a little fresh air? This is one activity that you could do either during your lunch hour or after work. I enjoy simply walking around the city, observing the lights come on at night, or watch the many vendors sell their wares. It helps clear my mind and I feel more refreshed by the time I go home.
Whether you love jogging, yoga, or sports, being active after work has plenty of benefits. One, you sweat away your worries; two, your body produces endorphins that lift your mood, making you instantly happy; and three, you keep yourself fit and healthy! Talk about hitting three birds with one stone.
#8 Develop a Hobby
Ever wanted to get into clay modeling? Obsessed with photography? Do you wish to improve on your piano playing skills? Hobbies are a great outlet for us to remain productive while taking pleasure in stuff we love. If you haven’t thought about developing a hobby yet, it’s never too late. Pick something you would enjoy taking up on your free time. Start small, and slowly progress until you acquire better skills. Who knows – maybe your hobby will eventually turn into a business venture one day!
#7 Cook Dinner
This is one of my favorite things to do after work. Although I feel tired, I usually whip up something simple for my family to enjoy and my stress somehow melts away. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Pasta dishes or cream desserts are easy and affordable enough to feed two to four people. Here’s another awesome idea: invite coworkers or friends over for a food date! With cooking and meal planning apps at your disposal, you don’t even need to buy a cookbook to get started.
#6 Spend Time with Family
When was the last time you invited your parents to come over? Did you visit your sister who lives just a couple of blocks away? Your son or daughter would love to play with you once you get home. Often, we’re just focused on how exhausted we are without even thinking about our family’s need to be with us. They miss us, too! So don’t forget to bring Grandma some fresh bread, or to call your Dad just to say “hi”. They’d certainly love to hear about your day.
#5 Write In Your Journal
Writing is not only therapeutic, it could also bring out your creative side. You don’t even need a notebook. I have a friend who writes on napkins and stores them in a wooden box (odd, but definitely unique). It could be a diary entry, a collection of poems, or you could even begin writing your own short story – whatever goes! You don’t have to be a great journalist or a pro to write. Remember: this is for YOU alone. If you choose to share your works with the world later on, it should be at your own discretion.
#4 Play With Your Pets
Taking care of another living creature is said to be one of the best ways to keep stress at bay. Ever wondered why dog and cat owners look happier? If you’re not fond of either animal, there are plenty more to choose from. Why not try a guinea pig? They’re cute, playful, and are great for folks with small dwellings. Fishes are another cool option. Listening to the soft gurgling of the water while watching colorful tropical fish swim by is sure to melt your worries away.
#3 Listen To Music
Did you know that there’s such a thing as “music therapy”? It’s where professionals use the soothing and healing properties of music to improve a person’s physical and mental health. Since its development, music has been a huge part of our culture and everyday lives – so why not use its comforting traits to ease your office burnout? Pop in your favorite tunes, and dance to your heart’s content!
If you’re interested in specialized music therapy sessions, visit The American Music Therapy Association’s official website for more details.
Sometimes, you just need to stop and think. There are moments when distracting ourselves with activities will not solve our inner turmoil. In these cases, we need to simply sit down – or go to a quiet place – and reflect. We all need “alone time”, some more than others. Utilize these silent moments to think about where you want to be, what your real goals are, and how you want to serve others using your talents.
#1 Plan Ahead
One of the main reasons why people feel burned out in their jobs is due to overwhelming tasks and expectations. If you’re the type of person who has trouble managing time wisely, it would help to plan your days ahead. After your usual routine at home, carve out a few minutes to list down top priorities for the next morning. I’ve had this habit for years and I can attest to how effective it is in helping me cope with daily tasks.
Don’t let work burnout get the best of you. Either work it out – or work around it.
If it’s been a long time and you have tried everything to make things work at the office, maybe it’s time to look for more meaningful alternatives. There are folks who have found happiness with unconventional careers, so don’t be afraid to stray away from the herd! Talk to people whom you admire (friends, family, mentors). Get advice, reflect, and write down your dreams.
There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first. After all, you can’t learn to love a job if you can’t love yourself.
Cristina Antonio is the EIC of scoopfed.com and a writer of all things related to world news, movies, real estate, health, or social media. She’s currently focused on helping healthcare workers find better career opportunities through Locum Tenens. Cris also enjoys painting, collecting toys, reading German novels, and lurking the Web.