10 proven ways to avoid burnout

Published Date: March 15, 2023

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No matter your profession, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. This can lead to burnout, a serious issue that impacts nearly 90% of employees in the U.S.The good news is there are ways for doctors to cope. In this article, we discuss how professionals can prevent burnout and achieve more happiness in their workplace.

What is burnout?

Burnout is an extended state of emotional and physical exhaustion due to work-related stress. More than just being tired from a long day at work, burnout is when you feel constantly overwhelmed, stressed and anxious in your workplace. This recurring feeling can lead to job dissatisfaction, decreased work performance, anxiety, depression and other health problems.Burnout is caused by a number of factors in day-to-day life, including:
  • Long working hours. Long hours, overnight shifts, and weekends can impact your ability to rest.
  • Administrative tasks. The amount of time spent on administrative tasks like paperwork, billing, and electronic health records causes stress for many professionals.
  • High-stakes, heavy workload. Many employees, especially knowledge workers, have to deal with the emotional and mental toll of their jobs.
  • Lack of control. Feelings of helplessness and frustration over their work environment can also cause burnout.

How to treat burnout

Burnout is a serious concern for any doctor. To ensure you maintain productivity, and satisfaction in your workspace no matter your career, here are some proven tips for treating professional burnout.

1. Start your day with mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation can be an effective strategy to reduce daily stress and anxiety. Take a few minutes each morning to create a zen space, focus on your breathing and let go of any negative thoughts or feelings. Taking this crucial moment daily can help you to stay calm and focused even during long days. Studies show that mindfulness can even help improve performance, especially for healthcare workers.

2. Prioritize self-care

Self-care is essential for maintaining your physical and mental health. Make time for regular exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep and any personal activities that you enjoy. In a 2021 survey, doctors rated balanced nutrition and “me time” as the most effective forms of self-care. When you take care of yourself and your needs, you set yourself up to thrive and to take care of others. 

3. Set boundaries with yourself

While you might have plenty of things going on during your day, it’s important to not try to accomplish everything all at once. Prioritize your tasks and set achievable goals for yourself. This means saying ‘’no” to unnecessary demands that consume your time and energy. Setting boundaries helps you to maintain control over your schedule, which has been shown to go a long way toward reducing burnout.

4. Fuel your hobbies

The demands of being a physician can be all-consuming, leaving little time to do things for yourself. A hobby, however, can provide a much-needed outlet for you to recharge and find purpose outside of work. Hobbies can range from physical activities like hiking or yoga to creative pursuits like painting or playing an instrument. In particular, sports and hobbies that include family and friends have been rated by doctors as effective strategies for coping with burnout. 

6. Make a flexible schedule

A more flexible schedule is a proven part of any burnout prevention plan. By tailoring your schedule, you can prioritize self-care, quality time with loved ones and a better work-life balance. Alternative work arrangements like part-time, job-sharing, remote work or adjusting your hours are all ways to make your calendar work for you. 

7. Streamline tasks in your office

Depending on your job, routine administrative duties like electronic paperwork, billing, documentation, and computer software take up a majority of your work day. This work can cut into your ability to do the things you truly care about. Consider taking steps to lower the pressure of these tasks. Determine how much of your day is focused on administrative activities, and see if any can be delegated to your team or automated for greater efficiency. By streamlining operations, you’ll be able to increase teamwork, improve workflow, and decrease chaos — all factors proven to reduce burnout. 

8. Rediscover your passion for your career

There are many times when you might lose your enthusiasm for work or even question your career. During these moments, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself what really inspired you to enter this field. Do you still find fulfillment at work? Are there new opportunities you want to explore, or different areas that you want to branch out to? Studies conducted on physicians show that spending time on meaningful work (like mentorships and support programs) can foster more happiness.

9. Have a strong support network

No matter which stage you are at in your career, you’ll always need a strong support group. Surround yourself with friends, family or significant others who can support you during times when your work life becomes too much. If you don’t have these close connections, consider speaking to colleagues, professional coaches or even a mental health professional. These individuals can give you the resources you need to overcome exhaustion and build resilience in your career.

10. Take time off

It’s no surprise that vacations provide immediate benefits for your health and your quality of life. Failure to take time off when you need it will only accelerate the effects of professional burnout. Take the time you need to rest and recharge, so you can return to work with renewed purpose and energy.A second home can be the perfect place for you to relax with your loved ones. Rather than wasting time and money on planning and booking hotels, you return throughout the year to a home that you own and enjoy time off in a consistent and familiar place. And with Pacaso's co-ownership model, you can own a luxury second home for less cost and hassles. Here’s how Pacaso makes it easy:
  • Tailored ownership. Choose the amount of ownership that fits into your lifestyle and budget, from 1/8 to 1/2.
  • Fully managed. Leave the work to us — we maintain your home year-round and take care of the things you don’t have time for.
  • Turnkey luxury experience. Your home comes fully furnished, professionally decorated and equipped with all the amenities you need, so you can just show up and enjoy. 
  • Stress-free scheduling. Book stays within the Pacaso app with ease. Our scheduling technology makes things fair and equitable for all owners.

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