Working in social media and in online marketing, at Corridor Consulting Company, we’re well aware of the reality of burnout. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers across industry are reporting high levels of burnout. As Inc reports, the workplace messaging app Blind surveyed over 11,000 employees at 30 of the biggest tech companies to find out just how many felt burnt out by work. 57.16% of the tech employees surveyed reported they were feeling burnt out by their jobs. Even doing the job you love can lead to the symptoms of burnout and can even impact your overall well-being. As Melinda Wenner Moyer in NY Times explains,
“When people think of burnout, mental and emotional symptoms such as feelings of helplessness and cynicism often come to mind. But burnout can lead to physical symptoms as well, and experts say it can be wise to look out for the signs and take steps when you notice them.”
Physical symptoms that Moyer details include increased fatigue, stomach aches, higher than normal levels of stress hormones, insomnia, changes in appetite, and more.
At Corridor Consulting Company, we’re passionate about creating a safe and healthy work environment. Though, we’re aware that burnout can happen even in the best of situations. Because it is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, we thought it would be a good time to share some of our strategies to help support mental health in the workplace and prevent burnout.
You can learn some of our tips below!
1. Set Clear Boundaries
While it can be hard early on in your career and is often a hard lesson to learn, enforcing your boundaries is so important for preventing burnout. No matter how good you are at your job, you don’t need to be contacted at all hours of the day and no one needs access to you at all times. That’s why we recommend setting clear office hours and set up Do Not Disturb functions on your devices outside those hours.
Especially in the world of marketing, no issue is really an emergency and you don’t need to be jumping on your computer to handle something past 11pm or on the weekend. You deserve to take that time to yourself. Taking that time away and not being always “on”, will allow you to relax and not worry so much about work. This will preserve your mental health in the long run and set you up for success.
2. Spend Time Away From Screens
In addition to setting boundaries, it’s also important to prioritize activities that take you away from screens. While a lot of your work may be based in monitoring analytics, doing social media posts, writing content, doing data entry, or any other kind of work that requires a screen, taking breaks when you can is important for your mental health.
According to a study published in Preventative Medicine Reports, adults who watch TV or use a computer for over 6 hours per day are more likely to experience moderate to severe depression. That’s why it’s paramount, especially in your time off to find time for activities away from screens. Whether that’s taking a walk, trying a new outdoor activity like rollerskating or swimming, or even journaling— taking that time away can help. Allocating extra time to rest and not do anything at all can also work wonders. This will allow your brain to rest from all the stimuli it gets day in and day out, allowing you to fully rest. Rest doesn't need to productive. You deserve it because you are a person and you need it. Take that time away and take that rest you need. It will only make your work-life balance even better.
3. Evaluate What’s Working and What Isn’t
Even when you try your best to set those boundaries and take breaks, you can’t self care your way out of burnout if you’re dealing with a work situation that is not healthy for you. If you’re doing tasks or a type of work that is wearing on you, it might be a good time to really evaluate what a workday needs to look like for you. When you think about tasks that are becoming harder and harder for you to do, about work that you dread more than you enjoy, ask yourself questions like:
Why isn’t this working for me?
Is there a situation where this would work better?
Is the time I’m doing this a bad time for me?
Are other tasks impeding my ability to do this?
Is there someone else on my team that can do this?
Once you evaluate these questions, you can figure out if this is something healthy to continue doing or if there’s another way to approach it. Many people do turn to running their own business after needing to leave toxic, unhealthy work environments, so it’s important to evaluate your own business. You are building it yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in a bad mental place to “do it all”. Figuring out what’s working and what isn’t will help you have a healthier relationship with work in the long run.
4. Focus on Community
Having a supportive community that helps you blow off steam and recharge is so important. While it’s always good to lessen screen time, online communities can actually be great for supporting mental health. In a 2019 study conducted by Michigan State researchers, it was found that adults who used social media were less likely to experience psychosocial distress. This means that online communities can be a good outlet, as long as it’s not preventing you from doing other things.
At Corridor Consulting Company, we have both memberships and groups for like minded business professionals to be able to do that kind of networking and chatting. We love chatting with members of community and sharing the day-to-day life of business owners. Online communities like ours allow you the opportunity to connect with people dealing with your same issues. Whether you’re just talking about your day or troubleshooting analytics problems, looking at different Canva templates or commenting on the latest industry news— having a place to talk online can help you feel more connected and less alone.
5. Automate and Offload Work If Possible
As you figure out what’s working for you and as you talk to other business owners, it may be clear that you might need to offload some of your work. Delegating the tasks that you’re not passionate about or that you don’t quite have all the skills in will not only help your mental health, but make your business even stronger. If you’re more passionate about writing, you can focus on the copy while an expert works on analytics or if you struggle with social media, you can focus on sales while a staff member focuses on creating that perfect calendar. Whatever you do, find a system and a team that works for your business.
In addition, Wix has a variety of automated tools to help with some of your more tedious tasks. If you dread sending emails asking for reviews or need more emails checking in on leads and customers, there’s a variety of automations you can add to lighten your load. In fact, we recently released a course on Automation in Wix that teaches you all about streamlining your workflow.
While it can be a hard pill to swallow when you’re in the beginning of your small business journey, no one has to “do it all”. Trying to do everything is a one way ticket to burnout and could make your business suffer. When you automate and offload work, you can do what you do best and prioritize your mental health.
Need More Small Business Tips?
Of course, these are just a couple ways to prevent burnout and support your mental health at work. We know that even with the best strategies, it can be hard to avoid burnout. That’s why we recommend that you partner with an experienced team that can help you get the most out of your website— so you can work smarter, not harder.
If you’re looking for more help with automation, marketing services, web design, or anything in between, we’d love to talk to you further. Give us a call today, and let’s chat about what we can do for your business.