4 tips for burnout prevention and stress-relief in the workplace

Feeling stressed every now and then is perfectly normal, especially with a changing work climate. Research shows a moderate amount of stress can actually make you stronger and better at managing stress in general.

The problem is when you have so much to work on that stress becomes hard to manage. In these cases, you’re more likely to feel burnt out.

Burnout is a chronic level of stress that can leave you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, detached and extremely negative. It’s often experienced by employees who have too much on their plate, expect too much of themselves, or feel inadequate. This all adds up to reduced work performance and can be considered a mental health issue.

Music Licensing company PPL PRS shares its four tips to reduce burnout: 

Take a break

It might seem obvious but getting away from work is the best way to avoid burnout. Since we’re now surrounded by the internet and mobile phones with 24/7 access to work emails, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not switching off when you head home for the day. If this is the case, why not consider booking some time off?

Travelling and changing up your environment is a great way to reset the mind and, when you return to work, you’re likely to be filled with new energy. Make sure to leave your laptop at home to avoid the temptation of checking in with the office whilst you’re away.

Do something that makes you feel good and helps you unwind, such as booking tickets to see your favourite band perform live or enjoying an outdoor festival to take in both the music and the atmosphere.

If taking time off just isn’t an option, a meaningful break in the middle of the day can do wonders. When eating your lunch whilst replying to an overflowing inbox becomes a regular event, your brain doesn’t get time to recuperate and relax during the day. So, why not try plugging in some headphones and taking a walk during your lunch break? Listening to slow, quiet music can physically de-stress the body, lowering blood pressure, slowing your pulse and reducing levels of stress hormones.

If your business is hospitality-based, it’s important to have staff reflect the positive atmosphere you want your customers to experience. This January alone, 28% of the accommodation and food service activities industry have reported shortages in workers. As a result, existing staff members could be required to work longer and more unsuitable hours. To boost the morale and well-being of your employees, introducing additional micro-breaks to your work schedule could allow staff time to recuperate and reenergize if they are taking on additional activities.

Adopt a fitness regime

When you’ve got a lot to think about, the gym is probably the last thing on your mind. When busy, most of us throw exercise to the bottom of our priority list but working out can reduce stress. Exercise also helps to reduce fatigue, while improving alertness and concentration, meaning you can go back into your workload with a fresh pair of eyes.

Music has been shown to be a highly beneficial aid to mindset and motivation when exercising. According to Music Therapist Marianne Rizkallah, “the best music to listen to while training is by an artist, or within a genre, that you know and love. Plus, it’s important to choose a tempo that suits your activity. The beat you run to will probably not be the same speed as the beat you lift weights to, so consider switching up your playlists and choose tracks you think you can keep on the beat with.” E.g., some calmer tunes to help you de-stress whilst doing some simple stretching or yoga.

Listen to music

Listening to music has the potential to relax our minds as well as our bodies. In fact, research has shown that even heavy metal music can help lower your blood pressure. And with high blood pressure both a cause and symptom of stress, this shows that even the most intense music can help you cope with stress.

It’s not only your blood pressure that listening to music can lower, but also your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the human stress hormone, and the higher it is, the more stressed we feel. Research has found that symphonic music can lower cortisol levels, regardless of the listeners music preferences. So, if you’re feeling a little stressed, why not listen to some Beethoven? It might not be your cup of tea, but it’s proven to help you out.

Music affects the body in a whole host of different ways, and listening to music on a daily basis could really help promote your overall health and wellbeing.

Music really is one of the best stressbusters out there. The soothing power of relaxing music and its close link to our emotions can be a really effective stress management tool, helping us cool down and maybe even take a breather. It can be a great way to distract yourself from a stressful situation, while also clearing the mind before readdressing the issue with a fresh outlook.

Ask for help

Delegating some of your task-list is a great way to offload some stress, but we can find it difficult to give up some of our responsibilities. Asking for help is never easy, especially if you’re an ‘I’ll do it on my own’ type of person. You are, however, more likely to get things done and find solutions if you’re not the only person thinking about the problem. It never hurts to admit that you’re over capacity, and it can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Making sure that you stay on top of burnout and can recognise the warning signs is important, but it’s not the only way that you can make your working life easier. Finding ways to boost your productivity at work and identifying your particular working style is also helpful for keeping burnout at bay and keeping on top of your own mental health.


Chris Price