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More Than 20 Tips for Recent College Grads to Avoid Burnout in the Workplace

By HERWriter
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Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

A big focus in the workplace now is to avoid burnout. No woman wants to get to the point where she hates her job because of a lack of excitement and the overall feeling of exhaustion. For recent college graduates, it could be useful to consider ways to avoid the dreaded burnout.

Chris Cunningham, a UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, associates burnout with stress.

** What is burnout? **

“Burnout in a work setting is typically defined as a serious psychological and physical strain reaction to stress,” Cunningham said in an email. “Workers experience stress as a result of exposure to stressors.”

Burnout can be caused not only by stress at work, but also at home.

“Although burnout is often seen as triggered primarily by work-related
stressor exposure, it is also likely that people with very stressful
nonwork lives (i.e., home, family, school, other roles) may also be at
a heightened risk for experiencing burnout.,” he said.

Fortunately for most recent graduates, burnout doesn’t happen right away.

“Burnout is often seen as a cumulative type of strain, meaning that it doesn't necessarily emerge just because of exposure to a single serious stressor or a relatively brief period of stress at work,” Cunningham said.

** Tips to prevent burnout **

More good news is that Cunningham said research suggests there are ways to minimize burnout symptoms by engaging in some of the following activities:

1) Physical exercise
2) Adequate sleep
3) Social interactions
4) Other forms of relaxation

Here are some more prevention tips from Cunningham:

1) “A big one is making sure that you have an established routine or strategy for recovering after stressful work days.”
2) “Active forms of recovery (e.g., exercise, hobbies, etc.) often are touted as perhaps the most beneficial of recovery options, but there are also times when more passive recovery efforts (reading, resting, even a little TV) are likely to be beneficial.”
3) “A major key here is moderation and variety. Perhaps an easy way to look at this is to try to make sure that you are multidimensional in what you do and

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This was a good post.

I recently wrote a blog post about college burnout and mentioned the need for a new attitude and indicated: One method of creating a positive belief about yourself is to look for sources of inspiration and motivation, and recognize completion of short-term goals along the way, as you work towards your long-term goals. (http://bit.ly/KSFJ7F)

Do you ever find it is difficult to get students to talk about this issue?
Dr. J

June 1, 2012 - 6:30pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.