4 Proactive Connections to Help Avoid Burnout at Work

Published On: July 12, 2023Categories: Blog

Burnout is one of those feelings that happens to many of us when we’re working at the same job for a long time, or when that job becomes particularly intense or throws our life off balance. When burnout hits, it can be hard to overcome–but it’s possible with the right set of skills, which we’ve talked about before.

But for anybody who’s managed to overcome burnout in the past, the more crucial question then becomes, “well, how do I avoid it again in the future?” And that can be just as difficult, if not more so! Avoiding burnout requires thinking proactively and practicing new skills before you ever think you need to do so–and sometimes it can even be hard to quantify, as preventative measures always are. After all, you can’t measure all the bad feelings you don’t have, can you?

While it takes practice and effort, avoiding burnout is not only possible, but the skills involved can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life even outside of work. So here are just a few connections you can make to help you get started and point your life in a direction away from that dreaded workplace burnout:

Connect with your coworkers

Burnout isn’t just caused by the work we have to do; it’s also very much influenced by the environment we work in. A happy, healthy, and well-connected professional team means everyone within it is less likely to fall victim to burnout, even when the work itself is arduous or difficult. 

So to avoid burnout, one of the first steps you’ll want to take is to start to make meaningful connections with your coworkers and your team. This doesn’t have to mean becoming everybody’s best friend–after all, you don’t want work to take over your entire life as well–but making real and personal connections can help you avoid feeling like that faceless cog in the machine.

These connections can be small things, like little affirmations or surprises that help Make Their Day. Or, they can be ongoing and supportive, like when we practice how to Be There for our coworkers during their struggles and successes. But simply doing your part to turn your workplace into a community that acknowledges the humanity of others can go a long way to keep you from burning out.

Connect with your body

A major contributing factor to (and symptom of) burnout is that we begin to neglect our basic physical needs, whether intentionally or otherwise. This can look like consistently skipping the gym because we have to “finish this project,” or it can look like not eating healthy lunches because you’re too busy with work meetings during the day. It can even go as far as delaying or avoiding medical check-ups and procedures because “we’re doing fine; we just have to get through this busy period.”

But not listening to what your body needs can be a vicious cycle when it comes to burnout: not taking care of ourselves physically leads to burnout, which in turn leads to us further neglecting our physical well-being. So to avoid burnout, make sure you’re staying on top of your health–take steps to ensure you’re sleeping properly, set aside “untouchable” time for consistent workouts, and be mindful of eating nutritious and fulfilling means every day.

Connect with your ideas

Having said this, burnout is as much about our mental health as it is about our physical health, and one of the biggest aspects of burnout is a sense of boredom, unmotivated behavior, and general malaise towards our jobs. Otherwise healthy routines become ruts that we can’t claw out of; every problem comes with the same default solutions; every day starts to feel exactly the same with no surprises or excitement.

So how can you reconnect with that spark that makes work fulfilling? One of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing is by engaging in Play at work. As we’ve discussed plenty in the past, Play in the FISH! Philosophy is more than just fun and games (although it can include those). Rather, Play is any opportunity to expand our minds, brainstorm new and creative ideas without fear of failure or being shut down, and simply engaging with different ways of doing things that might not have otherwise been considered.

When our workplace builds in time and space for Play, team members consistently feel more energized, more valued, and more motivated. It prevents us from falling into ruts and keeps our professional lives from feeling like the same thing day in and day out. Play is absolutely key to avoiding burnout!

Connect with your passions

Just like Play can help us stay connected with any passions we feel about work, we also need to practice staying connected with our passions outside of work. No matter how fun, fulfilling, or exciting a job is, if it’s the only outlet and source of passion in our lives, burnout will inevitably follow sooner or later. A good rule of thumb: if you’re at a party and can’t think of anything to talk about other than work, you might be looking at burnout in the future!

So the more space you can reserve outside of business hours for your non-work-related passions, hobbies, and interests, the less likely you are to fall into burnout. This can be as big as picking up a new hobby or volunteering gig, or it can be as small as setting aside time to just sit down and eat dinner with your family, or play with your pet. Anything that gets you away from the desk, takes your mind off business, and reinvests in yourself and your passions is perfect as a way to avoid future burnout.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Have you experienced burnout before? What helped you overcome it and get yourself back to normal?
  • Does your workplace offer space and time to try out new ideas, experiment, and brainstorm creative solutions?
  • How closely do you guard your time outside of work? How can you set aside time for fitness, health, family, and personal interests that can’t be encroached upon by work responsibilities?

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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