Workplace burnout? Therapists offer solutions at Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce event

YORKVILLE – Do you have a sense of dread at the prospect of getting out of bed and going to work? Are you exhausted, even after eight hours of sleep?

Perhaps you feel your workplace productivity decreasing and your tendency to procrastinate on the rise. When you finally get motivated, you find yourself in a scramble to get tasks completed.

If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing occupational burnout.

The good news is that by getting your work life and your personal life back into balance, you’ll be able to enjoy both.

Clinical therapist Betsey Finnan and occupational therapist Nicole Remblos of Bricolage Wellness examined strategies for dealing with workplace burnout before a group of businesspeople on Oct. 12.

The event was part of the monthly business luncheon hosted by the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce at Kennedy Pointe Restaurant and Pub in Bristol.

Bricolage Wellness, 308 N. Bridge St. in Yorkville, offers a wide range of mental health services.

“Workplace burnout is exhaustion that goes unaddressed and unresolved,” Finnan told the group.

What to do about it?

The key is consistency, Finnan said, by putting one’s life into balance. It starts with a good sleep route, exercise and healthy eating, but it is much more, she said.

Finnan advised her listeners to realize the difference between being productive and simply being busy. That means identifying what’s important, taking action, completing the task and moving on.

“Is it actionable? Is there an achievable plan? If not, trash it,” Finnan said.

“Identify three tasks you are going to complete today,” Finnan said. “And three tasks you are going to complete this week and three tasks you are going to complete this month.”

Just as important is setting limits, Finnan said, which she said can be difficult for some people to do.

Don’t take work home, Finnan said. “Create space for your home life.”

Working at home? Establish physical separation

What if the workplace is literally in one’s home?

Finnan’s colleague, Remblos, said it is critical to establish physical separation.

“Create a workspace environment that’s separate from the rest of your home,” Remblos said. And treat that environment as if it were an office outside the home.

“Leave at a specific time,” Remblos said. “Go out for lunch and tell people you don’t want to talk about work,” she said.

When working, concentrate on one task at a time, Remblos said.

“Set up an environment for success. Get social media off your work computer. Shut off notifications. Handle emails in batches,” instead of responding to each as they come in, Remblos said.

The two therapists stressed the importance of mindfulness, which Finnan described as “learning to listen to your body.”

When feeling stress, it is good to run or take a bike ride, Finnan said.

For those needing a more immediate release, Finnan has another coping strategy.

“Punch something soft, like a pillow or a basket of laundry,” Finnan said.

It is also important to engage in hobbies, be playful and to laugh.

“Those are things that often get overlooked,” Finnan said.

Remblos also focused on the interplay between mind and body and emphasized the importance of a good sleep routine.

“If you’re an avid reader, don’t do it right before bed because you’ll be up to 2 a.m.,” Remblos advised.

Chamber has busy calendar this month

Meanwhile, the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce is in the midst of a busy season of activities.

The chamber’s popular BizBoo! Business Treat-or-Treat event will be taking place all over the community from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 23.

The monthly Business over Coffee, an informal networking opportunity with coffee and sweet treats, will be from 8 to 9:45 a.m. on Oct. 29 at the Yorkville American Legion, 9054 E. Route 34.

The next Business Luncheon will feature State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, providing an update on legislation in Springfield and state government policies affecting local business.

The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Kennedy Pointe Restaurant and Pub, 2245 Kennedy Road, Bristol.