The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes workplace burnout as an occupational phenomenon, characterized by “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”
This isn’t news to the financial services industry. In fact a 2019 survey by the Financial Planning Association found that 71% of financial advisors said they experienced moderate or high negative stress, compared to 57% of investors.
Further, the COVID-19 era that began in 2020 has certainly increased the myriad of stressors, including fee compression, fluctuating markets, financial anxiety regarding the profitability of one’s business, and struggles with time management — often complicated by other family members also working and learning from home.
So how can we begin to take on the chronic stressors that lead to burnout? Here are a few tips that may help:
1. Take a step back to identify the sources of your stress and strategize.
Can you outsource some of your work? Can you to talk to a therapist online who can assist you in addressing the most stressful issues and how best to cope with them? Perhaps a source such as betterhelp.com might be of service: https://bit.ly/2RBE0QY
2. Take better control of the things you actually CAN control.
You can’t control the economy, but you can control whether you see the glass as half empty or half full. You can control how much effort you put into your work and into enjoying your family. You can define your goals for the day/month/quarter, and the resulting clarity may make you feel energized to take on the day with more calm or gusto — whichever you need!
3. Live in the moment.
More and more people are turning to mindfulness and/or meditation to help them balance the many conflicting emotions they are simultaneously feeling right now. It’s certainly worth a try!
4. Get enough sleep and exercise regularly.
Our bodies are clearly connected to our minds. And while we all know getting plenty of sleep and exercise helps tremendously, it becomes easy to lose sight of this when we are stressed.
5. Take a mini-vacation.
Those working during the pandemic are likely grateful to have their jobs — but it doesn’t negate the need to stay on top of the usual priorities, such as safety precautions for oneself and loved ones, financial responsibilities, and children’s education. Managing all of these concerns can lead to exhaustion. A day spent hiking in the mountains or walking on the beach could be the mini-vacation you need. Avoiding your business phone and computer for a while might just do wonders!
6. Invest in time-saving software that pays off.
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