HomeNewsArticle Display

Five Minutes to Thrive: Reducing Telework Burnout

Minot Strong

Minot Air Force Base is working continuously to bring more information to the base populace on COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman Jan Valle)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

Team Minot, for many of us we’re beginning a steady flow of telework, which is perhaps longer than many of us expected. Some of us may be experiencing symptoms of burnout - emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged task saturation. Burnout leads to feeling overwhelmed, drained, unable to meet demands, and can result in the loss of interest and motivation to take on certain roles. Burnout reduces productivity, and leaves you feeling inert, increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynicism, and resentment. “Spillage” from burnout can impact all areas of your life and decrease your body’s immune response, leaving you more vulnerable to illness.

It’s important to acknowledge that, 1) burnout can happen even (perhaps especially) during telework and 2),   there

are things you can do to reduce your risk of burnout:

 

Turn to others - Reaching out to those closest to you and increasing sociability with coworkers (even if via text) can help buffer you from job burnout. Limit contact with negative people that drag down your mood, and connect with a cause or a  community that is meaningful to you.

 

Reframe your outlook on work - Try to find some value in your work. To gain a sense of purpose and control, focus on how your work helps people and aspects of your job that you enjoy. Friendly interactions   with  co-workers  (even   virtually)  are good countermeasures for reducing monotony and the risk of burnout. Tasteful jokes relieve  stress, improve your job performance, and can get you through a rough day.

 

  • Set boundaries & stick to routines - Set a time each day to completely unplug. Turn off your computer or work phone. Replying “to just one more email” will rob you of time to give to other worthy priorities, and make you less pleasant to be around. Don’t let telework contaminate your entire sanctuary space (home), identify a workspace and keep it confined, don’t bring work into relaxing spots. Remember to take time off or take a break. It may seem odd to request leave when we’re at home all the time anyway, but if burnout is looming, take a break.
  • Get enough sleep- Feeling tired can exacerbate burnout and cause you to think irrationally. Keep your cool by getting enough sleep. You may not have to get the kids up early for school, but staying up late to watch “just one more episode” of your favorite tiger show can increase your risk of burnout.
  • Exercise & Relaxation – Even though it may be the last thing you want to do, exercise is a powerful antidote to burnout. Gym closures don’t mean that physical health needs can’t be met. Get creative with your workouts - go for a walk, run, or look up free workouts online. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, cooking and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing the risk of burnout. When this is all over, you’ll be glad you stuck to a workout routine and fought burnout at the  same time.
  • Eat a healthy diet -What you eat can have huge impacts on your mood, energy, and waistline. Limit snacking for you and the kids, and only eat when you are hungry. You may crave sugary snacks or comfort foods, but these quickly lead to crashes in mood and energy. Avoid nicotine and use alcohol in moderation - both may provide temporary relief from stress and worry, but actually create more anxiety as they wear off. Plan your meals and get creative with new food choices. Try cupboard roulette for dinner.

For questions, contact Dr. Ashley Kilgore (ashley.c.kilgore.mil@mail.mil) or the Minot Mental Health Clinic at 701-723-5527

 

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Official Minot AFB Social Media Pages

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Flickr
YouTube

 

 

 

Force Support Squadron Resources
facebook.com/5thforcesupport
5thforcesupport.com

Community Bulletin Board