How to Avoid Burnout
By Hannah McSweeney, CPhT
With any job, burnout is inevitable if you do not take time and listen to your body. Burnout is no joke and may lead to depression or medical problems once the stress catches up to you. I have known several co-workers that ended up on anti-depressants from burnout alone. Once you start to feel this way, it is essential to correct it before it gets worse. Here are some tips on how to avoid burnout and minimize the stress levels that contribute to it.
Something so many pharmacy technicians have trouble with is balancing their work and personal time. This may be difficult to bring to your supervisor; however, doing this small task can significantly reduce your stress and make you happier. Ways you can do this include setting boundaries such as availability during your week and learning to say no when you are stretching yourself too thin. For example, you are a pharmacy technician at a retail chain store and the store hours are from seven a.m. to eleven p.m., you had the opening shift from seven to five, and your only closing tech called out. Your manager asks if you can cover. Although it is okay to help your co-workers and store in times of need, at some point, you have to prioritize your own needs, such as eating and sleeping, and a sixteen-hour shift with most likely only one break is a terrible idea. This is a reminder that it is okay to say no.
A Full Night of Rest
Tying into a healthy work-life balance is, surprisingly, sleep. Sleep is a vital part of our well-being, and it is recommended everyone gets a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. According to the Cleveland Clinic, short-term side effects of missing only 1.5 hours of sleep can include a lack of alertness, excessive sleepiness, impaired memory, an increased likelihood of car accidents, and more. These are only short-term side effects but can prove to have a very high negative impact. If you continue this cycle, chronic sleep deprivation puts you at risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. If you start becoming irritable and are making minor mistakes or feel like you have no energy, consider making sleep a priority and watch for its impact on your performance.
Having someone to talk to or just vent may be the most effective resource. If you are a pharmacy technician in a setting where you interact with customers, you have more than likely dealt with an angry customer at least once in your career. This can add to your stress level and may eventually cause a breakdown. As pharmacy technicians, we are already expected to do so many things within our jobs that a bad customer experience or even a co-worker/supervisor that you do not get along with can add all the more to it. Seeking out a therapist is a great way
To manage your stress and a professional can give you techniques to better manage these situations.
Exercise and Healthy Eating
Finally, it is vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle by making time to exercise regularly and feed your body healthy meals. If you come home exhausted, try exercising before your shift and marvel at the mood and energy boost you will receive! It has been proven that exercising regularly allows your heart and lung health to improve, giving you the endurance to get through another shift. Another key to taking care of your body is eating healthy. It can be hard to eat right, especially if you are on the go or in a rush to get to work. If you do not have time to pack a healthy meal, see if healthy snack options high in protein are available and skip the candy bars and chips. If you are too tired to cook meals by the time you get home, try meal prepping or meal kits to order. These are both great options, one giving you prepped food throughout the week and the other offering quick and easy healthy foods to prepare, skipping the grocery store hassle.