Burnout is a workplace problem
Burnout and compassion fatigue are workplace mental and emotional health hazards that can reduce employee productivity and increase absenteeism, so workplace solutions are needed.
But well-intentioned workplace well-being programs can fail due to cost, lack of employee interest and participation or perceived lack of feasibility by employers. Balancing personal and organizational goals requires respect for the dynamic relationship between the wellness needs of individuals and the mission and values of workplaces.
A self-care streak to relieve stress
In addition to providing critical organizational support and resources, encouraging a voluntary workplace well-being streak is one small way employers can promote employee wellness.
Feeling hopeless and helpless in the face of all the stresses caused by the pandemic and climate change is a common reaction, but reaching positive daily goals can build workplace (or, for students, academic) buoyancy — the ability to bounce back from everyday stress.
Personal wellness streak
You could also consider starting your own wellness streak. While January is a common month to start a new goal, a streak can start at any time in the year and doesn’t have to be linked to a formal group.
It can be as easy as choosing an activity you like and then doing that activity for as many consecutive days as you can. Miss a day, that’s OK — start again the next morning.
Just like sports teams don’t quit playing if their winning streak is broken, missing a day of your streak doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Reflect on why you missed your goal and start fresh tomorrow.
Is your time goal unattainable because of your work commitments and schedule? Reduce it to something attainable. I made my official goal 20 minutes of exercise because, some days, that was all I could manage. Have you lost interest in your activity? Try a different goal like “I will be active outside for 15 minutes,” “I will turn off my email notifications at 6 p.m. each night” or “I will be creative by writing or drawing for 20 minutes.”
The point of choosing your own streak goal is that you can change it at any time to match your own circumstances.