To often you see people quit or retire with tons of unused paid time off (PTO). Even worse many trades people end up with serious repetitive motion injuries that plague them through their retirement. In this blog post, we’ll discuss coping with stress and burnout in the skilled trades industry and the importance of taking care of yourself throughout your career.
Understanding Stress and Burnout
Stress is a natural response to challenging situations. It can be a motivating factor, but it can also become overwhelming and lead to burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that occurs when someone experiences prolonged stress. Burnout can make it challenging to perform daily activities and have a negative impact on a person’s mental and physical health.
Trades workers experience stress and burnout due to many factors including; working long hours, tight deadlines, physically demanding work, poor diet, strained family relationships, and a lack of control over their work environment.
However, there are several steps you can take to help limit the effects of stress in your day to day life
- Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health and wellness. I know you want to get that project finished! But the reality is your not good to anyone if you’re not first good to yourself. If you have worked for long enough you know projects they come and go so make sure you prioritize self-care by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, making time with your family, and engaging in regular physical exercise. These activities can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.
- Set Realistic Goals
Rome was not built in a day and so it’s fair to say that project you are working on won’t be either. Don’t beat yourself up by setting unrealistic goals and timelines to get projects done. Remember if you miss a deadline you are only human. I’m not saying make it a habit but cut yourself some slack!
- Take Breaks
There are not any awards for retiring with 160 hours of vacation and 1000 hours of sick leave! Sure you might get a plaque and a nice retirement lunch but I have been to enough of those to know that you would of gotten that regardless. Am I saying burn through your sick leave and vacation? Absolutely not! What I am saying is you are working hard so if your brain or body isn’t feeling up to task it may be a indication you need to take day off. Also, if you are blessed enough to have a good career and the ability to go on vacation with your family you should go! We only live once your kids are only young once! Go make some memories.
- Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a technique that involves focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. I think of this as a form of self centering and use it to calm my mind when I start to worry. Think about it as just blotting everything else from your mind and checking in with yourself and seeing how you are connected to the world. That is probably not the best explanation but if you want to learn more watch this short video.
- Seek Support
Seeking support from friends, family, places of worship, or a mental health professional can also be beneficial for coping with stress and burnout. Here is a link to Better Health they provide a free intake mental health session so if you really are feel stress give them a try. Do not worry this is not a paid ad I just wanted to make sure you had at least one resource you could use if you needed it.
At the end of the day life is hard sometimes and working in the trades can but a lot of stress and strain on your body, mind, and personal relationships. Although we need money to survive the reality is we are not taking any of it to the grave with us. Ecclesiastes Ch 9 V 7-9 says: So go eat your food and enjoy it; drink your wine and be happy, because that is what God wants you to do. Put on nice clothes and make yourself look good.Enjoy life with the wife you love. Enjoy all the useless days of this useless life God has given you here on earth, because it is all you have. So enjoy the work you do here on earth. Don’t work to hard take relax and take some time out for yourself!
I have to link another article here for the sake of the blog but really take some time enjoy your family or your pets or both lol. Tomorrow will take care of itself!