4 Tips to Avoid Burnout

Shanetha Pollnitz

Job stress burnout is on the rise, and if you become a victim it can seriously impact your innovation and productivity, as well as increase your chance of developing health problems, according to a survey by ComPsych Corp., a global provider of employee assistance programs.

The good news is you can relieve stress and get your life back. Just ask Shanetha Pollnitz (pictured here). For the past 11 years, she has run a thriving home-based child care center in Bellwood, where she is licensed for 12 children by day and 7 at night. Last November, she launched United Child Care Association to provide programs and support for other child care providers.

“Most women work 14, 16, 18 hour days,” Ms. Pollnitz states. “It’s easy to lose ourselves because we’re always catering to someone else.” She offers these tried-and-true tips for women whose work life seems to be spinning out of control…

Unplug. Taking a break from work-related email and phone calls can lower stress and improve focus. “If a meeting gets cancelled, don’t be so quick to fill the time slot,” she advises. “Instead, get a manicure, a massage or catch up on your reading.”

Breathe. To clear your head and relax, sit in a quiet spot with your back straight, and let your breathing become deep and rhythmic. “Just sitting quietly can help,” Ms. Pollnitz affirms.

Take a vacation. Researchers have found that women who don’t take regular vacations are much more likely to be depressed than their vacationing counterparts. Ms. Pollnitz plans her vacations the first week in the new year. “I won’t deviate from that vacation time once I’ve scheduled it,” she says. “It’s important to hold yourself accountable for doing personal things that can help you achieve balance in your life.”

Laugh. Spending quality time with family or friends is important. Ms. Pollnitz says a little karaoke can go a long way towards reducing stress and restoring balance in your life.

So, if you’re running like crazy and feel stressed out, take time to unwind. Finding stress relievers is relatively easy, and making the choice to reduce your stress instead of continuing your current pattern will pay off in the short and the long run.


About Emilia DiMenco

Emilia DiMenco is President and CEO of Women’s Business Development Center and Retired Executive Vice President BMO Harris N.A. Emilia DiMenco was named president and chief executive officer of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) on August 1, 2013, a transition from co-founders, Hedy Ratner and Carol Dougal. Emilia joined the Women’s Business Development Center as chief operating officer in July 2010 after completing a 30-year career as an executive vice president with BMO Harris N.A. Emilia had P&L responsibility for 80% of her career and managed budgets in excess of $200 million with revenues multiples greater. Her responsibility included leadership and management for 600 commercial banking employees.