Are you feeling exhausted, irritable, detached, lonely, demotivated, and unproductive at work for an extended period? If this describes you, you may have reached the brink of burnout.
What is burnout? How to know if you have already reached this point?
Read on to further understand how burnout can affect your health and how to prevent it from destroying your life.
Burnout at Work
Each of us can eventually reach a threshold after putting in more hours at work and expanding our skill set. As a result, our capacity to fulfil all work demands on time while maintaining excellent work quality keeps dropping. In this case, we might have reached the state called burnout.
Burnout is a state of physical and mental exhaustion brought on by long-term unmanaged job-related stress. The majority of us have the impression that we have too much on our plates, and the cumulative effect of balancing our professional and personal duties day after day can leave us feeling overwhelmingly stressed and drained.
In a recent poll, eighty-five per cent of UK adults were able to properly identify burnout symptoms, while 68 per cent misidentified it as anxiety symptoms. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 UK workers reported that they find it difficult to handle the strain and stress at work.
Job burnout can be caused by the following:
- You are heavily loaded with work and have been working long hours.
- You are having difficulty having a work-life balance.
- You are in the service industry, such as healthcare, social work, etc.
- You lack control over your work.
8 Signs of Burnout
Many people experience workplace burnout manifestations but aren't even aware of it. To tell that you have already burned out yourself, you will encounter the following signs.
#1 You experience persistent fatigue or exhaustion.
You're completely drained, either mentally or emotionally. The only way you know to avoid thinking about it is to quit working out, sleep more, or surround yourself with other distractions. As a result, you lose the motivation and energy to do your job.
#2 You often feel lonely, hopeless, or helpless.
You have the impression that you are all alone and defeated. You feel like nobody cares about what you're going through; even if they do, they don't seem to understand.
#3 You get pessimistic and cynical
You show that you no longer take pleasure in things that used to bring you joy, such as birthdays, holidays, and professional successes. And you disconnect or isolate yourself from your workmates or loved ones as you lose trust in them to help you through difficult times.
#4 You start to doubt yourself.
You suspect your employer made a mistake by hiring you because you do not feel competent in your position. Additionally, you may feel like a failure as a friend, parent, or spouse.
#5 You become less productive at work
For some reason, you put tasks aside, and it takes you more time to do them than usual. It has reached a point where you've been having trouble getting started on projects and missing deadlines. In other words, you often find yourself procrastinating at work.
#6 You can't get a good night's rest anymore.
You have difficulties getting to or staying asleep and frequently have dreams related to your job. At times, or often, these dreams take the form of terrifying nightmares.
#7 You use unhealthy coping strategies to deal with stress.
You start smoking again, drinking excessively, taking drugs, or overeating, causing you to gain weight.
#8 You often get ill.
Maybe, the idea of going to work is painful for you. It just makes you feel nauseated. And it could be giving you headaches as well. On the other hand, it would seem as though you are experiencing problems with your heart or breathing, possibly due to anxiety.
How many of these burnout signs are you experiencing right now?
Being burned out is a phase where you reach your breaking point. This is when you find yourself unable to normally function. When you're having issues at work, they start to consume you to the point where it becomes difficult for you to carry on with your daily tasks.
What Will Happen If You Ignore Being Burnout at Work?
Burnout can become chronic if not addressed. This can lead to physical, mental, personal, and professional consequences. People who do not realise that they have been burning themselves out for years may suffer the following conditions.
- Physical pain, i.e., persistent headaches and gastrointestinal issues
- Mental health issues, i.e., anger, depression, anxiety, and irritability.
- Sleep issues, i.e., insomnia
- Serious medical health conditions, i.e., heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, respiratory issues, and early death.
- Alcohol or substance abuse
You will feel tired all the time, both mentally and physically, to the point where you can't work. If you keep acting in this manner, your career could be at risk.
How To Beat Work Burnout?
Put yourself first. Yes, it is not easy to just "shake off" burnout. It may get worse if the underlying causes aren't dealt with. Ignoring the warning signals of burnout can negatively affect your physical and emotional health. Your inability or lack of motivation to do good work could also impact other aspects of your life. Here's how you can save yourself from the unhealthy effects of burnout.
Identify your stressors
It is necessary to first pinpoint the roots of your stress. List them down. Then, you can examine each item and attempt to make at least one modification to improve your situation.
Reflect on what you can do.
You might need to finally take time off from work. Short breaks or vacations can help increase productivity, morale, and job satisfaction.
If you have difficulty delivering your job, you may express your concerns to your manager. Together, perhaps you can alter either party's expectations or devise a workable compromise. You should prioritise tasks based on their importance and delegate the rest.
Reach out for help.
You may find it easier to deal with the situation if you seek professional support or work together with others, whether they are coworkers, friends, or family. Use the resources provided by your company's employee support programme if they are helpful to you.
Get some rest.
Check out stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, and tai chi.
Make time for physical fitness.
If you exercise regularly, you'll be better able to handle stress. It's a great way to relax and forget about the pressures of the office.
Get enough hours of Zzzs.
A good night's sleep may work wonders for your mood and health.
Practising mindfulness entails paying close attention to your breathing and being fully present at the moment. One way to apply this principle at work is to approach challenging situations with calm composure and an open mind.
Invest in proper nutrition
Be sure to maintain a balanced diet and drink enough water. Take your multivitamins if needed. You can also opt to try supplements that contain adaptogens - foods or herbs that help your body to adapt to stress. Ashwagandha is an example of an adaptogen.
Ready to overcome job burnout?
Keeping up with a job, family life, and everything else in today's fast-paced world can be challenging. It's not unusual to feel stressed out due to the demands of your job. Making self-care a regular habit is a great way to keep burnout at bay.
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