It’s Tuesday afternoon and you must be feeling energised and excited to tackle the day, right? Nahi? Have you been feeling tired, demotivated, and pareshaan lately? You open your laptop and stare at the screen, not really getting any work done. No ideas are clicking and projects only keep piling up. Oof, looks like someone’s facing a burnout.
Herbert Freudenberger, a psychologist coined this term back in the 1970s to describe job burnout, which implies the severe stress that causes exhaustion across all three aspects – mental, physical and emotional. However, the term now is not just restricted to work and job-related problems.
Anyone can face a burnout when they’re constantly under stress at work. If you’re going through a burnout, you might find it mushkil to complete your work and be creative. Or, worse case, even getting out of your bed could feel like a task. If you’re facing these problems as well, chances are you’re a victim of burnout. Here are some other common signs of burnout at work.
12 Possible Signs Of A Work Burnout
Since you’re facing burnout across three different planes, the work burnout symptoms are also three fold.
1. Physical Signs
- Feeling drained all the time
- Body pain
- Falling sick more than usual
- Change in sleep cycle
2. Emotional Signs
- Constant self doubt
- Feeling of failure, helplessness and loneliness
- Loss of motivation
- Lowered levels of satisfaction
3. Mental Signs
- Isolating from family and friends
- Always skipping work
- Using coping mechanisms like alcohol and drugs
- Pessimistic outlook towards life
3 Reasons Why It Can Happen
A variety of reasons could all lead together to burnout, but here are some widespread reasons for why you’re facing this at your workplace.
1. Out Of Control
Job burnout can happen when you are unable to influence decisions that are affecting your job, such as your time schedule, assignments, or workload. A lack of the resources you require to complete your assignment could also be a factor.
2. Don’t Know What To Do (AKA Unclear Guidelines)
You are very unlikely to feel at ease with the work you do, if you are unsure about your level of authority or what your supervisor or others expect of you.
3. Workplace Dynamic
Perhaps you work with a bully in the company, or you’re undercut by coworkers, or your employer micro-manages your projects. This can add to work-related stress.
Other reasons could include, imbalanced work-life situations, working long hours under stress or lack of social and family support.
9 Things That Can Happen When You Ignore A Burnout At Work
Like every other thing, consequences. Your burnout isn’t going to go away unless you treat it head-on. And prolonged burnout can have adverse (and permanent ) physical and mental issues. Here’s what can happen;
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Vulnerability to other illnesses
- Excessive stress
- Sadness, anger or irritability
- Alcohol or substance misuse
So the million dollar question…
5 Ways To Avoid Burnout At Work
While a burnout at work might not be cured in a few minutes or days, but full recovery is possible in the due course of time. Follow the tips and methods given below to see changes.
1. Accept It. Acknowledge It.
You must first admit that you have reached a point of burnout. Mental and physical exhaustion caused by repeated pressures and stresses in your life are some key indicators, along with what we’ve discussed in the aforementioned sections.
If you’ve looked through the list and find it accurately describing your current situation, it’s probably time to recharge and start thinking about your next actions. If you’re experiencing these symptoms frequently and they’re interfering with your life outside of work, it might be time to seek professional help.
2. Time For A Long (Deserving) Break
Detaching yourself from your work environment for some time is one of the only methods to properly heal. Work exhaustion can suck away the joy from the job you love. Taking a vacation may be the thing that saves your career and restores your rockstar status. If your company does not give you paid vacation time, you can take a shorter break within your means.
People who have taken time off from work and gone on a vacation have been shown to have less stress, a decreased risk of heart disease, and a more positive view on life. Not just that, they are also more motivated to achieve goals when they return to work. It isn’t only about work; it is about general well-being.
3. Find A Stress Releaser
Burnout can feel like a stress cooker. You take it and take it and then you reach your final saturation point and boom! You’re going to blow up if you don’t open that release valve every now and then. Perhaps not literally, but emotionally, you’ll break down, have outbursts, or do anything that could jeopardise your profession.
Take a yoga class, go to paint fights or go to your local pool for an hour or two and reset your mind. But what if you’re working from home? How to avoid burnout working from home? You can change your workplace for a change of scenery, step out of your pyjamas and wear your office attire to feel more in tune.
4. Set Your Boundaries
Taking on more than you can handle is a definite way to your exhaustion. It can also make you bitter towards your job and boss. Therefore, managing burnout in the workplace becomes really important. Ask yourself if you’re overworking yourself. Be brutally honest and if the answer is yes, you need to set your boundaries.
Did you know that the amygdala, the portion of the brain responsible for decision-making, sees a sudden rise in grey and white matter. This can directly result in poor decision-making. And the results will only add to your growing anxiety and mental problems. Take the necessary step before it’s too late.
5. Have A Heart-To-Heart
Sharing your worries, ideas, and concerns with someone who actually cares about your well-being is another approach to release some stress. It might be your partner, closest friend, neighbour, or a trustworthy co-worker.
It is not necessary for the person you speak with to be in the same industry as you or to understand exactly what you do. They only need to be a shoulder to cry on, which is often all you need to let out some of your pent-up rage and sadness.
If you can’t find such a person, you can go to a therapist once in a while to get it all off your chest and get professional help at the same time.
Prevention is always better than cure, right? So what can you do to prevent burnout from happening?
7 Ways To Prevent Burnout At The Workplace
- Eating a balanced diet
- Maintaining a sleep cycle
- Keep yourself organised
- Unwind from work from time to time
- No work after no-work hours
- Asses your work every week
Burnout can occur when we are constantly subjected to stress. Exhaustion, anxiety, and social isolation from friends and family members are some of the warning signals. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and a decent night’s sleep, on the other hand, may help to prevent this stressful state.
Burnout won’t hit you all at once, it will build up like a snowball down the avalanche. By the time you take control and try to undo the damage, it might be too late. So, #BeALittleMore cautious and don’t ignore the signs. Remember that it’s easier to recover from it, the faster you acknowledge and act upon it.
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