Burnout | 6 min read

Do you have them? The tell-tale signs of burnout
Feeling depleted of energy? You should recognise the signs of a burnout before it’s too late. Burnout is long-term exhaustion meets diminished interest, energy and passion.

What can you do about it?
If constant work stress has you feeling exhausted, worn out or just plain sick to your stomach, you may be suffering from burnout. You would think it would be easy to recognise the signs, but often burnouts happen over time with very few indicators that your work and life have taken a turn for the worse. Do any of these traits sound familiar? If so, you may need to slow down.

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by unbalance; too much work or responsibility and too little time to do the things that need to be done, causing a prolonged period of excessive stress. More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout. The symptoms of burnout are not always dramatic. They’re often overlooked or attributed to something else.

Signs and symptoms
Chronic exhaustion: When you are burned out, you often feel exhausted physically and emotionally:

  • you go long periods of time without taking care of your body or getting proper rest. It’s a feeling of being completely drained of energy to move or think.
  • you go to bed physically and mentally exhausted every night and you wake up tired every morning. Even when you get enough hours of sleep, you’re not waking up feeling rested and refreshed.
  • everything feels like it takes too much energy and effort: visiting friends, going out to dinner, or going shopping – things you would otherwise enjoy and look forward to doing.

Deteriorating health: A burnout in most cases is caused by mental stress and that can take a toll on the body.

  • some people begin to experience a deterioration in their health such as high blood pressure, insomnia, hair loss, vision problems and back pain.
  • you have an illness that you can’t seem to recover from. Like having a cold that seems to last forever.

Increased irritability: A clear sign that you are burned out is becoming short-tempered or easily frustrated with your work, Co-workers and family.

  • you’re unusually cranky and overly emotional. You feel like you’re frequently on the verge of tears and it’s not always obvious as to why.
  • it’s a challenge to find Contentment and happiness in life.
  • you feel “off” and you’re not sure why or how to fix it.
  • you act irrationally, like having an emotional meltdown or quitting suddenly.

Irritability often stems from feeling ineffective, unimportant, useless, and an increasing sense that you’re not able to do things as efficiently or effectively as you once did. In the early stages, this can interfere in personal and professional relationships. At its worst, it can destroy relationships and careers.

Depression: In the early stages, you may feel mildly sad, occasionally hopeless, and you may experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness as a result.

  • you feel trapped and hopeless – especially after long periods of time working with no breaks or time off.
  • you are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts and perceptions about the workplace. You feel like you’re never doing enough.
  • it’s a challenge to find contentment and happiness in life.
  • you constantly feel like you have to prove yourself to others.
  • you seek the approval of others more often.

At its worst, you may feel trapped, severely depressed, and think the world would be better off without you. (if your depression is to this point, you should seek professional help immediately.)

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) on work

  • Being preoccupied with work to the point where it stops you from engaging in other activities is a sure sign of a burnout.
  • You stress about work 24/7.
  • You need time to find a release to let go of work issues, so that you can engage and enjoy your downtime.,/li.

Reliance on drugs and alcohol

  • A nightly need to turn to self-medication, drugs and alcohol to cope with stress is worrisome and a signal for burnout help.
  • You depend on coffee to perk up, alcohol to “relax”, and sleeping pills to rest.</li.Poor work performance
  • When burned out, your thinking isn’t as sharp and your overall work begins to decline.
  • You start making more mistakes and becoming less productive.
  • You may also get more complaints about your work, too.

What can you do to combat burnout?

Burnout isn’t like the flu; it doesn’t go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. And as hard as that may seem, it’s the smartest thing to do because making a few little changes now will keep you in the race with a lot of energy to get you across the finish line.

  • Get organised. When you have order in your day, you feel more in control of how it turns out
  • Assess your interests, skills and passions. Are the things you’re doing a match to your interests or core values?
  • Set personal goals. Although your boss may have a goal for your assignment, set personal goals to achieve milestones and celebrate your success. When you can clearly measure your progress, it will increase your confidence and overall well-being.
  • Identify and manage the stressors that contribute to burnout. Look at your stressors individually instead of the big picture. They’re a lot less overwhelming and making changes can be easier.
  • Seek support. You’re not alone. The support of loved ones helps with stress and feelings of burnout. You can also try communicating more with co-workers and your boss about your concerns, as well as sharing ideas to enhance projects or improve workflow.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.
  • Evaluate your options. What can you realistically change about your lifestyle?
  • Get some exercise. Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Adjust your attitude. Consider ways to improve your outlook. Rediscover enjoyable aspects of your life. Make the time to do things you enjoy.
  • Set boundaries. Set an end to your workday. Determine what needs to be done for you and your boss to feel you’ve had a productive day. Work to achieve the goals so that you can leave at a specific hour and feel good about ending your workday.
  • Improve your diet. Drink a lot of water and eat well-balanced meals. Certain food gives you energy and clarity of mind. Try not to consume junk food while working as it can make you sluggish and unproductive.

Source: www.jillconyers.com

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