Today’s workplace is more stressful than ever. Many employees are struggling with excessive workloads, unrealistic expectations, and constant pressure to perform. All of this has led to an increase in stress, anxiety, and even burnout among workers. In fact, a study from the Human Resources department at Stanford University found that one-third of workers surveyed experience some form of burnout. To put it simply, burnout is when you feel like you can’t give your job another ounce of effort because everything drains you and leaves you devoid of motivation. If left untreated, burnout can have long-term negative effects on your health and career. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and cope with burnout if you recognize its early warning signs.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is defined as physical and mental exhaustion that is caused by excessive stress and can lead to a decline in performance. However, it’s important to note that burnout is different from a mental health condition known as “clinical burnout.” With clinical burnout, you may experience emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and/or an inability to experience pleasure. There are many signs of burnout, including feeling overwhelmed by your workload, experiencing emotional exhaustion, having low productivity, sleep problems, and feelings of detachment from work. Burnout can be caused by a number of factors, including high work demands, a negative work environment, long work hours, low support from colleagues and supervisors, and a lack of control in your job.
How to recognize the signs of burnout
To determine if you may be experiencing burnout, ask yourself these questions: – Are You Stressed Out? When you’re feeling stressed out, you may start experiencing physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, and nausea. Psychologically, you may struggle with feelings of anxiety, become withdrawn from those around you, or experience trouble sleeping. If you find yourself dealing with these issues on a regular basis, it’s important to evaluate your workload and look for ways to reduce stress. – Are You Exhausted? As the title of this section implies, fatigue is a key sign of burnout. If you’re regularly feeling tired, you may be experiencing burnout. Other signs of burnout include low motivation, emotional detachment, and decreased productivity. – Are You Forgetful? If you’re forgetting things that you’ve always been able to remember, it could be a sign that your memory is being negatively affected by burnout.
Strategies for preventing burnout
– Exercise: When you exercise, you increase your body’s level of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps you deal with stress. In fact, studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. If you’re experiencing high levels of stress, consider walking a few times a week or taking yoga classes. – Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is crucial to your health and well-being, so don’t skimp on it just because you’re stressed. Studies show that sleeping less than six hours per night can lead to decreased productivity and an increase in anxiety and stress. To avoid these issues, shut off your phone and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. – Keep a Journal: If you’re feeling stressed, a journal can be an excellent way to release your emotions and process your feelings. Alternatively, you can use journaling as a way to outline your goals and objectives. Journaling can help you to break down your tasks into manageable chunks, which can reduce your stress levels.
Strategies for coping with burnout
– Take a Vacation: Many employers offer vacation time, but very few employees take advantage of this benefit. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload or experiencing other symptoms of burnout, it’s important to take a vacation. Taking a break from work can give you time to rest, relax, and recharge. – Find a Support Group: Not everyone has the luxury of taking a vacation, so finding a support group can be one way to cope with burnout. By joining a support group or online forum, you can meet others who are going through similar experiences and find ways to deal with burnout. – Break Down Your Tasks: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, try breaking down your tasks into smaller chunks. By doing this, you can reduce your feelings of stress and increase your feelings of productivity.
Burnout is a real problem that is affecting millions of employees across the world. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and cope with burnout. If you’re feeling stressed out, exhausted, or forgetful, it may be a sign that you’re experiencing burnout. It’s important to take steps to prevent and cope with burnout before it has a negative impact on your health and career.