How your work culture and lifestyle choices are slowly creating a void in your mind?
So are you also one of those who love being busy? Do you also like to carry along the badge of “too much work”? Are you also one of those who cannot make it to that cousin’s wedding, the college reunion, or the lunch with the family? Caution! It might be burning you out physically, mentally, and emotionally!
But What Really Is Burnout?
In our day-to-day lives, there are times when we might feel under constant and continuous stress, which is usually a residual of goal achievement. This might lead to emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion when we are unable to meet the required demands. As a result of this, we lose interest in everything, and there is a lack of motivation even in the things we love doing, which comes among the major signs of burnout.
In psychological terms, burnout is a syndrome that is a result of chronic workplace stress. The unsuccessfully managed tasks or compromised output levels in the workplace are the notable causes of burnout and stress. We might be doing a lot, but feel empty; We love to appear busy all the time, even when it might be burning us out!
Alert! Toxic Work Environment Can Make You Feel Empty
A work environment where an individual employee can not progress efficiently, find it difficult to work, or does not feel confident enough to express fresh ideas is a toxic one that needs to have stayed away from. Yes! There are times when we might feel dependent, incapable, confused, overburdened, or unacknowledged for the work, and might feel surrounded by negative people. We need to keep a check on the red flags of a toxic work environment because that plays a major role in inducing the signs of burnout in an individual.
A Closer Look To Detect The Condition By The Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
Taking into many and all things in consideration, the cause of burnout isn’t an overnight prompt. It creeps in slowly and gets worse over time if we do not pay attention and keep a check on work stress.
Broadly, the signs and symptoms of burnout can be classified into three types:-
- Physical- These include a change in appetite, irregular sleep habits, frequent headaches and muscle pain, tiredness, and fatigue.
- Emotional- The person feels helpless, lost, trapped, and defeated, creeping a sense of failure and self-doubt, detachment from the world, and loss of motivation. There can be decreased self-satisfaction and a negative outlook of everything in life.
- Behavioral- Being isolated, withdrawing from work and responsibilities, drug and alcohol abuse, stress eating, being frustrated all the time, isolation from others, procrastination, skipping work, coming late and leaving early.
Stress V/s Burnout – What Sets Them Apart?
Though we are talking about these two terms – Burnout and Stress going hand to hand, they don’t really work that way. Burnout is a consequence of stress, but it isn’t the same as that. Stress is something that comes due to having too much on your plate, but burnout is the feeling of not being enough. While stress involves an individual physically and mentally, the cause of burnout weakens you emotionally and makes you feel empty. And while we can accept and can be aware of the existence of stress, we can’t really detect the presence of the signs of burnout.
Talking About The Origin – Causes Of Burnout And Stress
The cause of Burnout is frequently due to the job. Anyone who feels overworked and underpaid, from the dedicated office worker who hasn’t had a vacation in years to the stressed stay-at-home mom juggling children, housekeeping, and an aging parent, is a danger of burnout. Apart from that, lifestyle choices and personality traits also contribute to the very causes of burnout emergence.
Let’s have a detailed look at some of them:-
- Lack of command:- Job burnout may result from a lack of control over decisions that have an impact on your careers, such as your workload, schedule, or responsibilities. In other words, you might not be having the tools you require to complete your task.
- Unclear job expectations:- You won’t likely feel at ease at work if you’re unsure about your level of authority or what your boss or others expect of you.
- Abnormal/Uncomfortable workplace dynamics:- Perhaps you are the target of an office bully, feel undercut by co-workers, or have your job micromanaged by your employer. Job stress may result from this.
- Extremes of activity:- You require ongoing energy to stay focused when working in a monotonous or hectic environment, which can cause fatigue and job burnout.
- Insufficient social support/No social life:- You might experience more stress if you feel alone at work and in your personal life.
- Work-life imbalance:- You risk burning out rapidly if your work consumes so much of your time and energy that you lack the energy to spend time with your loved ones.
Dealing With Burnout Made Easier – Prevention And Recovery
It’s alarming! It’s real. It needs to be dealt with patience and love. In order to achieve prevention and recovery, you need to build an action plan and work on it with determination, just as you work on your office goals. And guess what, working on this one will help you work efficiently on the former as well!
The “Three R” technique of dealing with burnout is effective:
- Recognize:- Keep an eye out for signs of burnout.
- Reverse:- Seek help and manage your stress to repair the damage.
- Resilience:- Take care of your physical and emotional wellness to increase your stress resilience.
So here are some more tips we will suggest:-
- Do a self-evaluation:- Be aware of your emotional, mental as well as physical needs. Having a clear picture of how much is too much for you will help you in setting the line, and that could be achieved only with self-introspection. You should be well aware of when to stop because tiring out, and stretching work hours won’t increase your productivity at work, in fact, will degrade not just your health, but the quality of work as well.
- Accept:- As mentioned in the last point, self-introspection will give you a clear picture of many things, and that includes the burnout symptoms too. If you feel it, then accept it. Because only if you accept it yourself, will you be able to know how to deal with burnout.
- Reach out – Keep in close connection with your family and friends. Nobody should ever feel that they are alone in this world. There are so many things which can make two people get along even if they are far away. Just make sure you have a good topic to talk about and a good conversation to think about when you go to sleep. These things keep you connected to your inner voice and make stressful things seem a lot easier. And if you can already sense the signs of burnout, now that you already know it, come forward and seek support. Make your co-workers understand your situation. Take help of the employee assistance program if provided in your workplace.
- Take professional help:- If needed, consult a therapist who has expertise in the field and who can treat the condition professionally.
- Practice mindfulness:- The practice of mindfulness involves paying close attention to your breathing while being acutely aware of your senses and emotions at all times, without interpretation or judgment. This approach entails dealing with circumstances in a professional setting with patience, honesty, and a lack of bias. Apart from this, you can take out some time to read self-help books, or indulge in a hobby, because all this will give an edge to the inner voice of your soul and uplift you.
- Do some exercise:- Do jogging/walking regularly, and have breaks in between work for stretching as you might feel overwhelmed sitting in one place continuously for hours. Hit the gym if you get time. Make every muscle movement count and see how overall productivity you will feel.
- Get proper sleep:- We know that as we get laid on by responsibilities each day, the sleeping hours go on decreasing. But no matter what, a minimum of 7-9 hours is a must for the body to function properly. So do not compromise your sleep time as it can have a bad influence on your body in so many ways.
- Take frequent breaks:- By now, you should be well aware of when to stop. Just like a computer needs to shut down and charge in order to work, so do you. Shut down your system from time to time.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Do not skip meals:- Minimize the comfort foods that can affect your energy levels adversely, such as sugar and carbs, caffeine, unhealthy snacks like pasta, French fries, pizza, etc. Avoid nicotine(smoking), and instead, use chewing gum or nuts as an alternative. Drink alcohol in moderation. Instead, eat a healthy meal with omega-3 fatty acids to boost your mood.
Dealing with burnout is the hour and we really need to work on it in order to increase work efficiency and produce a generation of happier employees. And we together can make a difference if we detect the early signs, symptoms and causes of burnout and stress. Let’s unlock happier versions of ourselves.