If you are struggling to cope with your workplace stress, you may place yourselves at high risk of burnout. And, you will probably feel exhausted, empty as well as unable to cope with any demand in your life.
Burnout can cause a lot of mental and physical health symptoms. If it is left unaddressed, it will be hard for you to function well in your daily life.
What Is Burnout?
The term “burnout” was first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in “Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement” and was originally defined as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”
Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability. Saying in simple words, you must be feeling of burnout if you feel exhausted, hate your job and begin to feel less capable at work.
Most of the reasons that contribute your burnout come from your job. However, stress from overall lifestyle with personality traits and thought patterns, perfectionism or pessimism, for examples can contribute the feeling as well.
We often spend the majority of our time working. So, when you hate your job, dread going to work, and don't gain any satisfaction out of what you're doing, it can become a serious problem in your life
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout
Although burnout may not be a diagnosable psychological disorder, you should still take it seriously. Here are 4 of the most common signs that help you realize burnout
- Physical symptoms: Chronic stress may lead to many physical symptoms, headaches and stomachaches or intestinal issues, for examples.
- Emotional exhaustion: Burnout may cause your feeling of drained, unable to cope, and tired. You seemly always lack the energy to get the work done.
- Reduced performance: It may be difficult for you to concentrate or brainstorm anything. Burnout will affect your daily tasks at work or at home the same. You tend to feel negative about every tasks.
- Alienation from work-related activities: If you are experiencing burnout, you will seem to view your jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. You tend to grow cynical about working conditions or everyone you work with. You may emotionally distance yourselves and begin to feel numb of your work, too.
Burnout shares some similar symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression. If you’ve once experienced negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life, lost interest in things, feel of hopelessness…not just at work, you may get depression and you may be burning out, too.
Burnout’s Risk Factors
In fact, as long as you can manage your stress well, a high-stress job won’t give you ill-effects of burnout. However, not everyone can control themselves and in certain occupations, you may be at a higher risk than others.
The heavy workloads place you with your personality characteristic & lifestyle features at a high risk of burnout.
Not only you but workers in every industry at every level are also at potential risk. In a report by Gallup in 2018, there are 5 main causes that make employees burnout.
- Unreasonable time. When you have enough time to do your tasks, you are less likely to experience high burnout. Otherwise, you are at a higher risk of burnout. So, check your time-management first, then ask for help if necessary.
- Lack of Communication and support from managers. Employees who are well supported by their managers are less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis. And, others who don’t receive enough support may be at the higher risk of burnout.
- Role clarity. If you don’t know what is expected of you, you may become exhausted by trying to figure out what you are supposed to be dong. Hence, it’s better for you to get your role clarity before you are at the risk of burnout.
- Workload management. When a workload feels unmanageable, you will feel hopeless no matter how optimistic you are. The feel of overwhelmed can quickly lead to burnout.
- Unfair treatment. If you are feeling being treated unfairly at work, you are 2.3 times more likely to experience a high level of burnout. Unfair treatment may include things such as favoritism, unfair compensation, and mistreatment from a co-worker.
Prevention and Treatment
Although the term "burnout" suggests it may be a permanent condition, it's reversible. You should make some changes to your work environment when you feel of burnout state.
Approaching the human resource department about problems in the workplace or talking to a supervisor about the issues could be helpful if they are invested in creating a healthier work environment.
In some cases, a change in position or a new job altogether may be necessary for you to put an end to burnout.
It can also be helpful to develop clear strategies that help you manage your stress. Self-care strategies, like eating a healthy diet, doing exercises, and engaging in good habits may help reduce partly the effects of a high-stress job.
A vacation may offer you some temporary relief. However, a week off won't be enough to help you beat burnout. Regularly scheduled breaks from work, along with daily renewal exercises, can be key to helping you combat burnout.