What is Burnout?
Burnout is a type of physical and mental exhaustion brought on by continuous high levels of stress over a given period of time. It isn't something that happens overnight, but it has the potential to catch you off guard. At first, the signs and symptoms are minor, but they become more severe over time. Here are some warning signs to be wary of.
Feelings of Loneliness
In researching for her book The Happiness Track, Psychologist Emma Seppala found that 50% of people across various professions and rankings have experienced loneliness along with workplace burnout. Loneliness has major effects on individuals, whether it is caused by social isolation or weariness. Loneliness is an extremely terrible feeling that even registers as physical pain in the brain, as anyone who has experienced it will attest. Because people disconnect, the social ramifications of this discomfort have a direct impact on work productivity.
Frequent Anger Outbursts
Because burnout patients typically feel like failures and have a lot of guilt, it's common for these feelings to escalate into rage and hatred as the stress continues and you feel powerless to stop it. Initially, the rage may manifest itself as interpersonal conflict with coworkers, family, or friends. As the burnout progresses, the rage may become more intense, resulting in furious outbursts and serious arguments at home and at work.
Constantly Feeling Tired and Drained
This is one of the major signs of burnout. You may feel drained of energy and exhausted frequently in the early stages of burnout. Even if you go to bed early, you will still be exhausted when you wake up. You may find yourself moving more slowly and needing more time to get ready and out the door.
The loss of motivation you feel in the early stages of burnout syndrome may be limited to work. You don't want to go, and once you're there, you can't wait to get out. As your stress level rises, you may lose motivation in many areas of your life, including time spent with family and friends. At work, you may become consumed with ideas of how to avoid projects or get out of work entirely.
Withdrawing From Responsibilities
Despite lengthy work hours, burnout symptoms prohibit you from producing as well as you used to, resulting in uncompleted projects and a stack of work that never seems to go away. It frequently appears that the harder you work, the more you lose ground. And no matter how hard you try, you can't get out from under the pile. Burnout has the potential to take away your life as you know it or as you previously knew it.
Frequent Headaches and Muscle Pain
To rule out any medical causes, all serious physical symptoms, notably muscle pains or headaches, should be checked by a physician. However, it's very uncommon to discover that stress is to blame for the majority of medical symptoms caused by work burnout. Muscle pains and headaches are some of the symptoms that might interfere with your day-to-day functioning, making it difficult to go to work or get work done while you're there.
Emotional type of burnout can cause feelings of being ineffectual and useless, as well as dissatisfaction over decreasing productivity, worsening performance, and a general sensation that you can't do things the way you used to.
Feelings of apathy, helplessness, and hopelessness can make it seem like nothing is going right at first, or that "what's the point?" This mental burnout may immobilize you with time, making it appear as if nothing is worth doing, and as if getting out of bed is pointless.
Inconsistent Sleeping Habits
In the early phases of job burnout, insomnia may only affect you once or twice a week. Even though you are weary, falling asleep may be difficult; if you do fall asleep, your sleep may be disrupted; or you may wake up in the middle of the night or earlier than necessary. Often, insomnia is caused by constant worries about the seemingly enormous amount of work you have to do and if you'll be able to complete it.
This is one of the most common physical examples of burnout. You may not feel hungry some of the time in the early stages of burnout, and as a result, you may miss meals. This might progress to a complete loss of appetite and considerable weight loss in the latter stages.
How to Prevent Burnout
The best way to prevent burnout is to commit to a relaxed, stress-free weekend (it doesn't have to be a weekend if you work a job that gives you two other days off in a row). During this time, any work-related calls, emails, or messages must be put on hold. If your family is a source of stress for you, try to spend the weekend apart from them. For two and a half days, your objective is to eliminate as many sources of stress as possible and introduce as many stress-reducing components (mainly in the form of rest) into your life as feasible. While stress is inevitable at home and at work, it is still important for us to set aside a good amount of time for ourselves.
sources: helpguide.org, hbr.org, who.int image sources: tirachardz from freepik.com, IgotVetushko from depositphotos.com, Penn State from flickr.com, PxHere