Burnout At Work: What To Do About It

Imagine this all-too-familiar scenario. You work a full-time job, maybe even a little more. On top of just doing your job, you’re managing a team of other people, also trying to get them to do their jobs. And maybe you’ve got kids at home, so not only are you working and managing people, you’re a full-time parent who has to cook, clean, do laundry, and attend soccer practices.

Even though you’re trying your best, you just feel like you’re always struggling. Always tired. Always have something else you have to do. It’s getting harder for you to wake up in the morning; your workload is getting heavier, and your supervisor is requesting that you complete more projects in less time. It seems like you are constantly on the go, you have no time for yourself, and you don’t see an end in sight. You’re drowning in your own hectic life… We’ve all been there.

Leading a life like the scenario we just described can be stressful, and most of you are likely experiencing a similar situation. You can overly exhaust yourself; both body and mind. This leads to burnout. Burnout can be used in many different contexts; some may even consider it today’s latest “trend.” But in all actuality, burnout at work is a serious condition. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has experienced it at one point or another.

Burnout at work is a serious condition. And everyone has experienced it at one point or another.

 

The definition of burnout was recently redefined as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Burnout at work can be debilitating to those it affects, and can result in depleted energy and emotional exhaustion, a lowered resistance to illness,  increased pessimism, and a lack of efficiency at work.

Burnout can have a direct effect on your emotions. Fancy definitions aside – it’s basically the loss of meaning in your work. You may feel like there’s no way out! In the video, Brit Garner, host of SciShow Psych, provides us with some common signs of burnout and some of the most popular research behind it. But don’t let these signs be your excuse! Leaving your job isn’t always the best choice! So what can you do? It’s easy…three simple steps.

Take charge and get your mojo back!

The 1st step is to recognize the symptoms. Look for what was described in the video: exhaustion, cynicism, and a lack of accomplishment. Do you avoid your boss? Do you stare at your computer screen? Did you stop caring about what you look like? Has your attitude at work changed? Are you making the people around you miserable? It’s time to take a look inside and be honest with yourself.

The 2nd step is to undo the damage by managing your stress and seeking support. The thing to remember is that you are not in this alone. Garner described that a lack of social support directly correlates to burnout. Find your support team. Do you remember those co-workers that you used to rely on? Remember the boss that you used to be able to go to with issues? Remember the team that you used to ask for help? They haven’t gone anywhere! On top of that, your friends and family are also there for support. Find someone to talk to; someone who can help you work through tough times and challenge you to come up with solutions.

The 3rd step is to build your stress management strategies by taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally. Slow down and take a break, no matter how hard it is for you to do so. Give yourself time for you. Rest, relax, and cut out some of those unnecessary commitments. Even incorporating exercise just 15 minutes a day can dramatically improve your mood and ability to handle stress. It seems so simple, yet for some, it is so difficult. Sometimes it takes reevaluating your life and your priorities…but you can do it!

Burnout is not a permanent condition. And it doesn’t define who you are.

 

Here’s the good news: burnout at work is not a permanent condition. Burnout does not define who you are. As with the common cold, it can come and go. If you make the choice to do so, you can recover from burnout and even prevent it from happening in the future. Ready to get started?

Here are some more ways to reduce stress at work.

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