Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or unproductive? Do you lack the energy to do the things you used to enjoy? Do you find it hard to concentrate and become easily irritable? If you said yes to any of these questions, keep reading because you might be experiencing burnout.  

Nobody wants to experience burnout, however nearly everyone is susceptible to it. According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Research, where they surveyed 10,000 global employees, 70% report experiencing burnout in a given year. It’s very common nowadays, but people often don’t realize they are on the path toward burnout until too late. Catching yourself in the early stages of burnout is essential. It can help you treat and prevent it from happening in the future.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a condition of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion resulting from chronic stress that is not managed in a healthy way. In this post, we will discuss burnout in a specific context, namely the context of work which can affect other areas of your life, such as your home and social life. Though anyone can experience burnout, it is most common among those in the helping professions or people at high-pressure jobs.

Burnout has three main characteristics.

  • Extreme exhaustion: a profound mental and emotional fatigue, making it hard for someone to function.
  • Reduced productivity in which people find difficulty in focusing and completing tasks.
  • Resentment towards their job that can lead to negative attitudes and feelings at work.

Simply put, burnout can result in reduced job performance, a negative attitude, and lowered morale. It can make you less efficient and less invested in your work.

Causes of Burnout

Burnout is a common affliction among employees, and it’s often caused by workplace factors. Stay ahead by knowing the typical causes of burnout. Here are some of the most common causes to look out for.

A workload that matches your time and capacity allows you to be more productive and effective in getting work done. In contrast, being overloaded robs you of your time to rest and recover. The balance between work and rest becomes disrupted.

Lack of Control
Lacking control or influence over decisions that affect your work can lead to burnout. For example, not having control over your daily schedule or projects. This can affect your overall well-being. The same happens when there is a lack of access to resources.

Toxic Work Environment
When you start working for a new company, you cannot choose who you work with. Perhaps you are stuck with someone with an attitude problem or negative outlook. Working in this setting for long periods can affect you negatively and cause unwanted stress.

Little to No Recognition or Reward
Receiving little to no recognition for the effort and time you invested can make you feel underappreciated and insignificant. Eventually, it can make you think that putting in the work is not worth it and can lead to resentment towards your job.

Work-Life Imbalance
Working longer hours takes up most of your time, energy, and effort, which does not allow you to do the things you enjoy outside of work. Sometimes overtime pay is not enough to compensate for lost time. This can make you feel frustrated, overworked, and lose interest in your job.

Knowing the causes of burnout allows you to avoid them in the future, which can help you prevent its adverse long-term effects.

Symptoms of Burnout

Symptoms are a sign of something’s existence. Therefore, its important to learn the symptoms of burnout so you can catch it early and begin treating it yourself. The symptoms of burnout are different for every person and can manifest themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Mental Symptoms

  • Dreading work
  • Losing interest
  • Lessened sense of accomplishment
  • Procrastination

Physical symptoms

  • exhaustion
  • chronic stress
  • erratic sleeping habits
  • health problems, including depression and anxiety

Emotional symptoms

  • cynicism at work
  • irritability or anger
  • disliking your job
  • hopelessness at work
  • feeling the need for isolation

These symptoms make it difficult for employees to maintain their productivity and find fulfillment in their work. They can also increase the likelihood of long-term health issues.

Dealing with Burnout

Knowing the causes and symptoms of burnout is not enough. The most crucial part is learning how to cope with and treat it. Here are five simple steps you can follow to help you on your way to recovery.

Be Human
Being human means enjoying life and experiencing all its potential. We all need to work. It pays our bills and helps us in our day-to-day life. But, it is not enough reason to miss out on the best things in life, like socializing with friends, spending time with loved ones, and simply doing tasks that make you feel good and look good.It is important to strike a balance between work and the other aspects of life.

Get a Freshpective
A “freshpective” literally means looking at things from a fresh perspective. Find value in the menial things that you do at work. Focus on the tasks you enjoy doing and give you the most enjoyable return. Remember that happiness is contagious, and so is negativity. Thus, expose yourself to fun activities with positive people and limit your contact with negative ones.

Evaluate Your Priorities
As mentioned, burnout can be caused by a lack of control and work-life imbalance. Not being able to do the things important to you causes stress and makes you question your life choices. Now’s the time to re-evaluate your priorities. Are you really doing the things that will help you reach your goal?

Incorporate Exercise into your Routine
Exercising has a lot of benefits. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine boosts your overall mental health. Your body releases endorphins after a workout and these “feel good” hormones can help alleviate pain, lessen stress, and improve your well-being.

Follow a Healthy Diet
As the famous saying goes, “you are what you eat.” You cannot expect your mind and body to function 100% when you feed it with junk. Nourish yourself with nutritious food that meets your recommended nutritional intake. Drink in moderation and avoid food that can adversely affect your moods, such as caffeine, preservatives, and unhealthy fat. When you follow a healthy diet, you can focus more and experience fewer mood swings.

If all else fails and you think you are suffering from other conditions besides burnout, you can always talk to a trusted mental health professional. They can help you find the best strategies to help you on your journey to feeling your best.

Burnout is a real experience, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. By recognizing the signs and taking steps to address them, you can overcome burnout and reclaim your energy and passion. So don’t despair. You’re not alone in this, and the fact that you’re reading this shows that you’re taking proactive steps toward feeling better. Remember, it is reversible. So, take a deep breath and take the first step toward recovery. You got this!

Take this quiz to discover if burnout is creeping into your life and learn how to tackle it head-on!