Work should make you feel accomplished and content rather than leaving perpetually stressed. There lies a thin line between working hard and burning yourself out. And often, this line gets blur amid the highly competitive times that we live in, the reason why it is important to know what are the signs of job burnout.
The corporate culture has fostered throat-cut competition from employees, and hence people are exceedingly falling prey to career burnout. To make matters worse is the rampant expansion of social media where everyone is busy portraying their “best” life, manipulating users to believe “their life is not good enough”.
Working day and night on the same job at the same location can be as mundane as one can imagine which is also a reason why people experience job burnout from time to time. This stress and dissatisfaction can produce a plethora of mental and physical health complications if not dealt with.
We will help you here to deal with a job burnout in the most practical and convenient way possible. But let’s begin with some basic questions that might be hovering around your head about the term “job burnout”.
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Career burnout is a psychological term used for a syndrome that results due to chronic workplace stress, a toxic work environment, constant workload, or feeling of being unheard. Tons of symptoms show you might deal with burnout and never ignore them.
What are the signs of job burnout?
There are days where you feel like staying in bed is a better option, where you have no strength to move a muscle and go to work. Having such gloomy days once in a while is absolutely normal. It reminds us that we are humans and deserve a break. However, if the feeling is regular or this has stayed for weeks now, it might be a sign of burnout.
You do not suddenly wake up and feel you are dealing with exhaustion. It happens gradually. It is a psychological feeling, and hence it slowly builds up. You might notice some faint signs before it swallows you into a serious condition.
Here are some signs of job burnout you should look out for:
- Feeling like a failure
- Zero motivation
- Lack of concentration on work
- Constant battle with negative thoughts
- Feeling drained out both emotionally and physically
- Persistent muscle pain
- Never feeling satisfied with anything in life
- Isolating yourself
- Turning towards drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism
- Showing aggression or frustration on other people
What Causes Career Burnout?
Job burnout is a familiar experience to the maximum portion of the working population, especially where the workload is high and manpower is less. Situations like these can be the source of constant exhaustion, frustration, maybe aggression, and even leave you demotivated. Every part of your body will tell you to write a resignation letter and quit.
While the reasons for job burnout can be many, there are some specific culprits behind the mischief. Keep an eye out for them. You are in control of yourself, and taking care of your mental health is just as important as being physically fit and professionally successful.
- Too much workload. When you are swimming in thousands of files, you might feel suffocated. Staying busy can be a satisfying and accomplishing feeling, but when it gets too over the line, you might feel overloaded and overwhelmed.
- No one tries to hear you out. While working for a giant corporation, you might often feel ignored. It hurts when despite giving all your time to a job, you still feel like you are not valued.
- Unchallenging role. Challenges make life worth living. Exciting challenges can induce enthusiasm and curiosity to get to the work. But when your work seems monotonous and unchallenging, you lose motivation.
- Unfair treatment. Favoritism and unequal treatment in offices exist. This demotivates other employees to work hard as any expectations of the right reward mechanism are already eliminated. Unfair treatment messes up the mental health of an individual.
8 ways to deal with job burnout
Leaving your job might not be the best solution for when you feel burnt out due to work. There are other ways to overcome a complicated situation. We aren’t telling you to ignore the factors at play, however, there is always a sound way to handle tricky circumstances.
Now that you know what are the signs of job burnout and what causes them, here are some effective ways in which you can deal with your burnout efficiently.
1. Take a Break
When you do not want to deal with few things at hand, a brief vacation sounds refreshing. Change in the environment by default changes your mental state
Completely shutting out the work responsibilities is a necessity for you. Take a good few weeks of holiday and leave the city. Have your mind wander around. Drag your body off the bed and explore fresh places. Put your phone on a do-not-disturb and give yourself few days. Sign off from your work account and uninstall any official application from your phone. Ditch your emails for some time. Go to a resort near the beach, or mountains, or on an island, or wherever it will make you happy.
2. Reach Out to Your Therapist
Do not ignore the red flags of exhaustion. Initially, these signs may seem harmless, but gradually they take a toll on you. Before things go out of your control, make a call to your therapist.
A professional giving you insight is better than turning to your friends who might not have the professional knowledge on the matter. Although their intentions might be clean and they only want to help you, but your friends are not licensed in this. Taking it lightly is harmful.
3. Talk to your Boss
If you think you have an unreasonably huge workload on your shoulders, or the routine drill to do the task is highly mundane, talk about it. Tell your senior how you feel. Tell them how you need help with it and what they can do to help you. Unless you communicate what’s troubling you, your manager would be unable to devise a solution for you.
If you are a valuable asset to your company, chances are that your manager might not want to lose you. They will hear about your problems and offer you the right solution that might end up working out for your state. Maybe a change in responsibilities, reducing workload, or perks in cash or kind suffice the cause.
4. Start Exercising and Meditating
If a mini vacation is not on your budget, start diverting your mind to good places. What’s better than staying fit both physically and mentally?
Meditation has been practiced for ages. It brings calmness to your mind, and your soul feels at peace. It is proven to reduce signs of many psychological issues like anxiety, stress, and anger. Meditation keeps you calm and focused. It helps reduce anger issues and diverts your mind from stress. You barely need 10 to 15 minutes from your schedule to mediate but the effects of is can last a lifetime.
Breathing exercises also help. It keeps you composed and relieves you from exhaustion. You can also give physical exercises a try. Begin your mornings by hitting a gym or practicing yoga in the backyard of your house. Go for a run or simply dance to the rhythm of the music in your room.
5. Do Not Reach Out for Alcohol
Alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine might make you feel better for a few minutes and calm you down, but turning towards them as your coping mechanism is dangerous. Substance abuse has numerous hazards but consuming alcohol or drugs when your mental health is highly vulnerable, might make you an addict.
Alcohol damages your lungs and leads you to poor health. It is not a secret that dependency will lead to an addiction. Staying away from harmful substances when you particularly feel emotionally weak is important.
Substances can also adversely affect the mental health. While you might think that your drink is an antidote, it is nothing more than than an buffer for your anxiety and sadness.
6. Track Your Sleep Schedule
Keep a track of your sleep schedule. Adults need at least seven to nine hours of sound sleep. Lack of sleep can also cause irrational anger and irritation. Your body and your mind won’t function fully if they do not get a good rest.
It is common to experience a distorted sleep cycle while you are experiencing job burnout. Inability to sleep at night might as well be a sign of job burnout but there are a few measures you can take to ensure that you fall asleep quickly and peacefully. Take shower with lukewarm water 30 minutes before going to bed. Turn off the lights of the room and light a scented candle, or just a candle, on the side table of your bed.
Put your phone away from your pillow at the radiations from the smartphone can inhibit healthy sleeping cycle and make sure there is no source of light in your room.
7. Have a Healthy Diet
Your body needs excellent fuel to function properly. Cutting down on your caffeine and tobacco intake is necessary. There should be a reduction in junk food. Following a balanced diet is a way for leading a good life.
Cut down processed sugar from your diet and consume only natural sugar. As an alternate, you can also inculcate the richness of jaggery in your diet. Keep a hand’s distance from comfort food that are a big source of carbs. Eat more green vegetables and drink juices to detox your mental health.
Healthy diet will also help you to regulate your sleep cycle.
8. Draw Boundaries at Workplace
Sometimes we unknowingly bring stress upon ourselves. The best example of the same is doing extra work to impress your manager. But this is a dangerous way to work. Everyone needs to set some boundaries and follow them. Try not to work yourself out, only to achieve your weekly goals at work.
Be selfish and think about yourself. Do not set unrealistic work goals that might lead to working extra shifts. Set realistic workplace expectations and deadlines. Job burnout is a real thing, and it causes serious health issues. Do not take early symptoms lightly. Act on it and if necessary, take professional help.