Tackling Burnout

What once seemed as an exciting new venture in your work life now seems to be more of a burden on your mental health. You spend your days at work glancing at the clock every hour, counting down the time to end the day. You seem unmotivated, most of your work is subpar. You aren’t able to hold a conversation with your peers. It seems you’ve burned out. If this sounds like you, don’t beat yourself up. A study done by Gallup of 7,500 employees showed that 67% of them experienced burnout at some point. You’re not alone. It’s important to understand what burnout is, what can cause burnout and how you can start feeling like yourself again.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout can be defined as: “A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.” – Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson

Anyone can become exhausted. What is so different about burnout is that it mainly strikes people who are highly committed to their work.

While exhaustion can be overcome with rest, a core part of burnout is a deep sense of disillusionment, and it is not experienced by people who can take a more cynical view of their work.

Signs of Burnout

Some signs that you may be heading into or are already experiencing burnout include: 

  • Feeling like your work goes unrecognized
  • Feelings of Emptiness
  • Easily Irritated by your peers
  • Having a feeling that your work serves no purpose
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Low energy and little motivation at work

How to Avoid or Cope with Burnout

  1. Find the Purpose in your Work

It’s easy to lose sight of why you work where you work. After some time, it can start to feel like what you do serves no purpose other than to earn a paycheck. So, it’s important to self-analyze what your role is and how it affects others. 

How does your role make life easier or better for others? How can you personally add more meaning to your role?

  1. Perform a Job Analysis

If you are constantly taking on more than you can handle at work it can easily cause stress and eventual burnout. So, analyze your weekly tasks and ask yourself if you are capable of doing these tasks effectively. If you feel like you are being asked to carry a heavier workload than you feel is reasonable then speak up and let your boss know. Together you may be able to find a solution so that you can bring the best out of yourself for every task.

  1. Exercise Regularly

Exercising should play part of your daily routine not just to improve your work life but your life in general. It is well documented that exercise leads to a boost in energy, productivity and can help you sleep better. So find a routine that works for you whether it’s before work or during lunch hours.

Some other methods to consider are journaling your thoughts daily, which can help you release any tension. Any negative feelings should be released in one way or another whether it’s working out or writing them out. Keeping those in can be a detriment to your mental and physical health. Try meditating daily. It can be helpful to do so before work to just get your mind ready for the work day and there are many apps that help with relaxation and meditation that can help you start the day with a positive mindset.

In these trying times of COVID-19 and what’s been known as the “Great Resignation” period it has been increasingly easier to experience burnout. So remember to take care of yourself and attack burnout before it even happens.

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