What is Burnout and How to Deal With It?

Darryl Bachmeier
Mar 20, 2020

Dealing with burnout. Stessed young woman at work desk. Over worked.

You have landed a new office job and want to prove your work ethic. It means going in early and staying late, working for hours and hours while dealing with high stress. Sometimes even working on weekends. Along with it, you always worry about your performance and future in the job. In time, you realize you have been neglecting your health. You lack energy and have zero desire to do anything. You have begun to show signs of Burnout.

What is Burnout?

Herbert Freudenberg first introduced this particular term “Burnout” in 1974 in his book - The High Cost of High Achievement. It is defined as “the lack of motivation, especially where one’s devotion to work or relationship fails to produce desired results.”

Prolonged job stress leads to a reaction, which is characterized by:

Exhaustion Cynicism A feeling of professional incapability.

Burnout is not merely a result in long working hours, but when a person’s job conflicts with their sense of self. It may also result when a person is working towards a particular goal with little success. Burnout syndrome does have a severe impact on our physical body as well as mental health.

In simpler terms, when you burn out, you completely lose all the joy and interest in your work, have a lack of accomplishment, and quickly are exhausted by it. According to reports and studies done by several firms, it has been concluded that almost 25-55% of the workers either have dealt or are still dealing with the fatigue of burnout syndrome. It is usually seen in high-level executives.

Signs and Symptoms

Burnout is not a diagnosable psychological disorder but is a serious condition of health. According to the world health organization, job burnout in most of the classes is the result of unmanaged workplace stress at an extremely high level.

Some common signs and symptoms of Burnout are:

● Jobs become increasingly stressful, and a sense of frustration grows. Individuals may develop cynical about their workplace and co-workers. People distance themselves from work emotionally.

● Prolonged stress taking a toll on the body. Headaches and gastrointestinal problems occur.

● Burnout is emotionally exhausting. Individuals feel drained and lethargic. They are unable to get their work done due to a lack of energy.

● Burnout reduces the ability to perform. Individuals have a feeling of negativity about their jobs. Concentrating is difficult, and often, there is a lack of creativity.

● People who experience Burnout is at a higher risk of developing acute depression.

Leading Causes of a Burnout.

Burnout is likely when individuals:

● They have high expectations of themselves.

● They are never satisfied with their work.

● Get no support or appreciation from his or her seniors.

● Are demanded to perform unrealistic tasks.

● Feel a lack of competent behavior in themselves.

● Their job roles do not fit them.

Risk Factors

When unaddressed, Burnout can cause serious risks. It may result in:

● Deteriorating physical health.

● Development of clinical depression.

● Nihilism.

● Mental and emotional absence.

● Anger issues and Self-harm.

● The development of depression may lead to thoughts of suicide.

How to Deal with a Burnout?

When you find yourself experiencing Burnout, which shows a total loss of motivation and a sense of ineffectiveness, you can do the following:

Relax- Take a break from work. Practice meditation, listen to music, take a walk, and catch up with friends and relatives. Take time out for yourself, and at that time, all you have to do is relax.

Find a Hobby- Pick up the guitar that is lying in your storeroom, write poetry, play a sport. Find something that you passionate about outside of your work life.

Put down your Phone- Designate a particular time to check your emails. While you are on vacation and spending time with family, keep your phone away for a while.

Organize- Make a commotion list and prioritize important tasks. Getting organized will keep you from overthinking.

Draw Boundaries- Learning to say “no” and calmly communicating your needs is essential to counter Burnout.

What not to do in case of a Burnout?

● Please do not take it lightly.

● do not ignore the early signs.

● do not feel awkward in sharing the problem with people that care.

● Please do not dismiss it as plain stress.

● do not indulge in self-medication or alcohol.

Burnout can cause issues in work as well as private life, but it can be dealt with. At the onset of initial signs, taking up affirmative action is possible and is very helpful. Practice self-care and determine your boundaries. Never be afraid to take help from people that care about you. With correct measures and more positivity, one can prevent this condition.

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