While the majority of us work for money and very little enjoy our work, we all have one thing in common — we try to push ourselves in the name of getting things done and this route eventually leads us to total burnout.
It’s midnight, and you have till the end of the day to complete your work. You can’t manage to keep your thoughts concentrated for more than a few minutes at a time, no matter how hard you try. That’s when the green things come in… and you're ready to rumble…
The weight of working stress weighs down on you like a weight that keeps becoming heavier. You don’t seem to have much left to give. You’re exhausted in no time and dropped 2 pounds while reading this…
But, while we’ve all heard the phrase “burnout,” what exactly does it mean? How can we know whether we’re affected by it? What steps can we take to recharge and avoid burnout before it’s too late, or how can we deal with the effects if we’re already in the middle?
Interestingly, doctors and researchers have yet to agree on a clinical diagnosis of burnout, yet numerous character traits are associated with it.
- Exhaustion- is defined as a sense of being exhausted, having poor focus, and being particularly forgetful.
- Alienation- is defined as a desire to shun social interactions, a sense of pessimism, or a sense of cynicism.
- Missing deadlines- getting bored, and being less interested are all signs of poor performance.
All of us had times when we’ve felt one or more of those things as if our to-do list had become too long for us to handle. Now think how you’d feel if you felt that way for weeks, if not months. That’s what it looks like when you’re burned out.
What does it really feel like when you’re in this trap.
“Having a terrible day” or “being stressed out” is not the same as being burned out.
It may cost us our health, pleasure, and success, with long-term consequences ranging from sadness and sleeplessness to gastrointestinal problems and even higher mortality.
That’s not to mention the devastating effects of burnout on people closest to us: family, friends, and coworkers. Burnout puts a lot of strain on our personal relationships and enterprises, not to mention our own psyches and bodies.
Many of the symptoms of burnout are similar to those of depression, but the two are not the same. More study is needed, although burnout is particularly linked to work-related demands, whereas depression can be linked to a variety of factors (for example romantic relationships, family dynamics, and socio-political issues). We’re dealing with internal states that might be difficult to perceive and discuss in both circumstances, so self-awareness is essential.
Things to pay attention to.
How can we tell whether we’re heading for burnout?
Although signals vary, we may keep an eye out for the three sorts of symptoms indicated above: weariness, estrangement, and decreased performance.
We may experience exhaustion earlier in the day or week, finally reaching a point where we can’t seem to focus no matter how hard we try. We may realize that we are executing things in an illogical order, that we are forgetful, or that we are stuck on simple chores.
We may become angry, cynical, or annoyed with people if we are feeling more alienated than normal. Getting out of bed and getting to work becomes a chore, and eventually, it becomes something even worse: a tense, anxiety-inducing scenario we can’t face. We may find ourselves canceling arrangements merely because we lack energy and venting our frustrations on others.
Finally, decreased performance might indicate that we are no longer totally involved in our task. We approach our occupations with indifference or a lack of excitement, miss deadlines, and maybe slip into a cycle of guilt, where the stress of not performing our tasks well exacerbates our performance.
Taking back control.
- Let go of the green stuff! Seriously — this will only ruin your life, not to mention the ones surrounding you.
- Prioritize good quality sleep: if you can’t sleep, go out for a walk instead of taking sleep medicine.
- Take good care of yourself and eat well: no need for vitamin injections and so on. If you don’t do it — no one will instead of you.
4. Manage work-life balance.
Because burnout is mostly linked to our jobs, this is one area where we may have a significant effect.
We don’t have to accept that work is fundamentally stressful and that there is nothing we can do about it (this is not common with folks who love their job — I’m a designer and I adore my work:) )
Find strategies to plan your day so that you may take brief breaks and take advantage of your peak energy periods.
Reduce meeting overload by working with your boss and coworkers to spend your time on the topics that matter.
Drugs and medicine won’t make life easier — trust me!
Stress may be overwhelming in today’s “always-on” environment, and we frequently blame ourselves if we can’t keep up with everything (drugs and medicine won’t make life easier — trust me)
While it may be tempting to push past feelings of exhaustion in the name of getting things done, this path might lead to burnout. Instead, taking the time to review, wind down, and revitalize can help us become healthier, happier, and, yes, more productive.
Please share your ways of dealing with day-to-day stress and burnout.