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Your Guide To Handling Burnout

Burnout- we’ve all experienced it – whether or not you recognized it at the time. Even if you’re doing a job that you’re deeply passionate about and enjoy, you’re not immune to experiencing burnout.  Burnout is the mental and physical fatigue that occurs when the demands of your job constantly surpass the amount of energy you have available.

Here are some signs of burnout, outlined by scientists Freudenberger and Gail North, who coined the term. 

The Twelve Signs Of Burnout 

  1. The compulsion to prove oneself
  2. Working harder
  3. Neglecting personal needs
  4. Displacement of conflict
  5. Revision of values (work to the exclusion of all else)
  6. Denial of emerging problems
  7. Withdrawal (typically accompanied by self-medicating)
  8. Odd behavioral changes
  9. Depersonalization (unable to connect with others or one’s own needs)
  10. Inner emptiness
  11. Depression
  12. Burnout syndrome

Some early signs of burnout include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Pessimism 

There are different types of burnout that you can experience, and recognizing the type of burnout you’re experiencing can be just as instrumental to your healing process as recognizing the symptoms of burnout. 

The Three Types Of Burnout

Overload Burnout

This is the type of burnout that most people think of when they hear the term burnout. It occurs when you take up a workload that’s too heavy and/ or work at an unsustainable pace. 

Under-Challenged Burnout

A high workload may cause burnout, but a lack of stimulating tasks can also cause it. People need to feel stimulated and involved to be happy in their jobs. If there’s no passion for their job, they will lose interest and become despondent.

Neglect Burnout

People feel powerless at work when they lack a feeling of purpose and agency. It’s difficult to stay interested when you feel like nothing you do matters.  Employees will not only burn out if they believe their task is too difficult or simply too much to accomplish, but also if they become indifferent or bored at their work for prolonged periods.

How To Avoid Burnout

Whether you noticed the warning symptoms of oncoming burnout or if you’ve already reached your limit, pushing through the fatigue and going on as you have will only bring more mental and physical harm. Now is the moment to take a breather to reset yourself by learning how to help yourself overcome burnout and feel mentally and physically healthy again.

Pay Attention To Your Feelings / Find your ‘Center’

Burnout is intimately connected to emotion, and emotions are strong indicators of the things we value. Paying attention to your emotions and when they occur can help you manage anger, irritation, and disappointment before they become burnout. Using the breath and looking inward is necessary in finding your ‘center’. Being centered replenishes the feeling of calm and can ward off burnout. 

Forge Strong Relationships With Your Co-Workers

Dr. Maslach identified a lack of community as one of the major things that led to burnout. Developing relationships at work provides a sense of community access to resources and makes asking for help easier as you have people to turn to. Developing relationships outside of work is equally important, it offers a balance between work and life.

Set Boundaries Between Your Home And Work 

Set — and keep to — a work schedule that allows you to balance your personal and work life. You may even try setting physical limits, such as closing your office door at the end of the day or erasing business email accounts from personal devices.

Remember to Keep Moving. 

Physical exercise increases the feel-good hormones and makes a huge difference in mental wellness. Burnout can be held at bay by nourishing your mind through physical movement.

Problems at the organizational level can cause burnout, but it can just as easily be solved with good leadership, and good human resources that embrace a wellness culture.  Company leadership makes a significant impact on how employees see their workplace.

The Positive Change Group strives to help leaders and employees by making ease to implement resources available to you. In many cases, you are not the only one facing difficulties, and a positive transformation in your workplace culture will lead to healthier staff, and healthier profits!

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