We are often too busy with work, preoccupied with thoughts of how to take care of our family, how to get by, how to help others, so much that we forget we need to take a break and cut ourselves some slack. As a result, in the long run, we become both physically tired and emotionally drained. This is what results in burnout.
According to a research publication on burnout, “employees experiencing burnout lose the capacity to provide the intense contributions that make an impact. If they continue working, the result is more like smoldering – uneventful and inconsequential – than burning. From their own perspective or that of others, they accomplish less. In summary, the metaphor describes the exhaustion of employees’ capacity to maintain an intense involvement that has a meaningful impact at work“(Wilmar et al). As a result of this, many employees resort to the use of substance abuse to keep up with their day-to-day output. This usually results in drug addiction and mental exhaustion.
Most times, we fail to acknowledge the fact that we are burning out because it cannot be medically diagnosed. However, you can notice the effects of burnout from your level of productivity — which will slowly start declining. Again, you feel unable to cope with the continuous life demands, reduced energy, edginess, among others.
Common Symptoms of Burnout
Burnout entails several phases before it climaxes and eventually leads to a breakdown. Most times, the symptoms are similar to those of stress. Here are some of its common symptoms
Decrease in performance
Burnout can make it difficult to concentrate, stay innovative, and handle responsibilities because you are left with little to no energy after your daily tasks.
This refers to both physical and mental exhaustion that hamper your ability to deal with any problem at work and home. In most cases, it’s usually in the form of extreme tiredness and loss of interest in activities.
You get easily frustrated about work and against your colleagues in the workplace. You also transfer aggression to your family quite easily. Over time, your frustration may lead to pulling back from others and losing enthusiasm for your work.
Burnout does not only affect you physically; it also affects your social life. You’re most likely going to experience burnout if you start to feel the following continuously:
- Lack of rest
- Undue pressure at the workplace
- Excessive workload
- Working in a toxic environment
- Unreasonable deadlines
Coping with Burnout
Burnout develops over time. Immediately you begin to notice any burnout symptoms, there are a number of steps you can follow to prevent a total breakdown.
Get quality rest
This is the first step in dealing with burnout. Always take time out to smell the roses. When you feel you are becoming mentally fatigued and incessantly exhausted, the only solution might be to take a break.
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” (Maya Angelou)
The rest you need might be in the form of a few minutes break from any disturbing matter, and it could be in the form of a long vacation. This will help you recuperate and put you in better shape both physically and mentally.
You should create a balance between work and your social life. Rest is one of the best ways of avoiding stress. It is also advisable that you include recreational activities in your schedule. When you engage in a recreational activity, you are relaxed, which will make you feel refreshed.
Work on your sleep routine
Another step towards overcoming burnout is to work out a sleep pattern that will help you get sufficient sleep. Getting enough sleep is important for both mental and physical health. Lack of sleep due to a pending task has been said to be one of the root causes of burnout. Therefore, you should follow your sleep routine regardless of the task at hand; this will help you get over any form of exhaustion.
Have a To-Do list
Working with a To-Do List will help you stay organized and have in mind what you need to do for the day. In addition, the To-Do List will keep you in check for the tasks that are of utmost priority. You should reschedule tasks not on your To-Do List for another day. However, you should ensure that you do not pack your To-Do List with so many tasks that will not afford you time to take a break.
One of the ways to overcome burnout is through exercise. It will be of great help if you can exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. You can also perform yoga and meditation. This will help to strengthen your mind greatly.
Reach out to your superiors
You can also notify your superior of what you are passing through. You can inform your supervisor as to why you need your workload reduced. It is believed that communication is integral to creating a healthy workplace.
According to research published by the World Psychiatry,” Work overload contributes to burnout by depleting the capacity of people to meet the demands of the job. When this kind of overload is a chronic job condition, there is little opportunity to rest, recover, and restore balance. A sustainable and manageable workload, in contrast, provides opportunities to use and refine existing skills as well as to become effective in new areas of activity” (Maslach and Leiter).
The bottom line is that you can cope with burnout. However, it depends solely on how you approach the issue. The steps you take will determine how quickly you can get over it. To keep up at work, many people tend to seek substances such as cannabis to avoid burnout and depression. If you want a lasting solution, this is not the best and safest way to go. You can still detox your body by flushing out this prohibited toxin. To learn more about THC-detox, click here
Burnout: 35 years of research and practice Wilmar B. Schaufeli Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands Michael P. Leiter Acadia University, Wolfville, Canada, and Christina Maslach University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now. Bantam; Reissue edition (October 1, 1994)
Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry by Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter.