This type of work stress causes physical and mental exhaustion and can seriously affect your health.
Being attentive to the signs is essential to avoid damaging your health.
Job burnout is a type of stress that originates from different causes and can have a severe impact on health and quality of life. Being attentive to the signs to be able to intervene in time is key. Symptoms range from it costing more than usual to go to work to physical symptoms such as headaches, backaches or others.
“Job burnout is a special type of job stress; it is a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work. If you think you might have job burnout, take a close look at the phenomenon,” explains an article from the Mayo Clinic in the United States.
Do you think you may be suffering from it?
Here are nine questions to help you find out:
Did you become cynical or critical at work?
Do you find it hard to go and, once you get there, have trouble getting started?
Are you irritable or impatient with colleagues or customers?
Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
Do you feel dissatisfied with your achievements?
Do you feel disillusioned with your work?
Do you eat, take drugs or drink alcohol to feel better or to feel nothing?
Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
Do you have headaches, backaches or other unexplained physical problems?
“If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from job burnout,” say the authors of the article and advise consulting a doctor or psychologist. They point out, however, that some of these symptoms may also indicate other health problems, such as a thyroid disorder or depression.
In search of the causes
Professional burnout can be due to several factors:
– Lack of control. The inability to influence decisions that affect your work, such as your schedule, assigned tasks, or workload, may lead to burnout. Another cause could be a lack of resources needed to do your job.
– Unclear job expectations. If you’re not sure how much authority you have or what your superiors or others expect from YOU, you may not feel comfortable in your job.
– Dysfunctional work dynamics. Perhaps you work with a bully or feel that your colleagues detract from your authority or your boss controls every detail of your work. This can contribute to job stress.
– Values incompatibility. If your values differ from the way your employer does business or handles grievances, this incompatibility, over time, can have a negative impact.
– Job mismatch. If your job is not compatible with your interests and abilities, it may become increasingly stressful as time goes on.
– Extremes of busyness. When a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to stay focused, which can lead to fatigue and burnout.
– Lack of support. If you feel alone at work and in your personal life, you may feel more stressed.
– Lack of work/life balance. If your work demands too much of your time and effort and you don’t have the energy to spend time with family and friends, you may burn out quickly.
People who exhibit any of these characteristics, as well as those who try to please everyone, are at risk for job burnout, experts warn.
If the problem is ignored or left untreated, it can have a significant impact on health. Some of its consequences can be: excessive stress, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, alcohol or drug abuse, cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes (especially in women), cerebrovascular accident (CVA), obesity and greater vulnerability to diseases.
How to control it
If you suffer from job burnout, the Mayo Clinic advises you to take action. The message: “Don’t let a demanding or unrewarding job damage your health”.
– Control the stressors that contribute to job burnout. Once you’ve identified what’s causing your feelings of job burnout, you can establish a plan to address the problem.
– Evaluate your options. Discuss specific concerns with your manager. Perhaps you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Is there a job sharing option? Is telecommuting or flexible scheduling available? What are the options for continuing education or professional growth?
– Change your attitude. If you’ve become cynical at work, look for ways to improve your outlook. Rediscover enjoyable aspects of your job. Recognize valuable contributions or a job well done by your colleagues. Take short breaks throughout the day. Spend time away from work doing things you enjoy.
– Seek support. Whether you turn to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration may help you cope with work stress and feelings of burnout. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of the services available.
– Assess your interests, skills and passions. An honest assessment can help you decide if you should consider looking for an alternative job, such as one that is less demanding or one that better matches your interests or core values.
– Exercise. Regular physical activity can help you cope better with stress. It can also help you take your mind off work and focus on something else.
– Get rest. Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.