We all experience stress throughout our day, and especially in our careers. Some stress is expected and can be managed with healthy coping strategies. Burnout, on the other hand, is typically a heightened level of stress, and can manifest itself physically and mentally. Today, we want to chat more about what this term means, and steps you can take to help eliminate burnout.
What is burnout?
The Mayo Clinic describes job burnout as “a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
If left untreated, burnout can lead to serious consequences such as fatigue, insomnia, stress, sadness, alcohol abuse, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Some signs of job burnout may include the following symptoms:
- Highly critical of your work
- Trouble getting up and going to work in the morning
- Irritable with coworkers, customers, and clients
- Lack of productivity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Unexplained physical issues like headaches, stomach, or bowel problems
Steps to help with burnout
Acknowledge your feelings
If you read through the list of symptoms and find yourself nodding your head, you are likely experiencing some kind of burnout. The first step to help is recognizing how you are feeling, which can then enable you to develop a game plan going forward.
Talk to your boss
While this might seem daunting, talking to your manager or boss is necessary. It is best to arrange a meeting, and ensure you have a few possible solutions ready beforehand to discuss. Perhaps this means lightening your workload, reducing your work hours temporarily, or taking some time off if necessary. Each person is different and will require support unique to their situation. This is why it is key to talk to management about your feelings so that you can work together toward a solution.
Use your vacation time
Depending on your job, you will get allotted time to take off. Ensure you are utilizing your vacation time and use it to disconnect and decompress from your job. Whether you choose to travel, or stay close to home, the break from work can often help recharge your batteries. When you return to work, you will be better rested, and in a more positive state of mind. Time away might also help you recognize what you enjoy about your job, and the value you bring to your role.
Whether you work from the office, or from home, setting healthy boundaries for yourself is key. This might mean ensuring you leave work at the office when you head home at the end of the day, not answering phone calls or emails during your off hours and separating your home life from your work life.
Technology enables us to be constantly connected. While this has its benefits, it often means we are always “on call.” Therefore, turn your phone off in the evenings and mornings, and only use it for work purposes during working hours.
If you find that you are struggling, you might need to consider the help of health professionals. Also, if you find that seeking help, or trying some of the above tips still leaves you feeling unsettled or unhappy in your job, it might be time to consider your options. If you require assistance with your resume to find a job you love, our team is here to help.