When we think about burnout, we usually associate it with a middle-aged person, with a long professional experience, who is fed up with her work. There is nothing wrong with this image of burnout. These people often burn out. A middle-aged person may burn out professionally, just like a young person or one who is close to retirement. Burnout can affect anyone, and nowadays it is not determined by age or seniority. Symptoms may vary and may be accompanied by different sensations. Sometimes, for example, we are ashamed that we no longer feel the joy of our work, sometimes we do not want to admit to ourselves and people that something is wrong. Burnout syndrome is not and should not be a cause for embarrassment or breakdown. It should be an inflammatory moment and a stimulus for change.
What is burnout?
Burnout is actually a civilization disease of the 21st century. Currently, they suffer from it is young people. This seems to be specific to modern times. We live fast, in constant stress and in a hurry, which is conducive to the appearance of burnout symptoms. Burnout – This is a state of mental and physical exhaustion. We begin to feel constantly tired and discouraged, and our work ceases to give us any joy. We feel the nonsense of our professional duties, and we also stop developing in the professional field.
At the beginning of each job, we feel excitement and joy. Everything seems interesting to us, we have to learn a lot. We like our work and we come to it willingly. We also like our duties, we feel satisfaction, and we develop in the direction we choose. At some point, however, something starts to go wrong. There are more and more stressful situations, and we stop dealing with them. We quickly become tense and always tired. We’re slowly getting fed up with everything. We have the impression that we are stalled. Such a situation can happen to anyone, regardless of age or profession. However, it is important to know what you are dealing with and what steps should be taken.
Causes of burnout
It is caused by overwork and chronic stress. The body is constantly exposed to stress, it eventually has to rebel. It happens at a different time for everyone, because everyone has a different stress tolerance. Remember that in order to burn out – you have to burn first, so burnout occurs most often after a long period of excessive commitment, energy and effort put into the work performed. The most common causes of burnout this excessive commitment may manifest itself in, for example, taking unpaid overtime, voluntarily taking on too many responsibilities, no division between professional and private life, reading business e-mails after working hours. Of course, these are just examples. There are many more such “sins”. Apart from the factors mentioned above that may influence the occurrence of occupational burnout, there is another group of factors contributing to its appearance. These are environmental causes. They are related, for example, to the way of performing work or the possibilities of professional development. If you are a very creative person and you work in a position where you have to carry out routine activities every day, you will be tired after a while. Such situations create frustration and a feeling of depression. Burnout is then easy to experience. Something that you used to enjoy will now tire and tire you, especially when you are also required to do many things at once.
Another factor that may influence burnout syndrome is interpersonal causes. These include, for example, relations between an employee and his clients or between employees themselves, or between an employee and a supervisor. When not done properly, it can lead to fatigue and nervousness. It’s hard to work in an atmosphere of conflict, gossip and lack of mutual understanding, and long-term work in such conditions is conducive to burnout.
The most typical of burnout are emotional and mental exhaustion due to work, which translates into physical exhaustion. The most important thing is to watch yourself. You should pay attention to your behavior or your thoughts. We may find that we react in a strange way to the very thought of working.
Each person reacts to stress differently, but there are some symptoms of burnout , which may be similar. The list of symptom examples below is not a closed directory. It presents several signs that may appear as a sign of burnout:
- Decrease in the body’s immunity,
- Constant fatigue, lack of strength and energy, and drowsiness,
- Avoiding social contacts,
- None satisfaction with the duties performed,
- Insomnia or trouble falling asleep,
- Fear of going to work,
- Poor concentration,
- Low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence,
- Psychosomatic complaints such as headaches, backaches, stomachaches, and nausea that are not caused by any other disease.
The burnout symptoms listed above, whether mental or physical, can be very distressing. They can make work difficult and sometimes make it impossible. One could ask whether we are not able to experience burnout at all these days? I think so. The most important thing is to prevent its occurrence, and not act only when it occurs. It is difficult because sometimes we do not notice symptoms ourselves. Sometimes it is only other people who notice that something is wrong. That is why it is so important to observe yourself and take time to yourself.
How to deal with burnout?
Learn to cope with stress
We will always experience stress, regardless of work. It is present in our private and professional life. It will be hard to avoid, so it’s best to learn to deal with it. There are many ways to deal with stress. It’s best to try a few and choose the one that works best for us. Such methods include, for example, spending time outdoors, sports or using various relaxation or breathing techniques.
Brake in good time
Observe yourself, try to notice your reactions to particular situations or people. And most importantly – react immediately. If you’ve been spending too much time working lately, think about why you’re doing it and, for example, take a free weekend with friends. If you keep checking your work phone over the weekend, it’s best to turn it off.
Build your self-confidence every day
Appreciate yourself, notice your good points. Don’t devote your attention to thinking that you are not perfect. Nobody is. There are a lot of ways to increase your self-confidence on the Internet. Try a few. Learn to say no.
Develop your passions and interests
It’s a great way to de-stress and relax. It will also make you feel happier and more fulfilled.
Take on new challenges and develop
Even if your employer does not provide you with great development opportunities, try to find them on your own.
Don’t forget to take your vacation!
While on vacation, don’t think about work. Try to rest as much as possible and regenerate your body.
The above advice will not work for everyone. Everyone is different, so it is best to develop some advice for yourself and follow them in your life. It will be very helpful for us in the future, and maybe we will help someone around us.
What if it turns out that we have burned out professionally?
The most important thing is to admit to ourselves that we have burnout syndrome . Don’t be afraid of it. Also, don’t stick to the label “I’m burned out professionally”, because you can only feel worse about it and sabotage your actions. You already know what may be contributing to your professional burnout, so you can also try to eliminate the cause or at least reduce it. Think about how you can change your situation. Burnout is fightable, so it’s not a hopeless situation. It affects a very large number of people, not only you. It is worth limiting the pace of work and duties, set the framework and rules of work. If possible, take a longer break from work and devote it only to yourself. You need to find out the causes and motivations of your actions that caused your burnout, so it’s important to slow down and take control of the situation. Remember! If you fail to help yourself, it is also worth enlisting the help of a specialist, psychologist. The advice in this article may not work for you. The most important thing is to listen to yourself and your needs, and then start acting.
Regardless of age and profession, burnout can affect anyone, so it’s important to learn to cope with stress. The sooner we learn it, the easier it will be in any life situation. Let’s not leave it behind until we notice symptoms of burnout. Prevention is definitely better than cure. We hope that the symptoms posted in this post indicate burnout symptoms let you determine if you have a problem with this phenomenon.