Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion and is caused by prolonged periods of unresolved stress that can have negative effects on your work and life. A recent report from Indeed showed that 52% of all workers have experienced burn out!
The introduction of work from home and the pandemic has meant that the number of burnout cases have increased astronomically and this comes as no surprise. A healthy workplace environment can make all the difference but there are many factors that can lead to burn out. Some of these factors include: unmanageable workload, lack of control, work-life imbalance.
It is important to stay in tune with your body and mind and can be hard to understand why you are feeling unmotivated or having low periods. Symptoms of burnout can be physical, emotional or behavioural and spotting them can help you to recognise when you are burnt out and take the right steps in treating burnout.
- Constant feeling of tiredness and lethargy
- Excessive sleeping or insomnia
- Lowered immunity
- Experiencing headaches and pains in the body
- Loss of motivation
- Dissatisfaction with work and accomplishments
- Feeling like a failure
- Detachment – feeling detached from friends and family
- Procrastinating tasks you normally enjoy
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Isolating yourself
- Abusing food, alcohol or drugs to cope
5 Stages of Burnout
1. Honeymoon Phase
It is natural for us to feel eager and excited to start a new project as we experience high job satisfaction in this phase. In this stage, you might start to predict how it will affect your stress levels in the future. At this stage, it is important to create good coping mechanisms and boundaries to avoid experiencing stress in the future.
2. Onset of Stress
The initial excitement and eagerness is waning and you might start to experience some of the symptoms. In the second stage, you experience stress here and there but not constantly.
3. Chronic Stress
At this stage, you would be able to notice some of the symptoms listed above and rather than experiencing stress here and there it becomes more of a frequent problem. Whatever symptoms you experienced in stage 2 might be more intense in stage 3.
In the burnout stage, symptoms become critical and start to affect your work and life in all aspects. It can be difficult to cope and can seem impossible to get through the day.
5. Habitual Burnout
Habitual burnout is when you have been experiencing burnout for such a long time that it becomes a part of your life and can lead to other mental health issues such as depression. At this stage, it is important that you reach out to a professional.
How to Treat Burnout
Better Manage Your Workload – everyone has their limits on how much work they can take on. Understand what your work limit is and speak to your boss and set boundaries of how much you feel comfortable with taking on.
Work-life Balance – working from home can blur the lines between your home life and work life. Find ways to separate the two so you can be happy at home and at work.
Self-care - take the time to really unwind after you finish work. Self-care is so important and can do wonders for your mental health.
Sleep – there an endless amount of benefits to getting a good night’s sleep so it might be worth hitting that snooze button. One of the symptoms of burnout is insomnia and we have come up with some tips to improve your sleep.
Exercise – getting your heart pumping and some fresh air can help you to take the right steps and avoid experiencing burn out.
We hope this helps you to spot any symptoms you might be experiencing related to burn out and can start to treat your burnout so you can be your happiest and healthiest self!
By Pooja Depala