Simply said, burnout is a condition that builds up slowly over a period of prolonged stress. You may be suffering from burnout if you often feel disillusioned, hopeless, helpless, and totally worn out. One of the main symptoms when you are burned out is that, you may keep feeling that everything looks bleak, problems seem insurmountable, and it is very difficult for you to muster up the energy to even care, let alone do something to help with your situation. In medical definition, buronout refers to a state where you feel overwhelm, emotionally listless and depress due to prolonged accumulation of high stress. The stress causing burnout is usually related to excessive workplace or lifestyle demands, and a general imbalance in lifestyle.
In my own opinion, people who tend to suffer from burnout are those who feel a lack of control over their environment, receive little recognition, possess unclear expectations placed on their shoulders, and lacking of social support and love. Another main cause of burnout is to have too high a performance expectation placed on yourself. In order words, people who suffer from burnout usually feel like they are working too much but with no rewards or they see no path to excel at their task further, or even see no end to their persistent workloads. While burnout isn’t a recognized clinical psychiatric or psychological disorder, burnout does have some similarity to diagonosable conditions to depression, anxiety disorders or mood disorders.
One very important thing that you must take note is that, burnout is caused by situational stressors rather than a biologically mandated chemical imbalance. It’s kind of like non-clinical, less intense cousin to depression that just comes for a visit and will leave if you find ways to reduce stress in your life.
Am I Experiencing Burnout?
Like heartburn, burnout is a slow burn and it is a very agonizing burn. Having said that, burnout is a process rather than an event. "Erosion" is a very good word to describe burnout. One day, you saw a gigantic boulder under the waterwall. One day you return and the gigantic boulder is reduced to half its original size. Then one day, it becomes a small stone, even to a pebble. This analogy reminds us that burnout is an insidious and pernicious internal erosion.
In today's hectic and fast pace world, many people will suffer from job burnout every now and then. Many of us are working longer hours for our job and career. However, the most significant is how the way we work today. The more we overworked ourselves, the more likely we are to make mistakes in our work and have conflicts with our employers and may even resent our co-workers.
The early symptoms of burnout include a deep sense of tiredness, fatigue, or exhaustion that seems to be never-ending. Emotionally, you feel that you are at your wits end of your emotional rope. Psychically, you keep possessing a realm of negativity in your mind - you experience a sense of dread, hopelessness, cynicism and frustration in your life.
On the other hand, your relationships with your family or your significant other will suffer and become exhausting. Your relationships are no longer fun and enjoyable and work itself becomes a chore rather than a passion. You will lose your concentration and simply staying focus is a feat to you. Slowly, you feel detached and maybe even become unattached from the people in your life and your work.
How To Prevent And Cure Burnout
Once you recognize the warning symptoms and signs of burnout in yourself, you must remember that if you leave it alone, it will only get worse than before. However, if you make effort to get your life back into balance, you can effectively prevent burnout from becoming a full-blown mental breakdown. Simply put, the earlier the stage of your burnout you are in, the easier it will be to find resolution to the situation.
Below are some ways to prevent burnout:
Nonetheless, the most effective way to combat job burnout is to quit doing what you’re doing and do something else, whether that means changing jobs or changing careers. However, if is option is not feasible for you, you can always try to take time off and go on vacation. Use your off-in-lieu, medical leaves, annual leaves or ask for a temporary leave-of-absence, to remove yourself to your current situation and work. Use the free time to rejuvenate yourself and assimilate new perspectives. Alternatively, you can also ask for new tasks and duties. If you have been doing the same kind of work for a prolonged time, ask for something new: maybe a different grade level, a different work department or a different project to work on.
No matter what you do to prevent or cure burnout, you must understand that curing burnout is a process too, just like burnout is also a slow process before it becomes full-bloomed. You must allow time and space to indulge in your own personal things or simply just relax and do nothing. Listen to good music, eat well, sleep well and go out to the outdoors and do some exercises. As time goes by, your body will return to the normal status and your burnout will vanish totally.
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