Burning out in the workplace is more prevalent than people appreciate. Many businesses have policies and checks in place to identify and combat their employees from suffering from this growing trend.
Our latest article looks at what you can do your job affects your health.
So what is it?
Job burnout is 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.
As such, “Burnout” isn’t necessarily a medical diagnosis. Some experts consider other conditions, such as depression, to contribute to burnout. Researchers also point out that individual factors, such as family life and personality may well, influence who experiences job burnout.
However it comes about and whatever the cause, job burnout can affect both your physical and mental health.
Consider how to know if you’ve got job burnout and what you can do about it.
Things to check for:
- Do you drag yourself to work and/or have trouble getting started?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate?
- Have you become too cynical or critical at work?
- Do you get easily irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
- Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
- Have your sleep habits changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?
While realistically some of these happen in every day working life (we’re all only human after all!), if you can consistently answer yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing job burnout and it could be time to consider talking to a doctor or a mental health provider
Possible causes of job burnout
Obviously the above symptoms may result from a range of factors which may include:
- A lack of control.
- A lack of the resources you need to do your work.
- Unclear job expectations.
- A dysfunctional workplace.
- Extremes of activity.
- Lack of social support.
- A work-life imbalance.
Consequences of job burnout
If all of the above continues without being addressed it is highly likely that it could have significant consequences, that may include:
- Excessive stress
- Sadness, anger or irritability
- Alcohol or substance misuse
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Vulnerability to illnesses
- Just to name a few!
Handling job burnout
We all experience stress in the workplace in one guise or another, but don’t ignore it… try to take action.
To get started:
- Evaluate your options. Approach and discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Maybe you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions.
- Try to set goals for what must get done and what can wait.
- Seek support. Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.
- Try a relaxing activity. Explore programs that can help with stress such as yoga, meditation or tai chi.
- Get some exercise. Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress. It can also take your mind off work.
- Get some sleep. Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.
- Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment.
- Keep an open mind as you consider the options. Try not to let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health.
All of the above may well seem obvious but it is also regularly ignored or dismissed as a bad day or week, it’s easy to reach for the wine after a tough day and try to shrug it off, but there could be more underlying..