Burnout syndrome is a person’s psychological reaction to long-term emotional fatigue, which manifests itself in a loss of interest in life. Such a reaction can mature for months and even years. In 1974 American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger defined burnout as a problem born by society and the time in which we live, a constant struggle to fill our lives with meaning. This condition does not go away if you ignore it.
Burnout can occur in almost any person, and it develops according to the following scenario (although people do not always pass all the stages):
- the compulsion to prove oneself;
- working harder;
- neglecting their needs;
- displacement of conflicts (the person is unable to see the source of the problem)
- revision of values (people isolate themselves from others, leaving no energy and time for friends and hobbies)
- denial of emerging problems (cynicism, aggression and disappointment become obvious)
- withdrawal (there appears a ground for alcohol and drug addiction);
- obvious behavioral changes;
- inner emptiness;
- burnout syndrome (suicidal thoughts, complete mental and physical exhaustion).
What Causes Burnout?
Burnout is caused by stresses of a too busy life: lots of meetings, projects, unrealistic deadlines, secondary and unnecessary chores, which distract from the main job, as well as many other factors that influence a person’s life in our information- and technology-overloaded world. Stress by itself usually does not cause major problems. However, if it becomes chronic and exceeds the limit, we find ourselves on the verge of exhaustion.
How to Prevent or Treat Burnout?
1. Analyze your life motives
Typically, teachers, doctors, managers and representatives of other professions who often communicate with people (patients, students, clients, etc., who not always behave as we expect), are forced to behave courteously and politely on duty, even if they do not like people. Over time, the incentive (salary, career, etc.) to like people weakens or disappears, and people reveal their real feelings. If such an attitude does not change, a person has to change a job, hoping to feel more comfortable with new people in a new place. How can you learn to like people?
2. Simplify your life
TV, Internet, mobile phones and other media help us in our work, but they also bring loads of useless information, which distracts us, takes time, and, ultimately creates a feeling of overload.
3. Allocate time for rest
Prefer useful physical labor, in which the mind rests: gardening, sports, crafts, walks in the park or forest, etc. Being outside has a regenerating effect. Avoid prolonged television viewing or Internet surfing.
4. Stick to healthy eating habits
Eat mostly plant foods, avoid stimulants: coffee, tea, alcohol, and hot spices. Drink plenty of water.
5. Stick to the sleep and rest schedule
Cultivate the habit of regular sleep and eating.
6. Sleep enough
On average, a person needs to sleep 7-8 hours a day. If the body requires more, go to bed earlier.
7. Relax at least once a week
Each person has a need to restore his spirit, soul and body.
8. Do not make promises you cannot keep
Overloading ourselves, we become irritable and aggressive because we feel the pressure of unfulfilled obligations. Learn to say no.