When stress becomes a habitual condition, people start to get overwhelmed, and it may easily end up in burnout. Once it struck, its victims feel completely spent, hollow, with no energy left to go through routine motions. Also, burnout can cause the exhibition of various physical and psychological symptoms. Unless treated, burnout hampers in accomplishing the tasks that would seem easy for a person not burdened with stress. So it’s highly important to spot burnout.
A guy can’t very well say when burnout is (almost) on them, so it’s useful to be aware of a few symptoms enabling you to know when the danger is imminent.
A worn-out feeling. It seems like there is no energy left, no emotions are stirring inside. There may be physical symptoms like aches, troubled sleep, bad appetite or no appetite at all.
Tendency to isolate oneself. Burnout sufferers are so overwhelmed by the condition that they have no desire to keep up conversations with other people, even if it is only to explain how they feel.
Fantasizing about getting away from it all. It looks as if office, home, all places abound with suffocating demands and endless exhausting duties. Burnout-suffering people keep wishing they were gone, somewhere far away, alone. To help them acquire this feeling they can take alcohol or drugs, or eat seeking to find solace.
Acute exasperation. When an individual is laboring under burnout, he or she gets irritated at friends, family, colleagues as if they set out to annoy. Insignificant matters like helping children with homework, knocking together a report for your superior, getting house chores out of the way, are regarded as too troublesome and frustrating, the more so if something goes awry.
Plaguing diseases. Since burnout (just like chronic stress) weakens the immune system, the afflicted are quicker to develop insomnia, colds, and other ailments. Depression sets in accompanied by other related mental health problems.
Growing reluctance to perform duties. For those experiencing burnout, job begins to appear as increasingly tedious and harassing. They get more and more dissatisfied with their colleagues and their responsibilities; the lack of energy makes every current situation loom almost unsurmountable. They feel so numbed that it takes a lot to get on.
Poor performance. Since burnout sufferers are numbed, whatever they do is greatly impaired – either at work or at home. They take the necessity of doing anything very negatively, their focus on the task wanders, and they are unable to employ their creative abilities.
What leads to burnout
Burnout can be the result of manifold causes, most of which may be boiled down to the factors below:
An excessive workload. It mostly goes for professions that require ceaseless concentration and quality performance – lawyers, nurses, teachers. These guys are laboring under a lot of strain.
An unbalanced life. As work or home duties begin to increase markedly, the misbalance increases the fatigue and prevents people from allotting time away from their burdensome areas. Such situations can quickly result in bad burnout.
Distressing, appalling, and traumatic situations. People engaged in professions that bring them in contact with dire situations (like social workers or policemen) run a very high risk of developing burnout.
Running against time. Employees given sufficient time to accomplish their tasks at work will hardly develop burnout – at least, they run only a 30% risk. Work allowing no extra time for performing their duties (like firefighters) puts people at a much greater risk.
Absence of managerial support and encouragement. Managers taking proper interest in their underlings’ work serve as a kind of buffer smoothing out problems and decreasing pressure. In 70% of cases, they thwart burnout development.
Unclear responsibilities. About 40% of employees are reported to be not very clear about what exactly they are supposed to do. While such workers cast about for something they should be doing, they get tired and soon become ripe for burnout.
Absence of autonomy. Those engaged in administrative jobs often have to spend long hours sitting and doing tedious but important jobs that require great concentration and must exclude the possibility of mistakes. Such jobs leave a person with little motivation and create grounds for developing burnout.
Working with the sense of futility. When an individual feels that the management is not interested in his or her suggestions, achievements, working conditions, has to suffer interruptions during performing, has results ignored instead of used in current projects, they began to feel futile, put aside, and these feelings encourage burnouts.
Feeling of not being rewarded (well enough). Rightly or unfairly, a person believing that his or her job is not receiving its deserving reward is likely to be heading for burnout.
Being in counterproductive relations with coworkers. When somebody has to work day after day in an atmosphere of irregularity and even hostility with no guiding protocols it can create conditions conducive to burnout.
Existing in unfair or degenerating conditions. Studies reveal the link between a high possibility of developing burnout and working conditions that are regarded as lacking in fair play or pregnant with a discriminating attitude.
Working in an atmosphere of dissent with coworkers.
Preventive measures and remedies
When the problem lies with unsatisfactory conditions in the workplace, an appeal to your supervisor and/or the human resource department may prove to provide a solution so long as your company is concerned with upholding a proper working atmosphere.
At worst, it is advisable to consider changing your job if nothing else could be done to avoid imminent burnout.
It is always worth your while to have at hand prepared anti-stress measures and strategies. Healthy lifestyle, including regular workouts, eating salubrious food, enjoying revitalizing sleep will take you a long way towards staying in a good form even with a stressful job.
You can rely on a vacation to take the edge off your stress, but don’t expect that it will prevent burnout. To make sure you do your best to avoid it, take regular time-off with lots of exercising and good rest for excellent recharging of your inner batteries.
Once you feel burnout is on top of you, and you may be sliding downwards into a depressive state soon, without wasting valuable time consult a specialist to organize a suitable treatment.