Burnout Signs and How to Deal with Them

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Burnout Signs and How to Deal with Them

If you are feeling burnout, you start to dislike what you are doing, feel incompetent at home and at work / Photo by Kaspars Grinvalds via 123RF


People who are having a high level of work stress may be at a high risk of burnout. This can leave a person feeling empty and exhausted. Burnout can also be followed by other physical and mental symptoms. If the condition is left ignored, it could be difficult for a person to function properly on a daily basis. 

Constant stress can leave you feeling helpless and things will look difficult. Burnout can threaten your career and your relationship with others. Knowing the warning signs as early as possible can help you take measures in preventing it. If in case you are at your breaking point, there are still a lot of things that can be done to get back on your feet.


What is burnout?

The term burnout was first coined in 1974 by Herber Freudenberger in his book “Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.” He said that burnout is “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

If you are feeling burnout, you start to dislike what you are doing, feel incompetent at home and at work. According to verywellmind.com, "Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.

Burnout is mainly caused by your job but your lifestyle can also be a contributing factor to this. Your personality and the way you think can contribute to burnout as well. People spend most of the day working. If you do not like your job, going to work, and do not feel satisfied with what you are doing, it can be detrimental and affect your quality of life. 

Burnout is mainly caused by your job but your lifestyle can also be a contributing factor to this / Photo by Ginasanders via 123RF


Are you on the road to burnout?

We all have bad days. We sometimes feel helpless and unappreciated. We have to drag ourselves to work. These feelings can be you being burned out. 

Burnout does not happen right away. It is a slow process but it can creep up on you. Burnout signs may be subtle in the beginning and then become worse later on. So if you feel the early symptoms of burnout, you have to do something about it. The first thing to do is to reduce your stress so that you can prevent breakdown. Ignoring burnout symptoms can burn you out. 

These signs and symptoms of burnout must be addressed to avoid total burnout. 

Lack of focus and forgetfulness – Early signs of burnout include lack of focus and forgetfulness. Later on, it causes your work to pile up and you cannot get work done. 

Fatigue – During the early stages of burnout, you will feel that you are tired most days. In later stages, you will have a dreadful feeling all of the time and you feel physically and emotionally drained. 

Insomnia – You might experience difficulty in falling asleep a night or two in a week. When the burnout is full blown,  you might experience insomnia.

Physical symptoms – There are various physical symptoms of burnout, such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, weak immune system, and loss of appetite. 

Anxiety and depression – There are symptoms of worry and tension during the early stages of burnout. When it gets worse, anxiety might become so serious that it can interfere with work and productivity that can cause problems in your personal life. 

Burnout can initially leave you feeling sad and hopeless. Later on, it can make you severely depressed.


Prevention and Treatment

Burnout may sound permanent but it can be reversed. However, if a person wants to treat the burned out feeling, according to verywellmind.com, there must be changes to the work environment. 

Regardless if you have an interesting or boring job, the best way to fight a job burnout is to find a job you really love. This may not be a practical solution since having a work that pays the bills is important. 

Even in mundane jobs, focus on the aspects of the job that is fun and enjoyable. Changing your attitude toward your career can help you find your purpose. If you do not like your job, find something to lift your spirits, such as doing volunteer work or spending time with family and friends. 

Taking time off is another way to prevent or treat burnout. Recharge and see new places, totally disconnecting yourself from work. Here are other ways to cope with burnout:

Get enough rest – Do not take rest for granted. Feeling tired can affect your mood, decision-making, and even work performance. 

Exercise – Exercise is a very effective method for stress and burnout. It can also improve your mood. Exercises for at least 30 minutes a day can lift your mood. 

Healthy diet – You are what you eat. Sweets can leave you feeling down. Caffeine can affect your mood; hence it is essential to take these in moderation.