Job burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis; it’s a type of work-related stress that causes one to be in a state of emotional or physical exhaustion. It also entails a loss of personal identity and a sense of reduced accomplishment.
According to experts, burnout is closely linked to other conditions such as depression. Researchers have also pointed out that the experiences of job burnout are influenced by family life and personality traits among other individual factors. Whatever the cause, job burnout is harmful to your mental and physical health.
Some jobs, such as medical careers, can cause burnout as has happened during the COVID-19 period. As such, you need to be well prepared before you take on the doctor nursing career. Today’s complex healthcare environment could make you face unprecedented challenges, which can cause burnout.
It is, therefore, important that for you to know when you have a job burnout and get to know what you can do about it.
Signs of job burnout
If you’re worried that you could be experiencing job burnout but are unsure of the signs, here is a list of symptoms that you ought to look out for:
- Isolation – burnout may cause an individual to feel overwhelmed, which as a result will make them not socialize and confide in co-workers, friends, and family members.
- Exhaustion – Burnout causes one to feel emotionally and physically depleted; symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, and changes in sleep or appetite may occur.
- Escape fantasies – When dissatisfied with the unending job demands, people with job-related burnout may fantasize about going on a solo vacation or even running away. Extreme cases of burnout may one to turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of numbing emotional pain.
- Frequent illnesses – just like other long-term stress, burnout lowers the human immune system; this could make you more susceptible to several ailments such as insomnia, flu, or colds. It can also cause critical mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.
- Irritability – Burnout can also make you lose your cool more easily with co-workers, friends, and family members. Dealing with usual stressors such as driving kids to school, preparing for a work meeting, and working on household tasks may cause you to have an insurmountable feeling, more so if things don’t happen as planned.
How to prevent burnout
Most importantly, you need a good routine and to get things done the right way; eventually, these habits become everyday essentials, and you will realize a drastic shift in your motivation, ability to sleep, energy levels, and overall wellbeing.
Here are some important aspects that can help prevent job burnout:
1. Ensure the job you’re doing is right for you
You shouldn’t let your job continue to feed chronic stress; you may never feel as though you can truly beat the burnout feeling. If it happens, then it might be time to change your job. While this sounds drastic, don’t feel guilty to put your health above your job if it’s harming you. Based on a research survey conducted by Deloitte, on workplace burnout, about half of the respondents said work-related burnout made them quit their job. Don’t stress yourself; there’s always a perfect job for you, which will make the feelings of burnout swiftly become history.
2. Set realistic boundaries
In almost every aspect of life, healthy boundaries hold the key to success. You will prevent yourself from work burnout if you set boundaries between your leisure time and work life. Lack of boundaries could make your work life creep into your personal life without noticing.
When balancing the boundaries between your work and life, consider your job demands and keep in mind that things can change any time and day.
If you must occasionally stay back at work an extra hour, don’t stress; remember, that’s what you want to avoid! But as long as you don’t consistently breach the boundaries or feel like you’re burning out slowly, it’s okay. Healthy boundaries ensure you remain mentally fresh to consistently perform well and achieve both work and personal life success.
3. Unplug regularly
Currently, we live in a highly connected world. As such, you need to incorporate a digital detox into your schedule to help you remember to detach yourself from the hustle of the world for a short while. If you feel like you’re burning out, the best way to get yourself back in prime form is unplugging from technology and your day-to-day schedules.
You may switch off technology momentarily for a weekend at home and connect with your hobbies or loved ones. You could also take a road trip or go camping if you feel Wi-Fi will tempt you at home.
Unplugging boosts your mood, reboots your brain, and allows you to sleep better. It can also help spark new hobbies and passions.
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential aspect of our wellbeing and health; this includes avoiding burnout. Burnout and sleep deprivation go hand in hand since overworking and chronic stress impact the quality of our sleep. You need to get quality sleep of 7 – 9 hours, with the minimum time range being at least 6 hours.
Longer and better sleep comes naturally after implementing changes in your life, such as avoiding burnout and reducing chronic stress. Burning out will make you struggle with insomnia since you have been deprived of the ability to switch off. When you deal with the issue of burnout and stress, your body will automatically follow suit.
To fully overcome the issue of burnout, try not to expose yourself to continual stress. Make self-care part of your daily routine and sprinkle some joy each day – even if you’re studying for exams, working long hours, or taking care of children. You could also try talking to a friend, going for a walk, or watch an enjoyable program. These simple self-care gestures will stop stress from creating more serious issues like burnout.