Burnout is an increasingly common phenomenon, and it’s not exclusive to overachievers or perfectionists. Burnout symptoms can affect anyone who’s juggling multiple roles or finding it difficult to cope with workplace demands.
You’ve just landed your dream job, and for the next few months, you put 110% into everything you do. You’re the first one in every morning and the last to leave.
You work through nights, weekends, and public holidays, rarely stopping to come up for air. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, a shift occurs.
You’re mentally exhausted, chronically unhappy, and struggling to sleep. In other words, you’re starting to experience burnout symptoms.
Here’s everything you need to know about recognizing burnout symptoms and tackling them to improve your mental health and work performance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in its International Classification of Diseases. Even though burnout isn’t classified as a medical condition, WHO notes that experiencing burnout symptoms may prompt people to reach out to health services for help.
If you’re crumbling under the pressures of work-related stress, you’re not alone. A 2020 survey by FlexJobs and Mental Health America found that 75% of workers experienced burnout, and 40% said it was a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The signs of burnout are easy to spot: Your work no longer interests you, you lose the will to do a good job, and you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.
Burnout is so prevalent among working professionals that even major companies are beginning to recognize its adverse effects on workplace productivity and satisfaction. LinkedIn recently announced the decision to give its 15,900 employees a paid week off to prevent burnout.
Burnout symptoms can easily be mistaken for a bad day, but the truth is that its effects are much more damaging. A full-fledged burnout can last weeks or even months if it goes unaddressed. Over time, the effects of burnout can take a severe toll on your health and possibly lead to depression, anxiety, and depersonalization.
The causes of burnout symptoms can differ from person to person, but here are some of the most common triggers:
You won’t experience burnout symptoms one day out of the blue. Instead, they appear in stages, but it’s important to note that personal experiences with burnout can differ from person to person.
Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North outlined 12 stages of burnout signs, which include:
Though burnout symptoms may persist for a while if left untreated, the good news is that they can be prevented. Here are some of our top tips for avoiding burnout.
It’s not always easy to ask for help, and the last thing you may want to do is show your colleagues or your boss that you’re incapable of handling your job.
However, if you’re feeling swamped, it’s essential to have a conversation with your boss about reducing the volume of your workload or setting more attainable deadlines. More often than not, burnout is directly linked to a large workload, so taking certain things off your plate can help you focus more on other tasks.
Most importantly, managing your workload is the best way to achieve a work-life balance. Ultimately, your day can’t start and end with work; you also need to free up time to do things for yourself and spend time with your loved ones.
If you’re experiencing burnout symptoms, then it’s essential to take a step back from work and focus on self-care, especially if you’ve been neglecting it.
Be sure to eat better, limit your alcohol intake, and set aside some time for yourself to unwind every day. Spend that time doing something that’s either relaxing or fulfilling, whether that’s curling up in bed with a good book or going out for a nice meal with your family.
Sleep is your superpower. Not only can getting sufficient sleep help you feel well-rested in the mornings, but it also has several other benefits, including memory consolidation, weight regulation, and boosting creativity.
In addition to getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, it’s important to invest in the most comfortable mattress to ensure a good night’s sleep. The right mattress can be hard to find, especially when there are so many options available, but just be sure to look for something that provides a good balance of support and comfort. A hybrid mattress ticks both boxes since it combines the firmness of traditional innerspring with the contouring comfort of memory foam.
Regular exercise isn’t just good for the body; it’s also good for the mind. A study conducted on nurses found that those who did yoga regularly reported that their work-related stress levels were lower and improved sleep quality.
Burnout symptoms can be overwhelming, but it’s also a sign that you need to take a step back from work and prioritize your health. Identifying the burnout signs and taking proactive measures to address them can help you beat burnout and come out of the other side stronger and more productive.
Do you experience burnout symptoms? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.