They say being ambitious is the way to success. I have always had the ambition to succeed in the entrepreneurial world. I worked a lot to achieve my goal. However, to reach my desire, I became a workaholic because of my obsession.
The human body is made to strive, but there comes a time when it starts to give up. This is what happened to me. I can recall a time in my career when things became extremely challenging.
Every morning, trudging to the desk, I felt like I would win over the world, but as soon as I made it to my desk, my mind used to go blank. I used to stare at my laptop screen for quite some time. Even if I managed to complete most of the tasks on my to-do list, I felt completely hopeless.
I discussed my workday woes with my partner, and she had only one thing to say, “Honey, these are the signs of burnout from work. You need to slow down.”
Then I realized that she might be true. I was overexerting my mind and body, and as a result, my body couldn’t function properly. Least to say that my experience was brutal. It also made me realize how difficult it is to identify the signs of burnout from work.
So, here’s a comprehensive article on how you can identify your burnout and what to do with it.
What Is Burnout from Work?
Burnout is simply a state of physical as well as mental exhaustion. If you’re experiencing overwhelming stress at your work, or you have worked physically or emotionally for a long time, then you can burn out. It is difficult to identify if it’s burnout or mere exhaustion. For quite some time, I ignored my mental and physical state, thinking it was probably just exhaustion. Little did I know my body was begging me to slow down.
Why Should You Be Concerned About Burnout?
As opposed to exhaustion, burnout won’t get better on its own. There are chances for it to get worse if the symptoms won’t address the underlying issues causing it. If you ignore the signs of burnout from work, you could cause further harm to your body.
This burnout can harm your mental and physical health in the future. Eventually, you won’t exude the same energy and enthusiasm in your work. Your disturbed body won’t allow you to meet the demands of your job. This is the last thing you want to happen, isn’t it?
Do you know burnout is quite prevalent in work areas? However, it is vastly misunderstood.
What Are The Crucial Factors That Can Contribute To Burnout?
- Money worries:
Well, mental health indeed goes hand in hand with financial stability. They overwork to make their ends meet and end up burning themselves out.
- Physical health:
People usually forget about basic body needs like adequate food and water while they’re immersed in work. Exercises, for some, are a waste of time. Little did they know how much harm they were posing to their bodies with this lack of physical activities.
You need a good night’s sleep to start your day with a fresh mind. If you immerse yourself in an overwhelming amount of work in your sleep hours, too, trust me, you’re saving no time. I’ve been there and have learned the truth the hard way.
Signs You’re Burnout from Work
As I mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to identify the signs of burnout. Here’s a list of a few signs of burnout from work.
- Lingering exhaustion:
Do you feel tired, stressed, or exhausted all the time? It’s because you’re burnt out. Mind you; exhaustion isn’t just physical. It can be emotional as well. It’s the sense of having no or low energy and being completely spent.
- Lack of motivation:
As a workaholic, I felt enthusiastic every morning when I set off to work. But as time passed, my enthusiasm and motivation slumped. Being unmotivated is one of the signs of burnout from work. You will have to drag yourself and your mind out of bed every morning to go to work.
- Negative emotions:
When your mind isn’t relaxed or immensely stressed, negative feelings like frustration, cynicism, and skepticism start creeping into your thoughts. You might notice that you’ve become a bit pessimistic. Everybody experiences negative emotions, but it’s time to work on yourself when you notice the unusual change in your thoughts.
- Cognitive issues:
If you need to conquer the world of work, keep your focus unwavering. But with chronic stress and burnout, you can lose your ability to stay attentive or concentrate on something. This lack of focus or concentration cannot only harm your work but can affect your other aspects of life as well.
- Inadequate job performance:
Not sure of its burnout or just tiredness? Compare your current job performance with your performance of previous years or months. If there’s a drastic change and you have noticed your work accomplishments becoming lesser, it’s probably burnout.
- Personal work and private problems:
Your chronic mental exhaustion can affect your relationships. I’m talking about both work and family relations. You may notice that you’re having more conflicts with people at work and getting frustrated by every little thing at your home. You withdraw yourself from discussing any issue with your coworkers and family members. You might be physically present, but you’re tuned out.
- Not taking care of yourself:
When people burn out, they tend to not care about their physical fitness. They may engage in harmful coping strategies like smoking, drinking too much, eating junk, not having enough sleep, and not eating enough.
Some people even try self-medication like taking sleeping pills to sleep, etc. This makes matters worse.
- Worrying about work after work hours:
Even though you might not be at work, your mind will seem stuck at your workplace. Your mental energy is frequently being used, which would add significant stress to your mind. If you want to recover from this lingering exhaustion, you must take time for yourself after your work task stops.
- Decreased satisfaction:
The biggest setback of burnout is that you don’t get satisfied anymore. I was once a person that celebrates small accomplishments. But then a time came in my life when no big or small success would cheer me up. I felt like I was going nowhere near my aim, and this feeling stressed me out so much.
- Health problems:
Chronic stress and tension, which are signs of burnout from work, expose you to myriad other health issues. Your whole body can get affected along with your mind. Eventually, your mental and physical performance will slump down drastically. For a person obsessed with work like me, this mental and physical capacity feels like they’re chained.
What to do when you’re Experiencing Signs of Burnout from Work?
When I realized what wrong I had done to my mind and body, I immediately slowed down. Here are the few things that helped me feel better.
- Taking relaxation seriously:
Your brain is overworked, and your body is stressed; you need to take your relaxation seriously. Do whatever relaxes your mind. For me, good music and family time take off so much stress from my head. Relaxation doesn’t mean taking a nap or not doing anything. Do whatever makes you forget your work life for a bit.
- Invest your time in a non-work life:
There must be something other than work that you’re passionate about. Anything engaging, challenging, and gets you going can help you recover from your burnout.
I find solace and peace in reading books, and after-work workouts were a great refresher.
Yes, indeed, communication technology can immensely enhance productivity. However, it can also promote work stressors to seep into your friends and family time, social activities, and vacation. Set your boundaries; turn off your cell phones when you’re with your friends and family, at dinner. Delegate specific times to check important messages or emails.
- Get adequate sleep:
If you’re sleeping less than six hours every night, you’re pushing your body to get burnout. Poor or inadequate sleep can hamper your productivity both physically and mentally. It can lead to fatigue, stress, decreased motivation, and extreme lethargy. It can even impair the cognitive and mental functions that would lead you susceptible to mistakes and errors. You can find it difficult to meet your deadlines because your brain and body are no longer willing to cooperate.
When you’ve recognized the signs of burnout from work, your first strategy should be altering your work schedule. You need to separate your work from your personal life. Also, overstressing over anything, be it your whole career or a simple deadline, would call a disaster. I learned my lesson after suffering a lot; I hope this article helps you realize and contemplate that it’s time you should slow down.