Do you love your job?

Or did you love your job until you realised you’re completely burning yourself out to keep things going?

Burnout is a very real occupational disease that starts so slowly, you won’t notice it until it affects your ability to keep functioning optimally at work and even at home. Consistently elevated levels of work-related stress that burdens you over months and even years, will suddenly leave you feeling emotional, unmotivated, and utterly exhausted.

Many react to burnout by trying to push through it. This is quite possibly the worst thing you can do. The symptoms of burnout tell the sufferer to scale down, delegate, rest and recuperate.

The problem then comes in when the sufferer starts panicking about who will take over their duties, or whether they will be fired if they take some time off.

If this all sounds familiar to you, you are most likely already suffering from an advanced form of burnout. And the best thing you can do for yourself and your career, is to take a step back, acknowledge the problem and seek help.

Once you start becoming more emotional in the workplace, it’s time to speak up. Tell a friend, a colleague or even a superior that you’re struggling.

The next step is to keep an eye out for the physical symptoms which include severe headaches, stomach problems, sore and tense muscles, and even high blood pressure. All of these ailments are detrimental to your health and should be assessed by a medical professional.

Next comes feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem. You may be questioning whether you even deserve the position you have. The last step in severe burnout usually entails becoming detached from colleagues and a sharp decline in productivity.

What can be done once burnout has been established?

The good news here is that burnout can be overcome and even prevented in the future. Tracking stress levels is the first and perhaps most crucial step in achieving this. The best way to track your stress levels is to identify the triggers that cause you to become stressed and avoid them at all costs.

Establish a balanced routine. Ensure that for every two hours worked, you take at least a small break. Walk around the block or even just around the office.

Build a support network of colleagues and friends who can support and encourage you. Being able to talk about what you’re going through, is a stress reliever in itself.

Burnout recovery can be sped up by engaging in activities that you enjoy. For instance, if you’re able to, take a trip to the coast or go for a long hike. Go out to dinner regularly with friends and watch movies that encourage feelings of positivity.

Food also plays a significant role in recovery, as does a healthy sleep schedule. Fresh foods build up your immune system and makes you less vulnerable to repeated attacks of stress. Sleeping enough encourages mental focus and even physical strength.

Recovering from burnout can take up to a year. But do not let this discourage you. You can keep working during your recovery, as long as you set up boundaries, recognise when to say ‘no,’ and focus on your mental and physical health along the way.

Recommended Posts