Burnout refers to a specific type of stress caused by prolonged work. It can be more prevalent among certain jobs over others. Here’s a quick look at what burnout is, how to recognise if you’re suffering from it and how you can get back to feeling like yourself again.
What is Burnout?
Burnout usually manifests as feelings of emptiness and mental or physical exhaustion. It is a result of too much work and not enough rest and relaxation. Here are a few signs that you might be suffering from burnout:
- You’re exhausted all the time.
- You feel negative or cynical about your job.
- You’re not as productive as you used to be.
- You’re irritable and keep snapping at loved ones.
How to Fix Burnout
Acknowledge there’s a problem
Burnout is a sign that your body needs a rest. When you realise that you’re facing burnout, it’s important that you pause and listen to your body. Take some time to recuperate, instead of ignoring the signals and continuing to work.
Know your stressors and avoid them
What is your main source of stress? Is it a specific aspect of work? A deadline? Make a note of what is stressing you out and try to work around it. For example, if you know that customers are going to be especially irritable around the time their debit orders have gone off, brace yourself mentally for this. Know that you’re going to have angry customers and don’t let it get to you. Focus on remaining calm and positive.
Try a relaxing activity
At the end of the day, do something that will relax you. Leave work at work no matter how bad or how good of a day it was. Work will still be there tomorrow and so will the customers. Make a concentrated effort to enjoy yourself outside of the workplace. For some people this could mean hitting the gym while others might prefer true crime documentaries on Netflix. Find the thing that brings you joy and indulge in it.
Get some sleep
Sometimes all you need is a good night’s rest. Make sure that you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Many people don’t think of sleep as a priority, however, it does affect your mood, your health and your productivity the next day. Long-term effects of sleep deprivation include illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Seek support from others
This can be your manager, a trusted friend or a family member. Speak to someone who can provide emotional support for you during this time. This might mean making your manager aware that you’re struggling or just informing your loved ones so that they are able to be there for you.
Keep Track of Positive Feedback
This may sound crazy but keep track of any compliments you may receive whether this is from a customer or your manager. Why? Because when you’re having a bad day and it seems like everyone you speak to is angry and shouting, you have the compliments to look back on.
Take Proper Breaks
Do NOT take your breaks at your desk. Try to take your breaks in a spot that has fresh air and sunshine. Take a walk or spend some time with a friend. It is vital that you get out and away from your desk.
Remember, burnout is fixable. You don’t have to feel demotivated and drained. What’s important is that you are aware of the signs when they hit so that you can find your way through it.