Occupational Burnout - Recognizing the signs
“Self-care has become a new priority – the revelation that it’s perfectly permissible to listen to your body and do what it needs.” ― Frances Ryan
Burnout - lets talk about it!
It’s one of those subjects that often gets mentioned, but never really discussed. I think it’s time to change that.
I am actually quite surprised that in today’s day and age it has not been classified as a medical condition yet, because let’s face it – it is.
Burnout is very popular and happens more often than people would like to admit. It’s that state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, caused by prolonged, work-related stress. In order to come up with ways of avoiding it, let’s break down the definition to see how each of the factors can be FIXED!
Emotional exhaustion is a state of feeling emotionally worn out and drained. This can be easily improved by ensuring we eat right, take technology breaks, meet with our friends, and of course exercise. Yes, many people could argue that exercise is a suggested remedy for almost everything nowadays, but in this case it is true. Exercise releases chemical endorphins to the brain which triggers a positive feeling in your body. So there, we have proof that going for a run or taking that HIIT class is worth it!
Mental exhaustion is similar, but the symptoms can be more severe, as the person experiencing this feeling starts to be detached, showing apathy towards their work colleagues and the work itself. The first thing to do if possible is to remove the stressor. If it is an overwhelming task at work, perhaps speak to your Supervisor – see if they could offer you some help. Don’t feel that you have to go through this alone.
Again, try to eat well and stay active, but also practice relaxation techniques like yoga, massage, or mindfulness – all scientifically recognized to lower stress and anxiety.
Physical exhaustion is an extreme state of unrelenting fatigue and sometimes it can be brought on by the previously mentioned mental exhaustion. Being in this state can cause dizziness, chronic tiredness, and headaches, which if untreated can lead to moodiness, slow reflexes or even bad judgement/decision making.
Get some sleep! Clocking in your 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night can restore well-being. Set aside some time each day to stretch and try eating foods that improve your energy level, like nuts, fish, and cheese. Magnesium is an essential mineral to promote a healthy nervous system, energy production, and for muscle relaxation.
Also, if you ever notice that someone around you is starting to display any of the above signs, see if they are ok, offer them help. Trust me, it will make their day!