Burnout occurs when one experiences constant and prolonged stress at work. If you feel like you can never stay on top of the demands, it can result in exhaustion and affect your physical well-being, mental state, and job performance and satisfaction. Are you feeling burnt out at work? Here’s what you should do:
Recognize the Signs
Just like with any condition, the sooner symptoms of burnout are noticed, the easier it will be to treat and have a more successful outcome. Recognize the signs of burnout, which include: a chronic change in mood, such as feelings of anxiety, irritability, or sadness, a steep drop in motivation or engagement for your performance, or difficulty focusing. Check-in with yourself regularly to determine if workplace stress comes and goes or if it’s verging on burnout.
Burnout can become a cycle in which you are so emotionally depleted that you don’t have the drive to care for your mind and body. Unfortunately, this can make burnout even worse and more difficult to overcome. Practice self-care to put yourself in a better state to approach your workdays. Prioritize getting enough sleep, eating nutritional meals, being physically active, and making time for socializing or leisure activities that bring you joy. The boost in energy and mood can empower you to handle your work demands more effectively.
Adjust Your Expectations
Sometimes burnout is the result of one’s own mindset, such as striving for perfectionism or feeling like you have to go excessively above and beyond to prove yourself. Adjust your expectations of yourself to help reduce burnout. Establish boundaries and don’t answer emails or work outside of normal hours, politely decline taking on extra work if you are swamped, and ask for clarification on desired results for tasks and projects so you don’t overwork.
Take Time Off
Often burnout results from not having a break from work and not getting the opportunity to rest and recharge. Take time off, whether it’s a week-long vacation or just a day or two. You may find that your depleted energy gets restored, and your work doesn’t feel as overwhelming when you return. This can also be applied to your day-to-day, such as taking a lunch break away from your desk or other short breaks throughout the day.
Talk to Your Boss
If you have tried to combat burnout on your own and nothing is working, you need to reach out for support and ask for help. Talk to your boss – frame it in a way that focuses on your desire to perform and address challenges, rather than complaining. Let them know what issues you have been facing and ask what solutions are possible so you can get back on track. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but your boss knows that burnout can cost them their best talent and would rather know about it before it’s too late to fix it.
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