Work Burnout: What It Is And How To Singe It Right Out Of Your Vocab

You know you have a problem when your work retreat to the rocky mountains makes you want to cry and cuddle up in a hole. Work burnout is a very real condition that's spreading fast, faster than your freshman-fifteen!

July 14, 2015
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Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administering stimulants to an exhausted nervous system. “Fire in the Belly: On Being A Man”

Burnout is becoming increasingly common in today’s workforce. Burnout is a feeling of dread and anxiety that begins in your workplace and ends up seeping into every aspect of your life. Not only is burnout emotional, but it also affects you physically and mentally due to overwork, demanding situations and instances where the outcome didn’t turn out as expected (Mind Tools). Burnout can affect relationships and your health in the blink of an eye so it is wildly important that you be on the lookout for the common signs.

Taking preventative measures can be incredibly helpful, but a lot of times you need to focus on coping. Stress is usually the main reason for burnout so, although it’s normal to feel mild stress, if it becomes all consuming this is extremely problematic.

9 Signs Of Burnout

1. Fatigue: An overwhelming desire to lay on your couch with a snuggie and box of pizza.

2. Lack of excitement: No longer do you get thrilled by sample sales or trips to the winery.

3. Pessimism: You’re lying at the pool and it’s too sunny, too hot, and the beer doesn’t taste quite right.

4.  Lack of focus: Your favorite series premiere came on, but you’re more focused on the crack in the ceiling than the big reveal.

5. Work decline: When your job performance slips from amazing to awful.

6. Withdrawal: When people have to say your name fifty times before you process they’re not talking to your pet rock.

7. Lack of personal care: Yoga pants are always a chill idea, but not when it’s for the fifth day in a row.

8. Bringing work life to your home life: Instead of ordering your favorite cocktail for your Sunday brunch you accidentally order a copy of your social media outreach spreadsheet. Well, that just got awkward.

9. Health decline: Before running three miles was a breeze, now it’s a miracle if you can take the stairs without falling into a heap.

How To Avoid It

1. Slow and steady wins the race: Look at the bigger picture of your goal. Although, it may seem like the best idea to put in a quadruple amount of overtime to get ahead you also need to remember that “you” time is important. Success doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t force it. And what’s the point of missing out on that float trip? If you’re so involved with your work you’re going to miss the surrounding lifeblood around you.

2. Pump some iron: Studies show that exercise is one of the BEST ways to reduce stress and keep one healthy. So grab your cutest Lululemon gear, press play on your favorite workout playlist, and go for a jog. Once you’re done you’ll feel happier and probably more fulfilled.

3. Indulge: Like we said before, “you” time is mega important. It’s important to indulge on the weekends. Turn off your work computer and don’t worry, your phone won’t all of a sudden disintegrate if you ignore it for an hour.

4. Namaste: Managing stress is crucial if you’re going to avoid the burnout bug. Take a yoga class, read a self-help book, even going for a stroll outside can help reduce those stress levels. *HUUUUUM*

5. Early bird gets the worm: Time management is key. If you’re feeling overworked try spreading it out over a longer period of time. Waking up an hour early can do wonders for your productivity. Enjoying the silence with some coffee and early morning sunshine makes that to-do list not quite so ugly.

Recovering from Work Burnout

1. Vacation: A vacation is a great first step in recovering from work burnout. It’s crucial to disengage yourself from the problem at hand. Going on a vacation is the best way to refresh yourself and breath life into your daily habits. Wiggle your toes in that white sand and sure, why not have a second mai tai.

2. Lists: Next make a list of your work goals. What was your intention when you accepted this position? Have you reached your goals or made any headway? Are you strutting your stuff or still in that dusty corner cubicle?

3. No Means No: Learn to say no. When you overcommit this can lead to a burnout. Just say, “No Margery, I will not take on your 30-hour project.”

4. Reprioritize: Discover what really matters to you. If your job is no longer making you happy see if there’s ways you can shift and refocus. If not then maybe it’s time to look into other jobs. No harm in looking. I mean LinkedIn was created for a reason.

5. Be Positive: This is A LOT easier said than done, but once you start it becomes easier. When you feel like you’re at a breaking point try to step outside, grab a drink, and just clear your head. You know what that feeling is? Yes, that’s the feeling of happiness.

Work burnout is a very real and frustrating problem, but if you follow some of these tips and create a good support system you can get out of this slump in no time at all.

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