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BURNOUT - Causes & Prevention

Have you ever or are you currently experiencing the feeling of being professionally burnt out? Have you found yourself feeling cynical or critical at work? Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started? Even on our best days, stress can start to feel like it is weighing us down, too much of that stress can quickly lead to burnout. 

In this blog we discuss some common causes of burnout at work, how to identify stressors, and ways to improve your remote mindset at work. 

If you think you might need medical or mental health assistance, please contact a professional right away. The content of this article is solely based on first hand experience. 

Job burnout is a very real and often overlooked type of work-related stress. It typically manifests as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that can also result in a reduced sense of accomplishment and loss of personal and professional identity. While "burnout" isn't a medical diagnosis, many experts think that other conditions, such as depression and anxiety, are likely behind burnout.

Whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health. 

Common reasons why burnout happens:  

  • Unmanageable workload
  • Lack of role clarity
  • Lacking communication and support from management 
  • Unreasonable time pressure or unclear job expectations. 
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics.
  • Work-life imbalance. 

Are you unsure if you are suffering from burnout at work? Ask yourself:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach problems, or other physical complaints?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be experiencing work-related burnout. Consider talking to a doctor or a mental health provider because these symptoms can also be related to health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. 

Identifying stressors and addressing problems before burnout is essential. If you’re feeling any of the identifying signs of stress, talk to your employer right away. Take the necessary steps to effectively manage your calendar so you ensure you’re taking breaks, eating healthy (preferably not at your desk) to properly fuel your body and mind, and set very clear boundaries between your work and personal life to maintain a healthy balance. 

 Handling job burnout

Here are a few effective methods to help combat the feelings associated with burnout: 

  • Evaluate your options. Take time to meet with your supervisors to discuss your concerns. 
    • Employer: Opening the door to open communication will help your employees feel comfortable so you can work together to create a plan, set goals, and obtain healthy solutions.  cit.
  • Seek support. Whether you reach out to coworkers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. 
    • Employer: Create an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services available to your employees. 
  • Try a relaxing activity. Yoga, meditation, or tai chi are a few examples of activities that can help with stress 
    • Employer: Provide your employees with one of the many available meditation apps such as Calm or The Mindfulness App
  • Get some exercise. Physical activity has been proven to help reduce stress. Take breaks throughout the day to take a walk or workout. 
    • Employer: Create a culture that celebrates physical activities such as, implementing an annual 5k walk/run, starting a step competition, making virtual yoga or other fitness classes available to the entire team. 

There are many options to help ward off the feeling of being burnt out at work. Keeping an open mind is key when considering the different options available to you. The most important takeaway of all is to not let a demanding or unrewarding job have any say over your overall health and wellness.

 Apps That Can Help

Try these mindfulness apps to help keep yourself focused on your personal wellbeing and ward off all feelings of stress and professional burnout. 

Headspace - Need a personal trainer to help you establish daily meditation routines? This is the app for you! 

Calm - Guided meditation, soothing sounds, and more are available with calm.com

The Mindfulness App - New to mindfulness? This is a great app for beginners! 

Mindfulness Coach - developed to help veterans, service members, and others learn to practice mindfulness. 

Breathe2Relax- a stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.

Simple Habit - A 5-minute meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better..

Happify - Do you like playing games on your phone? Happify turns the latest innovations in positive psychology, CBT, and mindfulness into activities and games to bring mindfulness to your negative thoughts and energy. 

Aloe Bud - Gently remind yourself of daily life tasks and check on your well-being, designed to bring self-care to the forefront.


Remember, if you are experiencing feelings of being stressed or anxious at work or at home, please make an appointment with your healthcare provider to help. Your physical and mental wellbeing should be handled with the utmost care.  

 

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Melissa Filich Blog Bio


 

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