Burnout at work is for real, say experts. Look for these warning signs and how to fix each of them.
Do you get to work early and leave when the shutters are going down? Are you the first to skip weekend plans with friends, preferring to head to work instead? You have no desire to attend to friends, family gatherings, and relaxed luncheons; come cough, cold, mild fever, all you want to do is attend to the task in hand. And all you ever think of is the multiple files sitting at your desk?
If the answer is a loud yes, STOP. Read the writing on the wall: you are headed for a serious burnout. And if left unchecked, chronic stress can lead to digestive problems, heart disease, depression and obesity. Here are some ways to catch the stress-killer early and combat it like a ninja.
BLUNT COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Burnout reflects on how you’re dealing with interpersonal relationships. Conflicts with other people, habitually getting into arguments or poor communication with your colleagues, friends and family members shows that you’re fighting chronic stress.
Often, biting off more than you can chew raises frustration levels and this affects social behaviour. Know when enough is enough. Learn to say ‘no’ and don’t take on more work than you can manage.
Being perpetually tired is an obvious symptom of burnout. You can experience this severe lack of energy at various levels – mental, emotional, and physical. Watch out if you suffer from frequent headaches, tight shoulders, a stiff neck or constipation.
Ensure that you eat your meals on time, get enough sleep and take a break in between work. These simple measures will ensure that you don’t fall prey to exhaustion despite a hectic professional life.
While experiencing negative emotions at some point is fine, a constant state of pessimism is worrisome and could even push you to a permanent and difficult nadir of disillusionment.
Speak to your bosses about it. Come to an understanding that will help you make your work life bearable. Communication always helps create a better, positive work environment. It will definitely help reduce your cynicism.
FOREVER ON CALL
Although you may not be physically present at work, if you’re mentally preoccupied with work 24×7, then your work is consuming you.
Set boundaries by turning off cell phones during meals and delegating only certain times to check emails.
COULDN’T BE BOTHERED
When suffering from burnout, people let themselves go completely. They tend to follow unhealthy coping strategies like drinking too much alcohol, chain-smoking, overdosing on caffeine, being desk-bound, constantly consuming junk food or not eating enough and sleeping less.
If it helps to take off for three weeks and go for a detox programme, so be it. Come back rejuvenated,healthy and stick to an eight to nine-hour work schedule.
TENDENCY TO FEEL DISSATISFIED
Nothing makes you happy; all you think of is how things could have been better at home, work and in your social life. It’s not you; it is the exhaustion talking.
Accept your situation and peace out, or let go and be happy. If you are unable to help yourself, it will not hurt to seek professional therapy.
POOR PERFORMANCE AT WORK
The thing about burnout is that it reflects on your performance only over a period of time. A good way to check your exhaustion levels is by reviewing your performance; comparing your strengths and results from the time you started to now.
If you find yourself going down the ladder, pause, reflect and take a break. Sometimes, it may not be an external factor; it could be an impending internal issue that you’re not dealing with because of which you’re preoccupying yourself with work. Think about it.
If it is getting increasingly hard for you to get out of the house and head to work, ask yourself, is it worth the stress? When you no longer have that internal motivation to work, there is a chance you’re too exhausted to bring anything to the table.
TRY THIS: Cultivate a lucrative nonwork life. Find something outside work that you are passionate about, that is engaging and gets you going – whether it’s dance or swimming.
DON’T TAKE RELAXATION SERIOUSLY
Whether you are chanting, meditating, listening to peaceful music, reading a book, taking a walk or hanging out with friends, all you think of is how these activities are consuming your time.
Relaxation is important. Change your attitude and take it seriously.
Article Courtesy: Times of India