Living in a fast-paced and stressful world, burnout is common for many people.
According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly every fifth child or teenager and every fourth adult will be affected by burnout. The situation is so prevalent that the WHO has considered burnout as a disease in its list of globally recognized diseases.
Furthermore, a recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. That means about two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job.
Given how widespread and common burnout is, it is important that people treat burn out seriously, learn the possible signs and how to cope with it.
What Exactly Is Burnout?
According to the WHO, burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.
8 Signs You Could Have A Burnout Right Now
1. You Are Exhausted
Do you feel like you can’t think anymore? Do you feel that your legs can give in anytime and your body feels void of any energy? If yes, then you are probably exhausted or on the brink of exhaustion. Exhaustion is probably one of the most common and obvious signs of burnout and you may experience physical, mental or emotional exhaustion.
2. A Sudden Rush Of Negative Emotions
A wave of negative emotions may hit you. You start feeling that everything you do is useless, nothing matters. You become offended easily and it often leads to a sudden burst of anger that you normally don’t associate yourself with. If not resolved soon, depression may set in.
3. You Feel Unmotivated To Do Anything
You feel indifferent to anything and there is no longer that fire in you to keep pushing through. Once you hit the bed, you find it almost impossible to get up to complete your work, unless someone forcefully pulls you up.
4. Your Concentration Wanes
You start to get distracted easily. You find that you cannot focus on something for more than a few seconds or minutes and your negative thoughts are always on your mind.
5. Your Work Performances Deteriorates
With negative thoughts always on your mind, a lack of motivation and exhaustion, you may inevitably make more mistakes. This causes your work performance to drop drastically.
6. Unhealthy Habits Form
You may feel an urge to turn to alcohol, drugs or junk food. Additionally, you could end up sleeping too little or eating too much. This is when you lose all self-control you previously had, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If these unhealthy habits continue, your health may significantly deteriorate and a host of health problems will appear, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, obesity and more.
7. Finding It Tough Falling Asleep
You may find yourself thinking unnecessarily throughout the night and staring into blank space. You jump from one thought to another and your mind never really powers off, keeping you awake at night.
8. A Possible Headache
According to a study by Herbert Freudenberger, the psychologist who coined the concept of burnout, he discovered that burnout could cause frequent headaches. Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove this, it could happen in some people.
The Solution To A Burnout
1. Longer Breaks
A burnout could be a sign that you are not taking enough breaks to relax or rest. Try scheduling a longer break in the future to ensure you charge up your energy sufficiently before jumping on to other tasks.
2. Do The Activities You Love
To alleviate the effects of burnout, engage in activities you love more often. It can be more frequent holidays, going to a spa every fortnight or having a longer dedicated gaming session every week with your friends. The main aim is to do what you love so that you can wind down during that time.
3. Sleep Early
A burnout could last for a few hours or even a day at a time. Thus, try taking a short nap or sleeping early so that through the night, your body can recharge and possibly break free from the burnout.