By Kira Morgan, Big Yam Agency
No, not the political kind, (that’s the Bern, not the burn) but the sort of burn you feel from burning the candle at both ends. (Explaining the joke only makes it funnier- right?)
Most of us won’t admit it but there comes a time when the pressure is on at work. You can’t seem to meet deadlines, there’s too much to accomplish in the day and not enough time. Every day there seems to be a crisis. You don’t mean to, but you find yourself getting testy with co-workers, you can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning, and every day is a struggle. But what are we taught to do? Put on a brave face, throw on the cape and become the office superhero.
Well, I’m here to tell you, everything is going to be okay and you are not alone! You may be suffering from work “burnout,” a condition that is now officially recognized by the professional health community. And while most may consider burnout just a term, it is officially a medical condition that occurs when chronic workplace stress is not being successfully managed.
WORK BURNOUT IS REAL
According to The World Health Organization, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress,” and is characterized by the following:
- 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
RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF WORK BURNOUT
According to Very Well Mind, if you are experiencing any of the following at work, you may be at or on the verge of burnout.
- No interest in work-related activities
- Feeling drained, lack of energy to get work done
- Difficulty concentrating and lacking creativity
For more information, visit https://www.verywellmind.com/stress-and-burnout-symptoms-and-causes-3144516.
CAUSES OF WORK BURNOUT
According to a 2018 report by Gallup, employee burnout has five main causes:
- Unreasonable time pressure: Employees who feel they do not have enough time to do their work are at a higher risk for burnout.
- Lack of communication and support from a manager: Employees who feel strongly supported by their manager are 70 percent less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.
- Lack of role clarity: Only 60 percent of workers know what is expected of them. Those that do not know may become exhausted simply trying to figure out what they should be doing.
- Unmanageable workload: When the workload feels unmanageable, feeling overwhelmed can quickly lead to burnout.
- Unfair treatment: Employees who feel they are treated unfairly at work are 2.3 times more likely to experience a high level of burnout. Situations such as favoritism, unfair compensation and mistreatment from a co-worker all fall under this.
ADDRESSING WORK BURNOUT
Most of us have experienced work burnout at one time or another, but the good news is that it is hopefully temporary and reversible! By making some changes, you can help regain control of your life and mental well-being. Here are some of my personal suggestions:
- Plan and take a vacation
- Take a mental health day off
- Exercise before work
- Eat healthier
- Find a hobby to enjoy outside of work
- Take regularly scheduled breaks from your desk (go for a walk, etc.)
- Tune out and listen to some music
- Do some breathing exercises
- Get a massage
- Talk to your boss and/or HR
- Change your attitude
If you are still unsure if you may be experiencing work burnout, visit https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress and take the survey. Hopefully, the above methods, and recognizing that you are not alone, will help create a happier and healthier workplace environment.
Still in need of other ideas? Check out our blog on 5 Healthy Habits That Will Boost Your Productivity at Work.