Being burned out is not something you can leave at the workplace. It affects your personal life and relationships just as deeply.
As defined by the Association of Psychological Science, a burnout is the fatigue, cynicism and declined professional performance that comes with work-related stress. A burnout is not something you can leave at the workplace. It affects your personal life and relationships just as deeply. Without proper care, it can lead to chronic anxiety and depression and contribute to threatening factors such as heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and even stroke.
Here are 8 signs you might be burning out:
1. Lack of Motivation
Any task seems overwhelming, which turns into an overall lack of motivation whenever you face a task. This often turns into constant procrastination, making you feel like you can never catch up on your responsibilities.
2. Loss of Enthusiasm
The constant overwhelming feeling to finish tasks has affected your enthusiasm for the things you once used to enjoy. You have lost most, if not all, lustre for life and things appear to be gloomy all the time.
3. Constant Exhaustion
From the moment you wake up to the last step you take before getting into bed – you feel exhausted. You may drink a lot of coffee and get more than 8 hours of sleep a day with the best air purifier running all night, but this feeling of exhaustion still won’t leave you.
4. Around the Clock Negativity
You have lost sight of life’s small pleasures and you no longer stop to smell the roses. This unenthusiastic behavior has transformed you into a cynical and sarcastic person.
5. Worsened Health
You may still think that you are taking care of yourself, but seasonal colds and changes in the weather have begun to affect you greatly compared to in the past. The constant stress of your lifestyle has taken a toll on your immune system.
6. Lack of Self-Esteem
All efforts to overcome your daily struggles, no matter how minuscule or important, seem in vain, which have impacted your self-esteem. You are your toughest critic, but when you assume this role around the clock, you can only hope for your self-esteem to hit rock bottom.
7. Interpersonal Problems
Your sloping performance at work and growing dissatisfaction in general have crossed over to other relationships. Once a place where you could unwind, life at home has become a constant test for your patience. Relationships with others are difficult to maintain and interactions often end up in an unpleasant note.
8. Workaholic Mentality
Sure, work plays a major source of stress, but it is the only thing that keeps you stable. Or so you think. You believe work to be the only beacon of light in the stormy sea of your life, when in reality it is the steel ball and chain around your ankle that keeps you from swimming to the surface.
Any of these eight burnout signs should be taken seriously and inspire you to take action. The following story is a powerful account of a recovered burnout. However, it is important to note that you need to be patient and consistent while coping with your own burnout.
It may take longer for some to recover over others, and the below tips can provide you with a general guide of where to start:
1. Slow Down
You need a break. If you can, find a way to arrange an extended vacation or even a sabbatical. If an extended leave is not possible, try to take at the least one week off. It is essential that you take some time off from your work routine to regain a clear insight.
During this break, take the time to do the things you love. Enjoy quality time with people that bring happiness to your life, go out and rediscover your town through food and drinks, and take up that hobby you always wanted to begin. From barefoot running to scuba-diving, the key is to encourage positive experiences, because the more you have them, the more they will encourage a positive behavior within you. This refreshing time should help you regain a clear outlook into your life.
2. Reevaluate Your Priorities
Once you have had some time to regain some joy, take a minute to assess what is most important to you in life. Make a list from the most important things to the least, and now compare that list to a second one.
For this second list, start with the things you have exerted most of your attention into during the past few months. You might find that your attention has been focused on the things that make you most stressed, and that you have been putting little to no time on the things that bring you the most joy.
Be mindful of how much time you spend on your gadgets. From cellphones, to tablets and computers, to video games and television. Tech products were made to entertain you or to help you with everyday tasks, but they have become so accessible and portable that it has most likely stripped you from much of your free time.
Designate specific times to check your email, watch television and play
video games. When you are around people, put your gadgets in silent or turn
them off completely. They key is to get you back into a routine in which you don’t consume most of your free time looking at a screen.
4. Cultivate a Rich Life Outside of Work
When was the last time you went to a concert, saw a movie, enjoyed a theater piece, or visited a museum? The things you can experience and do outside of your work life are countless. When the stress of work has brought you down to the breaking point of a burnout, you can lose sight of the joy some activities and hobbies brought to you. So it is time to rediscover them, or discover new ones. Reach out to a loved one with whom you can share a moment or a hobby. The important thing is to bring that luster for life back into your personal life.
Janet Miller is married with four kids and is a recovering workaholic. She is the co-founder of Jen Reviews and spends much of her free time writing and learning about habits.