Do you feel tired after a long day of work?
It’s common to feel tired especially if you have used all your energy.
But, what’s not good is when you feel tired all the time.
When you feel cynical and disengaged from what you do, then it could be a sign of burnout.
What is burnout?
It was American psychologist Dr. Herbert Freudenberger who first used the term “burnout”.
He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress.
Just like a burned-out house, someone who’s burnt out has consumed his strength.
However, their psychological and emotional being is consumed as if by fire, leaving a great emptiness inside.
Burnout doesn’t happen all of a sudden.
It’s creeping up over time like a slow leak.
If we just listen to our body, we can recognize the warnings before it becomes a full-fledged burnout.
When you know what to look for, you can recognize it before it’s too late.
According to researchers, burnout has three parts and they are the following:
- Exhaustion – It is characterized by lethargy. You feel tired most days and it can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. You feel drained, anxious and depleted.
- Cynicism – It is categorized by feeling alienated from the people you work with. If this goes on without intervention, the loss of enjoyment you feel may extend to all areas of your life.
- Inefficacy – It refers to a lack of belief in your ability to perform your job well. It is also shown as a decrease in achievement and productivity.
What are the signs of burnout?
Burnout occurs when there is no balance between relaxation and pressure at work.
According to Alexandra Michel, burnout leaves its mark on the brain as well as the body.
Here are the signs of burnout you should look out for:
1. Physical exhaustion
Prolonged stress makes you tired all the time.
Even getting out of bed to face another day is too difficult if you’re burned out.
But physical exhaustion is also a manifestation of various illness. So, it’s better to consider talking to your doctor.
If you feel there is something more serious happening, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
2. Emotional exhaustion
Burnout affects people’s moods.
This is when your emotions go overdrive. You feel impatient, moody, sad, or frustrated all the time.
The eagerness to live another day is gone. Instead, you find yourself not wanting to deal with life anymore.
If moodiness becomes severe enough, talk to a doctor immediately/
When stress levels are high, it can cause damage to your health.
According to research, stress has a major influence on our moods, sense of well-being, behavior, and health.
As an example, British soldiers in the battlefield during World War II showed high blood pressure. However, their condition became normal after a couple of months away from the front lines.
It just shows that your immune system suffers when stressed out.
4. Less social life
Another symptom of stress is withdrawal from interpersonal relationships.
Stressed people lose interest and feel like they have less to give.
A 2015 study shows that relationships are worse off when people are under stress.
5. Negative outlook
Because people suffering from burnout find themselves too tired, they don’t enjoy life anymore.
As a result, it’s harder for them to expect the best and to “look on the bright side”
6. Increased tardiness and inefficiency
People suffering from burnout experience an increase in tardiness at work.
It’s because it’s hard to face more of what’s been overwhelming you in the first place.
Tardiness could be a defense against burnout, but it also affects a person’s efficiency in the workplace.
What Causes Burnout?
Burnout has no single cause. It has many factors relating to job structure, lifestyle features, and individual personality characteristics.
For example, people who are perfectionists burn out more easily.
Another group prone to being burned-out are employees who work at jobs with low recognition or compensation.
If you think you’re at risk of experiencing burnout, don’t forget to rest.
We only have one body. It’s time we care for it.