Have you heard of the Burnout syndrome?
You know how they say, “Do what you love and you will never work another day in your life”? But at times, even when you love your job, you tend to lose interest and motivation which ultimately leads you to a ‘job burnout’. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain job in the first place. That feeling of starting a new job, meeting new people, and performing new tasks is really exciting and interesting. Due to this feeling, you are willing to walk that extra mile. In other words, the job passion at early stages of your career may not last as long. You may find yourself to have zero energy to go to work. You may turn off your alarm clock and stare into the ceiling having no will to start the day. You may think about the infinitive number of things that you did yesterday and you have to do today. You feel exhausted and you can’t even find a small drop of motivation. This is the burnout syndrome.
Before you understand the burnout syndrome, you need to understand what stress is. We tend to think that stress is something that we can see and feel; like sweaty palms, faster heartbeat, gnashing of teeth or stomach problems. The problem is, stress is much more insidious and creeps into our lives with no obvious signs. In other words, you can be stressed and not even know about that. If you have many tasks and little time, if you have deadlines, if you struggle to find time for everything you’ve planned, if you feel the adrenaline rush or if you can’t concentrate, you’re probably suffering from stress issues. But this constant state of stress will build up to chronic stress and will ultimately lead you to the burnout syndrome. Burnout isn’t just increased stress. More than being simply irritated or tired from the workload, a person suffering from burnout syndrome will feel constantly exhausted, like their work doesn’t matter, and have skewed and often pessimistic conceptions of both themselves and others.
If you are experiencing the burnout syndrome, here are few ways to fight it-
1. Practice Productive Procrastination
One can practice Productive Procrastination by scheduling non-work events into their day. For example, going for a walk, meeting a friend, or playing with their kids. Basically, anything that involved being away from the computer. Not only do we need periods of downtime throughout the day, but walking, especially outdoors, can alleviate mental fatigue and even help you sleep more at night. It is a great way to take a mini break from work.
2. Get rid of the digital clutter
Try to give yourself some time without checking your email, messages or social media profiles. Browser windows with hundreds of open tabs. Desktop’s completely covered in files. Overflowing inboxes. This digital hoarding can make it feel impossible to catch up. Thus it is best to prioritise the digital tools that are adding up to the value of your task and get rid of the clutter.
3. Work smarter, not longer
In today’s day and age, technology has replaced human effort in almost all walks of life. Instead of doing everything manually and stressing out, we need to put this technology to some good use. Think about any task that takes a lot of your time, it’s very probable that there exists an application or machine that can save time when doing that task. It will help you more successfully manage your tasks and your time.
4. Self care is must
Recovery starts when you prioritise yourself and your health over the work and relationships that are burning you out. And while taking time off to rest and relax will always be the ideal solution, you can also indulge in your favourite hobbies or try some self reflection activities. Even taking some time off and taking deep breaths will help you a great deal. Journaling is also a great way to prioritise yourself.
With the near depression-level fatigue that comes with burnout syndrome, we need as much sleep and rest as possible to recover. Once in a while, it is okay to slow down. You don’t have to do everything at one time. The best way to relax is to disconnect from the loud outside world and focus on yourself. Give yourself at least 5 minutes of a peaceful time not thinking about your job and your duties. Take a walk, calm your brain down and listen to the silence. If you’re living in a noisy neighbourhood, take your family and leave for a weekend so you can actively spend your time.
Burnout Syndrome is not a hopeless situation. Once you recognise these symptoms in yourself, it’s time to take matters back into your own hands and get back to a healthier, happier lifestyle.