Experiencing stress in the workplace for prolonged periods of time can lead to job burnout. Symptoms include feelings of exhaustion, emptiness and inability to cope with daily life. If not addressed in a timely manner, burnout can even make it difficult to function at work and spill over into workers’ personal lives. Recognizing the signs of these kinds of situations can help you better understand if the stress your team is experiencing is negatively affecting their performance.
Do you know the physical and mental symptoms of burnout, the factors that can increase your risk, and any recovery strategies? Here’s a little bit about burnout and how to avoid it in your organization.
What is job burnout?
Job burnout is described as the extinction of motivation or incentive. Especially, when one’s devotion to a cause or relationship does not produce the desired results. That definition certainly sums up the outcome of burnout, but it doesn’t say much about what burnout feels like. Job burnout is characterized by three main symptoms:
- Lack of motivation.
- Lack of enjoyment at work.
- Lack of confidence in ability to complete tasks (feeling ineffective).
If you find yourself struggling with even the simplest tasks, getting frustrated easily and feeling like you can’t do anything well, you may be experiencing job burnout and you don’t even know it yet. But well, in the following lines, we present you with some signs that will help you detect job burnout.
During 2022, 54% of employees say they feel unmotivated in their current job, compared to 47% ‘unmotivated’ in the previous year.
On the other hand, 77% of employees say they would be more involved in their work if they felt their achievements were recognized.
Job burnout has certain symptoms that mean it can be recognized in time…
The scientists who originally identified burnout as a condition, Freudenberger and Gail North, described 12 stages of burnout:
- Compulsion to prove oneself
- Working harder
- Neglect of personal needs.
- Displacement of conflict
- Revision of values (work to the exclusion of all else).
- Denial of emerging problems
- Abstinence (typically accompanied by self-medication)
- Bizarre behavioral changes
- Depersonalization (unable to connect with others or one’s own needs)
- Inner emptiness
- Job burnout syndrome
Although burnout is not a diagnosable psychological disorder, that does not mean it should not be taken seriously. The symptoms of burnout can affect both physically and mentally.
Symptoms of physical job burnout:
When you experience job burnout, your body will often exhibit certain symptoms: Research indicates that some of the most common physical job burnout symptoms may include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- High blood pressure
- Poor immune function (getting sick more often)
- Recurring headaches
- Sleep problems
Because job burnout is caused by chronic stress, it is also helpful to be aware of how such stress, in general, affects the body. Chronic stress can be felt physically in terms of having more aches and pains, low energy levels, and changes in appetite. All of these physical signs suggest that you may be experiencing job burnout.
Mental symptoms of job burnout
Job burnout also affects you mentally and emotionally. Here are some of the most common mental symptoms:
- Concentration problems
- Depressed mood
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Suicidal thoughts
Preventing and Treating Burnout
Although the term job burnout suggests that this may be a permanent condition, it is reversible. If you are feeling burned out, you may need to make some changes in your work environment. In the first instance, approach human resources and make the case for the problems you are having or speak directly to a supervisor or leader. This may not only be helpful if the company is committed to creating a healthier work environment. In some cases, a job change or a new job may be necessary to begin to recover from burnout. If you can’t change jobs, it may be helpful to at least change tasks.
Also, it is important to develop clear strategies to help you manage stress. Self-care strategies, such as eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and adopting healthy sleep habits, among others, can help reduce some of the effects of a stressful job that has triggered job burnout.
According to José. L. Meléndez; CEO of ChVmpion Mind: “If someone wants to practice meditation on a daily basis, they should not think about doing it, but sit down and do it, and then think about what they did, if it went well and what they would need to continue practicing”.
Meditation, too, can bring you long-term relief, but it’s not enough to help you beat burnout. Regular breaks from work, along with daily renewal exercises, can be key to helping you combat burnout.
7 Steps to deal with job burnout
1. Apply a support structure and business coaching:
If you want to deal with burnout, the best way to achieve it is through a business coaching structure that encourages well-being in leaders and their work teams. Business coaching is the most appropriate tool for this. ChVmpion Mind is the best business coaching platform that the current market offers to achieve a change in the performance and productivity of workers. At the same time, it helps to deal with labor burnout.
2. Pay attention to emotions and feelings:
Job burnout is inseparable from emotion. Emotions are powerful clues to what is important to us. Paying attention to the feelings that arise and when they arise can help us manage resentment, frustration and disappointment before they turn into burnout.
3. Examine boundaries
Often, an overly busy workload is the result of saying “yes” to commitments without considering the time or energy it will take to complete them. If we feel we have control over our time and resources by setting healthy boundaries, we are less likely to feel fatigued and overwhelmed and, consequently, prevent burnout.
4. Cultivate interests outside of work
By definition, job burnout is a work-related phenomenon, but our health in other areas of our personal lives contributes to greater or lesser vitality at work. It is an important part of work/life balance. Positive habits can help you get through a stressful or frustrating time in any career. In addition, they are the ideal way to maintain physical and mental health; avoiding chronic diseases that are a product of stress and sedentary work.
5. Build relationships with co-workers
One of the risk factors for job burnout is the lack of community. Developing relationships at work provides a sense of belonging, access to shared resources and makes it easier to ask for help from others when we need it.
6. Keeping work on the job
Trying to establish and stick to a work schedule that allows you to manage other important priorities in your personal life is critical to achieving balance. It is even important to try healthy boundaries. Avoiding and reducing symptoms that can lead to job burnout is as simple as avoiding contact with work email notifications on your cell phone.
7. Looking for a quick win
One of the key metrics of job burnout is the feeling of ineffectiveness. However, you can effectively develop a victory in any area of your life. ChVmpion Mind’s 21-week plan will make you feel more capable at work. Achieving small daily, personal and professional goals may not seem like much, but in the long run they make a difference. Trying to finish a book, taking a workshop, completing a shorter project or even cleaning out an office drawer are tasks that add up.