Heavy workloads and deadline pressures are a fact of managerial life. Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed or burned out at times? But, when unrelenting work stress pushes you into the debilitating state we call burnout, we are dealing with a serious problem that affects not only your own work and personal performance and well-being. It can spread to your team and your organization. That is why, resorting to measures to overcome it is the greatest advantage of treatment against burnout.
Statistics don’t lie…
Concrete data on the prevalence of burnout are elusive. For, it is not yet a clinical term separate from stress. Some researchers say that as few as 7% of professionals have been severely affected by burnout. But others have documented rates as high as 50% among medical residents and 85% among financial professionals. A 2013 survey of more than 5100 American workers found that 62 % felt high levels of stress, loss of control and extreme fatigue. Now, imagine what those numbers might be like today – don’t you think that’s reason enough to determine burnout treatment?
Research has also linked burnout to many negative physical and mental health outcomes, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, sleep disorders, depression and anxiety. As well as, increased alcohol and drug use. In addition, burnout has been shown to produce feelings of worthlessness and alienation, undermine the quality of relationships and diminish long-term career prospects. Therefore, burnout deserves treatment, did you know that?
So… What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role. Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, making you feel increasingly helpless, hopeless, discouraged and, indeed, resentful. Eventually, you may feel that you don’t have much more to contribute and the seriousness of the situation is that you may be facing a clinical diagnosis that could warrant treatment for burnout.
The negative effects of burnout undoubtedly extend to all areas of life, it can also cause long-term changes in your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses such as colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it is important to apply burnout treatment as soon as possible.
It is essential in burnout treatment to replenish your physical and emotional energy, along with your ability to focus, by prioritizing good sleep habits, nutrition, exercise, social connection and practices that promote equanimity and well-being. Such is the case with meditating, journaling and enjoying nature. If you have trouble fitting such activities into your busy schedule, take a week to evaluate exactly how you are spending your time. For each block of time, record what you’re doing, who you’re with, how you’re feeling. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is angry or exhausted and 10 is cheerful or energetic. This way, you will know how valuable the activity is. This will help you find opportunities to limit your exposure to tasks, people and situations that are not essential and put you in a bad mood. Increase your investment of time in those that boost your energy; and make room for quiet, positive time outside of work. Does this seem like a difficult step to take? Then you need to change your perspective…
Change your perspective
While rest, relaxation and replenishment can alleviate burnout, curb cynicism and improve efficiency, they don’t fully address the root causes of burnout. Back in the office, you may still face the same impossible workload, untenable conflicts or negligible resources. So, now you need to take a close look at your mindset and assumptions. Which aspects of your situation are really fixed and which can change? Altering your perspective can buffer the negative impact of even the inflexible aspects and work as an effective burnout treatment. If burnout is a key problem, ask yourself which tasks, including critical ones, you could delegate to free up significant time and energy for other important work.
Reduce exposure to job stressors.
Also, you’ll need to focus on high-value activities and relationships that still trigger unhealthy stress. This involves resetting the expectations of colleagues, clients and even family members about what and how much you are willing to take on. As well as, the ground rules for working together. Even if you hesitate, know that you are making these changes to improve your long-term productivity and protect your health. An effective treatment for burnout lies in knowing how to delimit work stressors.
Seek professional help and connections
“The secret of a great achievement is not in the talent of the person, but in the structure he or she has relied on to achieve it.”
José. L. Melendez. CEO of ChVmpion Mind
The best antidote and treatment burnout, particularly when motivated by cynicism and ineffectiveness, is to seek rich interpersonal interactions and ongoing personal and professional development. To do this, in many cases, the help of professionals is necessary. Find coaches and mentors who can help you identify and activate positive relationships and learning opportunities. ChVmpion Mind is a platform that offers you a completely effective method that will help you in your personal and professional growth.
Given the influence of situational factors on burnout, it is likely that others in your organization or company are also suffering from it. As a leader or colleague you should offer mutual support, identify problems and exchange ideas; always advocating for solutions.
Burnout can often seem insurmountable. However, the feeling of being overwhelmed is a sign, not a long-term sentence. By understanding the symptoms and causes and implementing these four strategies, you can use burnout treatment to recover and build a roadmap for prevention. A negative experience can serve as a turning point that launches you into a more sustainable career and a happier, healthier life.