TABLE OF CONTENTS
Burnout more often affects younger people than older people, single people than those who have a family, women and men alike. Perfectionists and people who identify with their work are particularly at risk.
Burnout is called the disease of civilization of the 21st century. What characterizes "BurnOut syndrome," and can it be prevented? How to build your career so as not to burn yourself at work?
Why is work burning out?
Psychologists consider burnout on three levels. On a macro scale, it is the effect of stress that an employee feels at work and cannot cope with. After some time, the stress is so great that the employee does not have the strength to continue the fight and gives up - i.e., burns out. At the level of the human-society relationship, burnout results from an individual's failure to adjust to social expectations. It begins when, looking at others, we conclude that we should be able to do more, and we are stuck in a situation that does not suit us. The last level is the micro-scale - that is, the difference between your expectations of life and career and the current situation - if the discrepancy is too great, apathy, discouragement, anger, and other burnout symptoms begin to emerge.
How is burnout going?
The first symptom of burnout is a feeling of gradual exhaustion and increasing body fatigue. Weekends are not enough for an employee to rest and get to work with renewed energy.
Reduction of activity is the next stage - withdrawal and apathy appear. The employee does not want to get involved in either company or private matters.
The first emotional reactions appear, such as verbal aggression towards colleagues, cynicism, and negating others' opinions. The employee becomes difficult to cooperate.
The decline in form is visible at the level of creativity, motivation to work, commitment, and cognitive functions - work begins to take more and more time, and the effects are weaker.
Contacts with others are degraded. The emotional tension is very high. Mood swings appear - from anger to sadness.
When the employee still does not notice the problem, the body may start to react psychosomatically, i.e., health problems appear, which are, in fact, a call for help in dealing with an exhausted body and stress. Such disorders include problems with sleep, more frequent colds, or decreased sexual performance, as well as diseases of the heart or digestive system.
How to work without burning out - 10 tips
Since whether an employee experiences a burnout state is largely up to himself, what can be done daily to avoid burnout?
1. Hygiene of sleep
Proper sleep means the right number of hours for the body and comfortable sleeping conditions - a comfortable bed, a ventilated room, silence. If you have problems falling asleep, you can help yourself with herbal infusions before bedtime or meditation.
2. Physical activity
Mental and mental fatigue also affects the perceived fatigue of the body. During exercise and physical activity, we take care of the body and condition and release endorphins that improve mood and satisfaction with life. Just 20 minutes of exercise 3 times a week is enough to cope better with stress.
3. Green surroundings
Being surrounded by flowers and plants helps reduce stress. Research shows that people who can spend more time outdoors have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If we do not have the opportunity to walk in the park every day, it is worth bringing a bit of greenery to the office - e.g., in the form of potted flowers. According to research by Dr. Tiny Marie Cade, employees are happier in offices with more plants.
4. Breaks during the day
Intensive work can be effective when we have a break after exercise. If we work too long, our mind gets tired, and it makes us more and more time to do each step. 5-10 minutes breaks are recommended every hour of work.
5. Laughter at work
Smiling has only benefits - it not only has a positive effect on relationships with others and improves the mood of the person who smiles.
6. Reasonable number of working hours
Working more than 40 hours a week faster leads to burnout. Most often, it is not necessary. There is a spiral of fatigue at work here - by working longer, we are more and more tired, and it takes longer and longer to complete each task - so we stay overtime again. Only a longer rest can break us out of such a spiral.
What drives our commitment to work is also the willingness to develop. Burnout people very often feel that they have not developed in their work for a long time. New challenges can be provided not only by the employer - the employee can also look for them in their work. It is worth asking yourself at least once a week - "what has happened to me recently."
Managing your own rest like this cannot do any good - it only speeds up burnout. To truly relax, we should really relax at least twice a year - preferably at least once for a full two weeks.
Not only physical activity allows you to break away from everyday problems. Hobby also gives great results. Thanks to passion, we maintain a sense of the meaning and purpose of our life. Besides work and home, there is something more in it. You don't have time for hobbies because you have to take care of children? Find one that can be grown together - this will also help build relationships with your child.
The lack of clear goals and priorities within our professional work accelerates burnout - then we lose the sense of what we do. So it's worth pausing and considering whether what you're doing is what you care about. Maybe it's time for bold decisions and changes? If we do what we like and are interested in, the chances of burnout are much lower.