September 16 2022
Five Symptoms of Occupational Burnout and How to Prevent it
Do you think occupational burnout is not your problem? Even if you are right, it is worth diving a little deeper into this topic, because it has become a social issue. It causes significant losses to companies, as burnt-out people usually quit their jobs. They often decide to do so after a long sickness absence. How can you prevent it? Learn to recognize burnout symptoms properly.
Permanent fatigue and exhaustion
If even after a two-week vacation one feels overworked and blank the moment they enter the office, it might be time to seek professional help. One of the earliest signs of burnout, besides physical symptoms, are emotional exhaustion or even loss of vital energy. After a particularly hard day at work this is normal. However, constant indifference, inability to experience pleasure, feeling helpless, depressed and sad should make us think about consulting a specialist. Such symptoms of exhaustion are a burden mostly to the closest family and co-workers.
Your rhythm of sleeping and being awake is disturbed? You don’t have any appetite or, quite the opposite, you binge eat due to stress? You suffer from headaches or stomach aches without clear reasons? Any and all of these may be your body’s response to chronic stress causing burnout. Among the physiological symptoms, your vigilance should also be drawn to the intensification of harmful habits, such as more cigarettes smoked, starting smoking again or drinking more alcohol than previously.
Be sure to read: Five Rules for Motivating Employees According to Ken Blanchard
Weakening of social relations
A burnt-out person not only becomes less engaged in their work. They also withdraw from fostering close relationship with the environment. Even if you are no life or soul of the party, a constant need to isolate yourself from the environment is not normal. Thus, your crisis at work may turn into a grave life crisis. If you notice your relations with family, friends and colleagues have visibly weakened for a longer period of time, take action: it is the support of the environment that best prevents occupational burnout.
Seeing everything in black
Another significant symptom of burnout is a rush of negative thoughts. They might concern you, the world around you or the future. Obsessive negative projections, analyzing each failure in detail, dominance of unpleasant sensations and ignoring one’s own professional success are also symptoms of burnout. It prevents the affected person from noticing opportunities for the situation to get better. If you feel like you are losing the sense of your work and the faith that you are acting for the benefit of other people, consider seeking help.
It is not easy for anyone to admit it, but burnt-out people start treating others as objects. This is because they often do not even notice that. They are coping with hopelessness by acting automatically, religiously obeying procedures and focusing on numbers, procedures and the economic aspect. Collaborators of a burnt-out person find it hard to accept the indifference towards their feelings, which affects the overall communication and thus the performance of entire teams.
Make sure to also read: How to Take Care of Your Team?
How to prevent burnout?
The strongest measure to prevent burnout is the support of the closest environment. Your most important backup should be your line manager. This may sound a bit risky, but a manager ignoring signals and not listening to their employees is worse for their reports than a strict despot who maintains communication with the team. The second line of support should be your co-workers. Being conscious of working in a team and being a part of it is invaluable in preventing occupational burnout. As social beings, we need to believe we are not alone with our experience. Moreover, the ability to have friendly relations with colleagues makes work more effective. Another burnout-preventing measure is the comfort of work and the appearance of your workplace. Management specialists from all over the world have been repeating for a long time that the office aesthetics affect the team’s morale.
You may also use a reliable “vaccine” against occupational burnout, which is the ability to let go. Just accept the fact that not everyone is going to appreciate you, not everyone is going to like you and you are not going to handle everything. Accept it, because and people with perfectionist or idealistic approach are the quickest to burn out.
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