A cup of exhaustion, a tablespoon of frustration, and a dash of anxiety are the standard ingredients that makeup working life, right? That’s why you eat it with a paycheck.
Each morning seems to drag more and more. Once you sit down at your desk, your mind starts to wander, struggling to complete even the most essential tasks. Even after three cups of coffee and a venting session by the water cooler and a set of to-do lists marked completed, you still feel, well, hopeless.
Suddenly, you see yourself on a hamster wheel, and no matter how hard you want to hop off, you keep running.
What Is Burnout?
In a nutshell, burnout is a reaction to chronic job stress. Recently, burnout was included in the International Classification of Diseases as an occupational phenomenon.
It’s often characterized by three dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism, and feelings of reduced professional ability. A 2017 survey revealed 95 percent of the 1,029 respondents identified with the “not getting what I want out of my job” statement.
The Tale Tell Signs
Even though burnout is not a medical condition, signs such as anxiety, headaches, loss of appetite, and insomnia, are all part of it. The ramifications of job burnout can have emotional and physical signs that affect every aspect of our lives.
Work Is NOT Exciting Anymore
We understand that not even the CEO is happy to work every day. But, when the project that used to fill you with joy now seems mundane and boring, that’s a red flag.
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll develop a debilitating sense of indifference that can affect the quality of your work and eventually cause you to disassociate entirely from your craft.
You Don’t Care
Once you’ve been in the rodeo for a few years, you understand certain things are not worth getting excited about. However, when your work is suffering, your company is struggling, and your coworkers are running around like headless chickens, you should care.
If you’re struggling with job burnout, you’ve stopped caring about the outcome of things. It’s merely a satisfaction play – or lack thereof.
Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking; everyone is tired nowadays. We work eight hours a day, commute for another hour, and have to fit in one more hour for exercise. Thirty minutes of meditation, time to catch up with friends and family, a few hours to spend with your special someone, we have that side hustle that pays well, and we go through our ten-step skincare routine.
How are we not exhausted?
You’re probably tired, not exhausted. Those with job burnout can feel literal drainage of energy both physically and emotionally. The type of lack of energy that has you sleeping on the dining room table around seven at night. That kind of exhaustion.
Your Body Is Telling You
Ah, our bodies are beautiful machines, aren’t they? Even if you do your best to ignore all these tale-tell signs of burnout, your body will let you know one way or the other.
You would do well to remember that the mind-body connection is a deep and complex one. When there are issues of the mind, your body will show physical evidence of such struggles in forms like:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal pain
So, you’ve said yes to every single telltale sign we mentioned. Initial advice? Take a vacation. Finally, get to use those OOO template emails you set up months ago.
But don’t just go on vacation for the sake of taking a break. If you leave burnout without making mindful changes to your attitude, you’ll come back to work and repeat the cycle.
Be mindful of the telltale signs and recognize your negative habits. Perfectionism has been linked to job burnout. Let go of perfection, no one is, or will ever be perfect.
Also, be honest with yourself and your employer. Perhaps, it’s time to change your workload. There’s such thing has having too much work. Discuss with your boss or take a look at what’s on your plate to see how you can trim it down.
Finally, don’t let the job burnout go on for too long. Be mindful of your actions, don’t try to fool yourself, don’t think that being a “workaholic” is a good thing because it’s not.
Come back for more mental health care advice after your vacation time.
If you’re still unsure whether or not your signs are job burnout, take this quiz to find out.