The Mayo Clinic defines job burnout as “a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” In recent years, more and more people are recognizing burnout as a serious issue that affects a person’s life both in and outside of the office. As more companies acknowledge the importance of work-life balance, burnout continues to be an important point of discussion.
The Signs of Burnout
1. Lack of passion for work that you once loved
This is perhaps the clearest sign of burnout. Nursing can be an exhausting position mentally, physically, and emotionally. In a recent study performed by Dr. Thomas Reith, he found that one in three nurses experience burnout during their careers. Working long hours and handling bureaucratic issues are the top reasons cited for these feelings. If people don’t feel a sense of balance or respect in their workplace, they will not be able to do their jobs with as much passion or purpose.
2. Having trouble starting and sticking to projects
If you feel like you’ve hit a roadblock with your position, you may start to feel disheartened. This discontent shows when you’re taking on new projects, and you may find yourself unmotivated to continue pushing forward with new ideas.
3. Physical changes
The stress of burnout can affect people in various ways. For some, they may find themselves using inappropriate coping strategies such as drinking excessive alcohol or eating poorly. These factors mixed with the stress alone can have adverse effects on a person’s body and lead to further health issues.
What steps can you take?
If you feel yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms, you can take steps towards bettering your life, today. There will not be an immediate fix, as burnout isn’t a switch you can turn on and off, but by making small changes and recognizing your burnout as a legitimate concern, you will be able to take steps towards a happier work-life relationship.
Discuss your feelings with a manager or supervisor
If you feel like your leadership isn’t supporting you in the way you need, you must advocate for yourself. Many companies recognize the role burnout plays today and will be accommodating towards making a work environment where you can thrive.
Learn stress management techniques
Though everyone handles stress differently, investigate some tried and true practices to handle your stress. Allow yourself time to learn and grow using these techniques. Though not all will help you, some can make a difference in your everyday work and personal life.
Mindfulness and exercise
Taking care of your body physically as well as mentally can help guide you towards a healthier life. Take time to be active and focus on your general wellness.
Speak with a mental health professional
Burnout can lead to depression or general malaise. Speaking with a professional trained to discuss your life and teach you tailored coping strategies could be right for you.