Are you starting your Mondays wishing it was the weekend already? Has it been harder to focus on your work or to finish a task? You may be experiencing symptoms of burnout. Burnout is the physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.When you continue to expose yourself day after day to the same stress it can lead to burnout. Good news is stress may be unavoidable, but burnout is preventable! Noticing the signs or phases of burnout can help you to make a change before it impacts other areas of your life like family, friends or work.
According to Healthline burnout doesn’t hit all at once. Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have outlined the 12 phases of this stress:
Excessive drive/ambition. Common for people starting a new job or undertaking a novel task, too much ambition can lead to burnout.
Pushing yourself to work harder. Ambition pushes you to work harder.
Neglecting your own needs. You begin to sacrifice self-care like sleep, exercise, and eating well.
Displacement of conflict. Instead of acknowledging that you’re pushing yourself to the max, you blame your boss, the demands of your job, or colleagues for your troubles.
No time for nonwork-related needs. You begin to withdraw from family and friends. Social invitations to parties, movies, and dinner dates start to feel burdensome, instead of enjoyable.
Denial. Impatience with those around you mounts. Instead of taking responsibility for your behaviors, you blame others, seeing them as incompetent, lazy, and overbearing.
Withdrawal. You begin to withdraw from family and friends. Social invitations to parties, movies, and dinner dates start to feel burdensome, instead of enjoyable.
Behavioral changes. Those on the road to burnout may become more aggressive and snap at loved ones for no reason.
Depersonalization. Feeling detached from your life and your ability to control your life.
Inner emptiness or anxiety. Feeling empty or anxious. You may turn to thrill seeking behaviors to cope with this emotion, such as substance use, gambling, or overeating.
Depression. Life loses its meaning and you begin to feel hopeless.
Mental or physical collapse. This can impact your ability to cope. Mental health or medical attention may be necessary.
Burnout often takes place over a longer period of time. If you feel like you are just going through the motions and are not enjoying your day at all, then it’s time to make a change in your routine. Self-care needs to be a part of your every day!
Most people just take a vacation and get some time away from the situation to feel some relief, which can be beneficial, but this is a short term solution. You need to invest into you and your interest to help balance the stress. Having a creative outlet like a hobby can help you feel engaged in you.
Also eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep may prevent this stressed state as well.
Once you feel valued and cared for, then you can determine if you need a different change when it comes to your work. You don’t want to make a rash decision in a state of burnout. Balance your stress and take care of you before analyzing your next steps. “Burnout can be avoided by making self-care part of your daily routine. Even if you’re working long hours, studying for exams, or taking care of young children, remember to sprinkle some joy into each day.” -Juli Fraga
You can avoid burnout and maintain a healthy and balanced life!