This week, I wrote a blog for managers called: 7 Ways to Prevent Employee Burnout.
“Burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment” Psychology Today.
But it’s not just down to your manager; you have to look after yourself to a certain extent too.
Because we’re only human!
Why do people get “burnout?”
Burnout occurs when immense pressure is put on a person, culminating in “chronic stress.” This pressure could be caused by one or numerous things, depending on the person’s situation.
So perhaps you…
- Feel insecure about your job, because the company is struggling.
- Don’t get enough performance feedback.
- Clash with other staff members.
- Or feel undervalued.
There’s only so much one person can take and under the mounting pressure, some do crumble.
Or “burn out.”
How do you spot the warning signs?
Most of us have probably come across a burnt out individual in our time; the one who walks out and quits in a whirlwind of drama, the person who completely loses it at the boss for pushing too hard, or the one who sends a company-wide email about how “crappy the management team” are…
But before it goes that far, there are early warning signs we can look out for:
- Physical exhaustion. Do you constantly feel tired, under the weather or even physically ill?
- Emotional exhaustion. Do you constantly feel upset, angry, frustrated or even depressed?
- Cynicism and detachment. Do you feel frustrated and negative and do you struggle to find enjoyment in anything (especially your job)?
- Lack of accomplishment. Has your work started to suffer? And do you feel useless?
It’s important to catch these warning signs early on, before it’s too late. And honestly, perhaps YOU haven’t noticed, but your loved ones will have.
What do you do then?
It’s time to take action.
First things first – where do the problems lie?
- Is it your workload?
- Are you anxious about your job performance?
- Is it something to do with your personal life?
There are a million and one reasons you might be stressed and there are a million and one things you can do to ease that stress…
- Speak to your manager about your workload.
- Start looking for a new job.
- Request a performance review.
- Take some time off to sort things out at home.
- Ask for flexible working hours to fit around your family.
Life’s too short to be unhappy – and you’re not going to help anyone if you burnout.
How can I stop myself from burning out?
Obviously, the best case scenario is avoiding burnout altogether. So here’s how to do that…
1. Don’t overwork yourself.
I’ve seen it so many times… “super-staff” who are both passionate and committed, but who think they can do anything and everything.
But that’s just not the case. If you don’t:
- Take your breaks.
- Get enough sleep.
- Work reasonable hours.
- Switch off when you get home.
- Ask for help when you need it.
You will eventually burnout.
And you’re not at your most productive anyway, so you’re not doing anyone, any favours.
NB: “Switching off when you get home” means actually switching off when you get home; no checking your emails or thinking about work, constantly. Your brain needs a proper break.
2. Make friends.
Socialise with co-workers when you get the chance. These relationships will boost your happiness, help you to feel supported and alleviate some of your stress.
Recruiter Pro Tip
Of course, it’s important to do the same outside of work too.
Human beings are sociable creatures; we all need a support network and people we can trust to help and advise us.
3. Give yourself something to look forward to.
Don’t let yourself get consumed by work. Add some meaning to your life.
Plan fun things to look forward to, by yourself or with your family and friends…
- Start a new hobby.
- Learn a language.
- Take a long weekend.
- Read a great book.
- Go to events.
Have some fun! (All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…)
You deserve to be happy. And to be happy, you must remember to…
- Take breaks and switch off (fully).
- Do a job you actually enjoy.
- Build good, valuable, supportive relationships.
- Give yourself things to look forward to.
- Add meaning in your life.
And never let yourself get taken advantage of.
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Already burnt out?
If you feel like the damage is already done; do not fear – it’s not the end of the world! Plenty of people have suffered and come back fighting. Just ask Leanne Spencer…
“Do you feel that your work/life balance is making you ill? Are stress-related problems, chronic sickness, anxiety or depression affecting your ability to show up and do your job? Perhaps you’re already suffering from burnout.”
4.9 stars out of 5 on Amazon
Good luck.- Mark Wilkinson