Burnout. It’s that little whisper in your mind when you’re burning the candle at both ends doused in midnight oil. It echoes back to you the negative criticism, the self-doubt, and makes it feel like no matter what you do, it’s not enough. It leaves you feeling drained when putting in the bare minimum. Unlike depression, which can come in massive waves, burnout is a slow burn that wraps itself around you like a weighted blanket.
How burnout affects you may differ from someone else, but the main symptoms are:
- Feeling Empty of Motivation
- Mentally Exhausted
- Detached Emotionally
- Increased Fatigue
- Decreased Sense of Accomplishment
For some people, the minimum symptoms can be a lack of sleep, but some more extreme symptoms can be an increased cynical outlook on work and life. You can also experience it in 1 of 3 ways, frenetic, under-challenged, or worn-out.
- Frenetic burnout occurs when people channel so much energy into their work, often due to anxiety, that the rewards of the role eventually begin to seem negatively disproportionate to the effort they invest. Disregarding the concept of a work/life balance to channel maximum energy in one’s work is common in this type of burnout.
- Under-challenged burnout occurs when a person feels trapped in a monotonous and unstimulating work environment, performing a role that does not provide job satisfaction. This contributes to an overall lowering of their mood.
- Worn-out burnout occurs when people give up after experiencing a period in which their work environment is consistently a source of intense stress or yields little rewards.
Since working from home has been a common trend, these feelings have been discussed more and more because of how the company operates. Consider hopping on meeting after meeting over Zoom, not getting the deserved recognition, or sometimes it’s simply a mental state. Regardless of the reason, burnout can make any good news sound like acid in your heart.
If this sounds like something you or someone you know has gone through, then here are 5 things you can do to try and lengthen your fuse:
- Do 60 minutes of exercise. Go slow but focus on the results you want in that time. This can help you refocus your mind on something else or work out the frustrating feelings.
- Ask for support. Reach out to your close friends or family and talk about what you’ve been experiencing. Talking about it makes it real, but you can get some great advice from the people who care about you.
- Clear your evening calendar and get extra sleep. The body makes its best recovery when you’re well-rested. Sleep is a great help when healing your physical body and helps your mental and emotional state.
- Be mindful of what you’re doing. When you’re performing a task, whether at home or at work, note how it affects you. Do you feel indifferent, does it feel strenuous, or does it make you happy to do the task?
- Evaluate your options. Once you have obtained a clear head and not acting out of negative emotion, you should take a moment to decide on your future. When it’s growing up in the business, taking less responsibility, or finding something else to do entirely.
Trying a combination of these things should help you overcome any level of burnout you’ve been experiencing to get back to doing what you love and living a life you enjoy.
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