BURN-OUT SYNDROME

How to prevent and help myself?

Burn-out syndrome: How to prevent and help myself?
Do you love your job? Do you feel energized, happy, and fulfilled, even when the work is demanding, and the conditions, at times, less than ideal? Are you devoted to, and impassioned by your work, and filled with ambition, ideals, and high objectives? If not, you may be at risk for, or experiencing, occupational burnout.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a special form of chronic stress usually associated with overworking. It happens when you work a large number of hours over a long period of time. People who tend to overachieve are particularly prone to burnout, but it can happen to anyone feeling the pressure to succeed.
For example, if you are working on a difficult project and feel pressured to complete it on time, stress can quickly become burnout. People with pressing financial obligations who work multiple jobs are also candidates for burnout.
Signs of burnout
The list of burnout symptoms is pretty long. It encompasses a variety of reactions that depend on a myriad of factors, so there's practically no way you're “experiencing it wrongly”.
Some people cry at funerals, some laugh. Some people scream when they're too tired, others goof around, make an excess, or become anxious and depressed.
The “warning symptoms” that occur long before the actual syndrome takes effect are increased commitment to goals; and exhaustion.
Overly committed individuals, perfectionists, those who are not sure how to set boundaries and how to say “no” are more prone to burning out at work than those who simply care less.
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of focus
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical pains
  • Weakened immune system
  • Psychological effects
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Cynicism
How to prevent burnout
If you're displaying a number of the aforementioned symptoms, you could be headed for burnout. Here are nine strategies to help you avoid burnout and regain a healthy perspective on your work:
  • Learn to say no
  • Get enough sleep
  • Talk to friends
  • Leave your work at work
  • Take breaks
  • Eat lunch somewhere other than at your desk
  • Get enough exercise
  • Treat yourself
  • Talk to your manager
Is it stress or burnout?
You might be second-guessing if the way you're feeling is as severe as burnout, or just everyday stress. Sometimes, people miss that burnout is happening entirely, but some common patterns are sure indicators of burnout versus stress.
Stress Burnout
Beginning stages of burnout Caused by prolonged and excessive stress
Characterized by loss of energy Characterized by loss of motivation
Accompanied by a sense of urgency Accompanied by feelings of hopelessness
Overengaging in work or tasks Disengaging from work or tasks
More physical symptoms Physical and emotional symptoms
Overreacting emotionally Reacting without or with less emotion