Burnout at the Workplace: How to Deal With it?

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Burnout at the Workplace: How to Deal With it?

Burnout represents a condition that is characterized by feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotionally depleted as a result of continual stress from work, family, or other sources. The most prevalent form of burnout is the one seen in the workplace. When an employee takes on too many responsibilities, has too many tasks to complete, and feels like they are spiraling and losing control, it all ends up in the state of feeling burnt out.    

Burnout is not a medical condition, but rather something that emerges as a result of being under huge amounts of stress. This is also called burnout syndrome or job burnout. Since burnout is something that occurs over time, it is essential to be aware of its signs and symptoms, while also being aware of how to overcome it.    

Signs Of Burnout    

Burnout manifests itself in a variety of ways. It is important to be mindful of your behavior, thoughts and emotions to be able to catch its early signs. Let’a take a look at some of them.    

Physical symptoms of burnout are:     

  • Exhaustion    
  • Persistent fatigue, even after rest.    
  • Headaches or muscle tension.    
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.    
  • Frequent illness or weakened immune system.    
  • Digestive issues or stomach pains.    

Emotional symptoms of burnout:     

  • Feelings of detachment or cynicism.    
  • Reduced sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.    
  • Increased irritability or impatience.    
  • Emotional exhaustion.    
  • Loss of motivation or interest in previously enjoyable activities.    

Cognitive symptoms of burnout:    

  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.    
  • Memory problems or forgetfulness.    
  • Negative self-talk or self-doubt.    
  • Persistent pessimism or hopelessness.    
  • Lack of creativity or innovative thinking.    

Behavioral symptoms of burnout:    

  • Withdrawal from social activities or relationships.    
  • Procrastination or avoidance of responsibilities.    
  • Increased use of substances like alcohol or drugs.    
  • Decreased productivity or performance.    
  • Heightened perfectionism or obsession with work.    

The Cycle Of Burnout     

Let’s face it - almost every employee faces burnout at some point. There are so many things to do and so little time. When coupled with the demands from other spheres of life, it can get overwhelming.    

Burnout functions in a cyclical manner. You take on responsibilities that have been assigned to you. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed, but then you say to yourself, “Hey, I got this!” and keep going. Then comes a time when the stress gets to you. You start missing deadlines, you feel irritated and low, you might even get into arguments with your colleagues or at home, and the work keeps piling up. You think, maybe a break can fix this. So you pack your bags and take a vacation, or simply decide to sit home and relax on the weekend. However, when you go back to the office, you realize nothing has changed. The workload is the same, you’re back in the same environment, and the cycle continues!    

How can you deal with this? Now that you know what burnout is and how to recognize its signs, let’s take a look at how to escape the cycle of burnout that we get stuck in.     

Tips to Overcome Burnout    

The takeaway from the above discussion is simple. The reason people get stuck in the burnout cycle is that they try to find temporary solutions to their problems. A two-day vacation is like a bandaid - while you got a break that was probably much needed, it didn’t exactly address the underlying cause of the burnout. To really tackle burnout, you need a strategy that is more comprehensive and will serve you well in the long run.    

Let’s take a look at some things you can do to tackle and overcome burnout:    

Be Mindful     

An important part of being able to tackle burnout is to recognise its signs and symptoms. We talked about these above. If you notice burnout symptoms popping up, do not dismiss them.    

Identify Your Triggers    

Once you have identified that you are experiencing burnout, the next task is to figure out the reasons for it. This is a necessary step for building the foundation for a long term solution to the problem. What is it that is causing you to feel burnt out? Is it the workload, unrealistic expectations set by you or others, the office environment, or something else? Identifying this will help you deal with the problem better.    

Prioritize Yourself     

Once you have realized what is contributing to your burnout, you need to step back and evaluate how you can take care of yourself in a better manner. There are two possible situations that can occur here - either the cause of your burnout is something you can’t do anything about, or it’s something that you can work on. If you can work on it, think about the possible ways to accomplish this. Are there any skills you can develop that will help you tackle your problem? Perhaps better time management? Being more compassionate towards yourself? These skills will give you a gateway to better adjustment.    

Talk to Someone    

A lot of times, talking about your problems can help you understand them and look at them from a newer perspective. One person to consider talking to in your workplace might be a superior, because they might be able to help you out with your problems and resolve some of the challenges that you are facing (if you have been able to identify them). If not, you can try talking to a colleague who can give you a newer perspective. You can also consider talking to a counselor - they can provide you with a safe space to be able to look at your problems.    

Incorporate Lifestyle Changes     

On a more personal level, something you can do to tackle burnout is to get the basics right. Burnout has many physical repercussions, and can make you feel drained. Eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, stay active, lay off the alcohol and smoking, and incorporate things you love to do into your routine.    

If all else fails….      

If nothing works, it might be time to consider a change. Constantly being under pressure and feeling burnt out can be detrimental for you. Burnout may be overwhelming, but you can end the cycle.    

Solh Wellness can be your companion in your journey to navigating burnout and other workplace struggles. Solh is a supportive community with features like journaling for self-reflection. Connect with others in our anonymous support groups, share experiences, and find comfort in solidarity. Solh Buddy, your virtual companion, is there to provide personalized encouragement along the way. In times of overwhelm, try the Talk Now feature to instantly connect with a counselor. You can also book a session with our counselors, who can help you tackle your problems. We have a variety of tools because we believe in a unique approach to fight burnout.    

Take charge of your well-being today. Explore Solh and reclaim your spark!