Self Help Skills

How To Deal With Burnout

1. What is burnout?

Burnout is feeling of exhaustion, like we can't continue anymore. Burnout is a manifestation of being overstressed, emotionally as well as physically. We are talking about job burnout here, where the continuous pressure of work has made too wiped out to want to continue anymore. It makes us sad.


Burnout also kills our attachment to things, and this is very harmful for our career/relationships, making us careless and cynical.


2. Burnout vs stress

Burnout is a sense of being more disengaged from life and/or work (things do matter anymore). Whereas, stress is when we are so engaged with the pressures and demands of life and/or work, that it threatens to finish us off completely.


3. Job burnout symptoms:


- Chronic fatigue: exhausted, feeling rundown all the time, etc

- Negative thinking: Easily irritable, and/or angry, critical of self

- Feeling overwhelmed

- Shortness of breath

- Frequent headaches or gastrointestinal upset

- Weight loss or gain

- Feeling helpless all the time

- Anxiety/panic attacks, depression

- Declining productivity

- Interpersonal problems increasing


4. Job-related causes of burnout:

- Not being able to meet job expectations

- Feeling your capabilities are being un/underutilized

- Not being appreciated for your good work

- Poor relationships with superiors (managers, supervisors)

- Difficult relationships with coworkers or customers

- Not getting timely feedback/praise from the bosses

- Feeling that the boss does not listen to your problems/doesn't care about you

- Feeling left out of important things (meetings, plans, change of plans etc)

- Changes in business/work environment, making things more hectic/panicky

- Not being able to balance your personal and professional life


Dealing with burnout:


1. It is a list of same old things we have listed in 'having a healthy lifestyle'.

Healthy food, Exercise, Sleeping well. Deep breathing exercises help a lot.


2. Practicing relaxation: Try some relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness etc.

Start by taking a much needed work from work for a while. Give your body and mind some much needed rest. It will also give you time to take stock of things - i.e. the big picture.


3. If the job is killing you, or not up to the mark, and you can't do anything for situations to change, change the job.


4. Learn some coping skills: Please read the guide to coping (see Table of contents)


5. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself: Strength - Weaknesses - Opportunities and Threats.

You will know it the stress/burnout is from a lack of skill/s, you should immediately try to learn the needed skills, for example.


6. Analyze your work: See if you can work smartly - checklists, cheatsheets, shortcuts etc. Get better at time management. Ask your superiors if your work load is just too much. If you are senior, you should immediately delegate some work.


7. Invest into better relationships: Relationships, work-related or outside work, are very important to unwind as well as to share useful information. Especially mend your fences with your bosses and colleagues, the people directly responsible for your betterment in the workplace.


8. Take up some unrelated activity: Sports, meditation, even a side project. It will take your mind off the same rut.


Thank you for reading.
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