The typical workday can be exhausting for most, but when does this exhaustion become burnout?
Burnout is defined as emotional or physical exhaustion resulting from being overworked or dissatisfied with your working environment. While burnout can leave you feeling hopeless in your position, there are ways to manage it and get more out of your work.
Symptoms of burnout
Burnout can be caused by unrealistic or unclear expectations, a lack of work-life balance, poor leadership at work, or a number of other factors.
Take a moment to recognize the symptoms of job burnout you may be experiencing. Common ones include:
- Being cynical or critical at work
- Changed sleep habits
- Being irritable or easily annoyed at work
- Using drugs, drinking alcohol, or binging food
- Difficulty concentrating or getting started at work
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Not feeling satisfied with your accomplishments
How to manage the stress
Once you know you’re burnt out, something has to change. Start by talking about your concerns with your boss. Whether it’s changing your work hours, gaining the flexibility to work from home, adjusting expectations, or another reasonable change, try to come to a solution together. If you aren’t being listened to or respected, it may be time to start job searching.
When dealing with job burnout, it can also help to focus on the areas of life you can control—try following a daily routine to establish some consistency and a sense of control. Set a sleep schedule and try to get your body moving every day through a form of exercise you enjoy.
It also helps to seek support from friends, family, or coworkers you trust. When dealing with severe burnout, talking to a mental health professional can help. At Valley Oaks Health, we offer group and individual therapy.