Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress.
It’s a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of fatigue and lack of motivation.
Whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health. It’s important to consider how to know if you’ve got job burnout and ultimately, what you can do about it.
If I’m being honest with you, I was burnt out from my job 1.5 years ago.
Seriously exhausted, stressed, could barely get out of bed.
The LAST thing I ever wanted to do was go to work. In fact, the thought of work made me sick.
What was the cause of my burnout? Being understaffed at work and being worked to the bone. There was 2 people in my department for 5 people worth of work.
It was crazy, and I was turning crazy.
Here are some job burnout symptoms (that I know all too well):
-Cynical or overly critical at work
-Dragging yourself there and having a tough time getting started
-Being impatient or irritated with coworkers
-Finding it hard to concentrate
-Waking up in the middle of the night thinking of work
-Having a tough time getting to sleep from work items
-Using alcohol or other drugs to cope
-Feeling a lack of care towards work
-Feeling a low sense of satisfaction towards work
… and ultimately, feeling like you want to hand in your resignation every second day!!!
Here are some possible causes of job burnout:
-No job description or clear expectations
-Lack of strong leadership
-Lack of work life balance (hello constant long hours)
-Extreme workload, unrealistic expectations
Do any of these speak to you?
I hope not, but burnout DOES happen!
What I ended up doing to help my burnout was immediately take 3 weeks off work.
I was honest with my manager that I was feeling the symptoms of burnout and really needed to go take care of myself.
So, what CAN you do to relieve job burnout?
-Discuss your symptoms and concerns with your manager.
Be honest! Sometimes, a real conversation explaining how you’re feeling can open their eyes and kick in reality. It can be a major white flag… a sign that you need help. You CAN’T keep going the way you’ve been going and that something needs to change.
-Seek support. Talk to a counsellor, a friend you trust, parent or career coach. They may be able to provide coping mechanisms.
-Take the time off you need. I’m not taking 1 day. Honestly? Probably not even 2. True burnout may require 1-4+ weeks off to relieve. Make sure you are using your much needed time off in a way that will help you heal and recover.
-Get quality sleep and exercise time in. This may seem obvious but 8 hours per day of sleep, and 30 minutes (minimum) per day of exercise will do wonders. This is what I aim for everyday.
-Practice mindfulness. My boyfriend is a Vancouver Firefighter and let me tell you… he sees some crazy things as I’m sure you can imagine. He practices mindfulness REGULARLY! Even 3 minutes per day makes a world of a difference for him. He’s been teaching me the mindfulness ropes and I can really say it works. You focus on your breathing and being aware of what you’re feeling + sensing in the moment. There’s no doubt that you feel much more calm after mindfulness. I’m no pro at it just yet… but truly, try it for yourself.
Remember, your health = your wealth.
Take care of yourself.
Every, single, day.