What is Burnout?
“an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.” “In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors.”- David Ballard.
Certain amounts of stress can be positive resulting in peak performance. However, eventually more stress does not result in more productivity. There is a point where excess stress results in a decrease in productive resulting in fatigue, discouragement and Burnout.
Symptoms of Burnout
- Withdrawing from others
- Cynicism about self, others, work
- Lowered frustration tolerance
- Interpersonal Problems
- difficulty concentrating
- forgetfulness (long term and short term memories)
- Health; blood pressure, tight muscles,
- Exhaustion, Loss of energy
- Getting sick more often and easier
- Withdrawing from responsibilities
- Lack of Motivation
- Feeling of failure vocationally
- Reduced sense of satisfaction or reward for hard work
- Sense of helplessness
- Belief you are no longer effective
- Generally Decreased Satisfaction
- Falling behind with an inability to catch back up, resulting in being more behind
- Sense of Shame (feeling of failure)
- Feeling helpless, trapped and defeated
What to do
- Recognize – Watch for the warning signs of burnout
- Reverse – Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress
- Resilience – Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health
Some Things to help reverse symptoms of burnout. If you can’t imagine having the energy to do any of these things seek help from a counselor, coach or friend.
- Take rest/relaxation seriously- do the things that rest our body, mind or soul
- Margin/Boundaries – say no to things. The challenge with this is sometimes saying ‘no’ results in feelings of shame “I’m not good enough”. Don’t buy in, burnout happens from overextending one’s abilities
- Cultivate a rich non work life – church, friends, family, community
- Sleep– good, restful sleep. It might even be helpful to monitor your sleep for a week and see how many hours of quality sleep you are getting.
- Organization – it may be worth not doing other things in order to plan out a day, week or month in a way that seems more sustainable
- Physical health; eating right, sleeping enough and well, getting exercise
- Social Awareness – Know when its you, and when its them
- Find new friends.– Perhaps your networks is small, unavailable or negative