Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.
Are you feeling exhausted? You have no energy and no drive to do anything? Have you gone from loving your job to feeling it is meaningless? Are you feeling really stressed, having headaches and feeling sick?
You are feeling the affects of job burnout. Burnout causes physical and emotional exhaustion.
Some potential signs of burnout are:
- Loss of interest in your job
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Lack of focus and not being able to concentrate
- You consider every day to be a bad day
- Feel exhausted all the time
- You lose patience easily
- Have a difficult time sleeping
- Experience a lack of appetite, loss of weight
If you have some or all of these symptoms you need to take steps to change. The sooner, the better. It is important that you take the time to assess your feelings and the amount of stress you are having.
Burnout is not something that will just go away. It will be necessary to make changes to your lifestyle and way of thinking.
So what can you do to prevent your symptoms from getting worse? How do you fix yourself?
- The first thing to do is acknowledge that there really is a problem. That may not be easy to do. You are so used to being in overdrive it will not be easy to slow down.
- Talk to your boss and try to find ways to change the structure of your job and responsibilities. Determine with their input what the top priorities are and which can be done at a later date.
- Ditto for home. Talk to your partner about reorganizing tasks and lightening your load. There may be things that someone else can do or you can hire someone to help.
- If possible, take some time away. Go on a vacation, take a weekend retreat. You need to recharge.
- Rest. You need to maintain a schedule that will be kind to you. You need to get enough sleep every night and eat well so you maintain your health and your energy.
- Clear your head by doing activities that you know are relaxing. Try exercise, meditation and reading for pleasure. Do something more extreme like zip-lining or hang gliding that take you out of your element.
- Practice doing some visualization. Think back to when you first started your job and how you felt then. What was your motivation, what spiked your interest and enthusiasm. It might rekindle those same beliefs and feelings.
- Look at all your relationships at work and in your personal life. If you have a relationship with a negative person(s) their behavior will affect you and your own thinking. Look for ways to separate yourself from negative behavior in all forms. Change the dynamics.
The bottom line is you cannot continue doing what caused you to burn out. Something has to change. If you ignore all the signs it will get worse.
It will affect your health to the point of developing severe health conditions, both physical and mental. Your relationships will suffer to the point where you may lose friends and possibly your partner. It will affect your ability to work and you may eventually lose your job which may be the best thing to happen to you.
No one wants to be fired but in the case of burn out and your inability to understand and correct the problem it may be just what you need to happen. It would be better if you made the decision yourself and walked away.
If you decide to leave your job take time away, enough time where you can heal. If possible do not jump right back into another job. In particular not the same type of job where you might just continue the same way of doing things.
You need to change. You have to understand what happened, how it affected you and what you need to do to be healthy in the future. Rest and evaluate. Talk to a professional that will help you through the process.
In the meantime do something to give yourself a whole new perspective. Do some volunteer work. So many people, animals and organizations need help. Volunteer at the Library and while you’re there look at books and take some home to read. By volunteering it allows you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and appreciate all you have in your own life.
Take up some new hobbies. Learn a new language. Ride a bike, take a walk, or learn to do Yoga or Karate. These are all activities you can do for the rest of your life. They will relieve or help prevent stress. They will help you prevent burnout.
When you are ready, find a new job. Ease into a new situation with a clear head and a new perspective. You understand burnout and you know how to prevent it. Relax and enjoy working but remember to enjoy life! Add joy and meaning to your life by maintaining a great attitude. Be mindful of your surroundings and your behaviors and your relationships.
Have a wonderful life!